I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Feeling all the feels

Feeling all the feels

I I have my up and downs, as does everyone, but I have always considered myself to be an emotionally steady person. On the official Drake Mood Scale, my mood is a pretty constant 7. Except the first hour after I wake up, regardless of how well I have slept, then it's a 4. 

play with emotions.jpg

With no real ability to cogitate yet, the Lykketroll is pretty much only about emotion, and his feelings don't really recognize each other: he can go from angry to elated via desperately confused in the space of a few seconds, each emotion seemingly fully disconnected from the last. One steady mood he is not. 

Earlier this afternoon, as we were out for one of our daily walks in the forests, I got to reflecting about my emotions, and how, really, although I may one be of one steady mood (or have at least convinced myself that that is the case), I feel many different things throughout the day, many of them of course now closely tied to and  exacerbated by Lykketroll.

I thought it would be a fun experiment, whilst also being an exercise in reflective thinking and creativity (and a test of my vocabulary!), to see if I could out together an A to Z of emotions, both negative and positive, that I regularly feel in relation to the Lykketroll.

 

  • Awe - that two cells combined, underwent untold rounds of replication and division and became a human being who will eventually also be capable of reflecting on its own existence and also feeling awe.
  • Bewildered - every time I'm out shopping for clothes for him and can't find anything in gender neutral colour. In Norway. In the year 2016  
  • Complacent - brief flashes of it every time I get him to fall asleep.
  • Exhausted - obvs.
  • Fascinated - at his absolute fascination for whatever he has in his hand that very second.
  • Guilt - every time I catch myself paying my phone more attention than him, however briefly .

 

  • Harried - every meal time where I have to feed him whilst also feeding myself.
  • Inspired - constantly, to be a better person and to be the father he deserves.
  • Joyful - in lots of the littlest things (today it was seeing the reaction of an old lady getting in the lift with us and her eyes lighting up when the Lykketroll started smiling and wildly waving at her, and talking a lovely walk in the sunshine in one of my favourite areas (Langvannet), and feeding the Lykketroll raspberries we picked along the way).
  • Kind - not exactly what I feel (that would be ridiculously conceited), but at least what I try to be. Really struggling for a word here, can you tell?
  • Love - also obvs.
  • Nervous - every time we do something new together (take a long drive through the middle of Oslo to a friend's, taking him to his first Drop-in nursery session today), but also frequently throughout the day, like, for example, see what awaits in his nappy each time I have to change it.
  • Optimistic - he seems healthy and happy and thriving, and if that's isn't cause for optimism, I don't know what is
  • Pride - see above.
  • Quarrelsome - often tied to being hangry, or the first 45 minutes of every morning when being a B person really counts against me; exacerbated by the fact that my wife and I are equally ridiculously stubborn.
  • Serene - being in nature whilst he sleeps peacefully in the pram.
  • Tender - each time I touch or embrace him, but especially hugging/stroking him right before he falls asleep, when he is at his cutest and most vulnerable.
  • Uncertain - I'm a pretty go with the flow, things will work out kind of parent, but if there's one thing that regularly makes me feel uncertain or unsure of myself and that's how to handle his sleeping, or, more precisely, when he refuses to sleep (is it too early to put him down, is it too early to go in and comfort him, is this that or the other setting a bad precedent); I am nothing like this with pretty much any other part of raising him. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have a terrible relationship with and attitude to sleep and don't want him to have the same.
  • Vulnerable - I'm frequently and acutely aware of how what I feel in the immediacy, and throughout a large part of the day, is essentially beyond my control and in fact in the hands of a proto-human who is equally likely to react with laughter and angry tears if I suddenly sneeze.
  • Wonder - see awe; I'm constantly taken aback by how truly wonderful it is that the Lykketroll exists.
  • I'm struggling with X, Y and Z, sorry. 

Don't Take it Personal (Just One of Dem Nights)

The Lykketroll's introduction to the wonderful world of food

The Lykketroll's introduction to the wonderful world of food