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.

Am I a pappa or a dad?

We're pretty sure the 'Troll's first word is going to be mamma. He has been saying it for quite a while now, but we can't really say it's his first proper word yet because he still uses it pretty indiscriminately. The coke bottle I filled with rice for him to use as a giant rattle / skittle to knock over as part of his crawling training is called mamma nearly as often as his actual mother is.

I don't know how or when, but at some point I started calling him Homeslice, and then I became Dadslice. My wife, naturally, became Boobslice. Of course these names cannot continue. I mean, Dadslice is just silly. 

But, back to being serious. It feels the most natural thing in the world for his Norwegian mum to be his mamma, but I'm not sure that I'm a pappa. It just doesn't fit right. It is an important signifier of a large new part of my identity: am I a pappa to my half-Norwegian son, who lives and will grow up in Norway, or am I a dad to my half-English son, whose father is and always will be English, and always thought he would be a Dad to someone? 

My wife, as with all things, just wants to keep it simple and for the 'Troll to have a mamma and pappa, just like (most of) the other kids he'll meet. As a compromise, I kind of like the Norwegian pappsen, as it's a little more fun, and softens the Norwegianness a little, but apparently it's too cutesy and will grow old as quickly as he is growing up. 

I have to decide what I want to be and stick to it pretty soonish so as not to start confusing him, but I'm finding this ostensibly trivial thing actually quite difficult. Maybe I should just have him call me Tulpesh. At least that part of my identity is pretty fixed, and I think it would actually be quite cool. It would makes things much easier if he ever wanders off in the supermarket; it's much easier to find the one Tulpesh amongst the dozens of other pappas. 

 

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