As any new dad will tell you, it's more than difficult to leave the small, sleep-suited one at home and shuffle off to work each day. Might you miss that all important giggle, fart or furtive look? Will she make her first grab for a furry monkey, wiggly worm or crab-shaped rattle? Will there be silence? Will there be crying?
Which is why it's important to take a little piece of your baby with you to work. For some this might be commemorative cuff links or a photo in the wallet; for the pagans of course, there's a high probability than anything that could be salvaged from the delivery room floor might be varnished and worn around the neck as a talisman; and for those of us with real panache, the accessory of choice is a small bit of poo.
Yes. I guess it's the new dad's equivalent of earning your stripes. I turned up at the office this week with small poo-coloured dots over my lovely pink Alexander shirt. There was one by the cuff, one on the sleeve and one that I missed until much later in the day, just above the waistline.
Just before leaving the house I'd done one last change and Maddie chose her moments of nappy freedom on the changing table to do one of her 'napalm death' aerial poos; I thought I'd caught most of the splatter and collateral damage, but clearly not. The new motto for new dads is this: don't change after you've changed.
Speaking of stylish accessories, I urge anyone with a little person to check out a fine purveyor of sleepsuits for parents who grew up in the 70s or 80s: Nippaz With Attitude (NWA). Sleep suits and T-Shirts can be bought for newborns up to four year olds, brandished with slogans that include 'Mama Ain't Raisin' No Fool' or the one we bought 'It'll all end in tears'. Another small epiphany was the discovery of an online home for Dad Bloggers like me - Daddy Types. Hugely entertaining although I don't think Anne will let me join in the competition to see how many hilarious shapes you can shave into your kid's hair. Hmmm. Maybe while she's asleep.