Supermarkets are big places. They've got lots of aisles, full of products which most of us probably never buy. Non-alcoholic lager, pre-grated cheese, Baconnaise, the list goes on.

Certainly I'd never given much thought to breadsticks until I had a baby. But since they became one of G's favourite foods, I'm pretty much single-handedly keeping the breadstick industry going in the midst of the current economic crisis.

It started a few months ago when G was first eating solid food, and someone handed out some mini-breadsticks to all the children at a baby group. G, already having teeth, was easily able to hold the stick in her hand and chew the end off it. After she'd finished one, she wanted another. And so, on every shopping trip since, I've bought at least two packets of the things.

I usually give one to G before every proper meal, which I suppose makes the humble breadstick a form of baby antipasti. If I break it in half, she'll hold one in each hand and take alternating bites, before eventually shoving what's left of it into her gob.

I fully expect her to get bored one day, and start demanding some Balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip her breadsticks into. Obviously if she starts asking for Baconnaise instead, I'll know I've failed as a father.

Lazy Baby

Here's G at the end of her nap today. It lasted well over two hours, and would probably have gone on longer if I hadn't got bored sitting around the house on my own and decide to wake her up by letting the camera flash off right next to her.

After gradually sleeping less and less over time, G has suddenly started sleeping more. In the mornings she's now rarely awake before half past 8, and the other day she was still flat out when I finally reached into her cot and started shaking her at half 9. She's always slept in quite late for a baby, because we don't put her to bed until after 8pm each night so Mrs J can spend time with her after she gets in from work. But the snoozing every morning and around her daytime naps is now approaching teenage levels of laziness. Apparently this is probably because she's having a growth spurt, although I prefer the idea that she'd just rather stay in bed.

I really shouldn't complain. Often when I talk to mums about the sleeping patterns of their little ones, they moan about still never getting an undisturbed night's sleep, or having to get up before dawn every day to deal with their wide-awake child. Ever since she started sleeping through at ten weeks, G hasn't had much trouble getting in a full 12 hours at night with plenty more during the day. I never tell the mums this though. I don't think I'd be able to show my face at a baby group again if I did.

Self Portrait

Ok, so it's not exactly a self-portrait, I took this picture of G and me earlier by putting the camera in my outstretched right arm and pointing it in our general direction. I think it came out pretty well.

G is still too young to understand what cameras are, let alone how to use one to take a photo of herself. But she has worked out that I'm doing something significant when I aim it at her, because she usually smiles and tries to grab the thing. She always likes being the centre of attention, my little girl.

She was on particularly good form over the weekend as we took her to see some of our friends. One said, "She always seems so happy." I tried to explain that this is a bit misleading, and that G tends to be at her smiley best in front of other people, probably precisely because she is in front of other people. G saves her whingeing and whining for when she's stuck on her own with me, which is of course entirely understandable. She soon brightens up again when I get the camera out though.

Long Wet Summer

Today was the last day of the school term. G isn't nearly old enough to be bothered by that, but it means that the parent and baby groups I take her to most weeks won't be running until September. So today was the last day of baby singing for the time being, and despite the heavy rain I pushed G along the canal to the place, getting pretty drenched in the process. It was worth it though, because as always G had a great time, gurgling along to all the nursery rhymes and stealing the other babies' toys.

Mrs J asked if I could get a CD of all the baby songs so I could play them to G over the summer, but I vetoed that. I've got a strict policy of quality music only in the house to help educate G, and besides, I'm not sure I fancy listening to nursery rhymes more than once a week. With the weather as grotty as it is, the combination of not being able to leave the house and having to repeatedly sing Hickory Dickory Dock to keep G entertained would be too much to take.

If G gets bored, I'd rather stick to my unashamedly trendy iTunes library and G's new activity cube. As the photo shows, that's doing the job for now.

At The Cricket

On Saturday I was supposed to join Mrs J and G at a first birthday party for one of G's little friends. About ten minutes before we were going to leave I got a phone call asking if I'd be able to fill in at (very) short notice for my cricket team, Delph and Dobcross Second XI. I decided an afternoon of sporting endeavour might be more my thing than a house full of babies, so left Mrs J to take G to the party, dug my whites out of the cupboard and got down to the ground. I scored five not out, so I'm sure you'll agree it was well worth it.

Yesterday we all went back to the ground to watch a bit of our First XI playing a cup semi-final. The photo shows G relaxing while enjoying the action. Thankfully I wasn't on the field, so she was spared the embarrassment of actually having to watch me play. I've decided I'm going to have to improve a lot before I even think about letting that happen, which is probably for the best for both of us.

The G-Dog And The Cat

I took G to visit my mum for a couple of days this week. From G's point of view, the best thing about this was that she got to play with my mum's cat. Every time the cat came into the room, G responded by bursting into hysterical laughter, waving and pointing, before getting on all fours and crawling after the poor creature.

G generally makes lots of noise when she's crawling around, as she thuds her hands into the ground and gurgles to herself, so she hasn't mastered the art of stealthy tracking. This allowed the cat to get away every time G got anywhere near. Not that G seemed to mind. I think she enjoyed the chase more than anything else, not least because I don't think she had much idea of what she'd do with the cat if she actually caught it. I doubt her little brain had thought quite that far ahead.

Washing Machine

Our washing machine broke down over the weekend. It just stopped working mid-cycle, and gave off an ominous smell of burning. This was a particular problem because G was almost out of clean vests, quite an achievement seeing as she has about 317 of them. So the two of us waited in today for a man to come and fix it.

I'm useless with stuff like fixing household appliances, but I usually try to cover this up in front of visiting workmen by explaining the problem as nonchalantly as possible while making them a cup of tea, hoping they can't see through my bluffing and realise I have no idea what I'm talking about. Today my attempt at sounding knowledgeable about washing machines was even more pointless than usual, because soon enough the man said there was nothing wrong with the thing, that something had probably got temporarily stuck in the pump but it all seemed to have sorted itself out. He didn't even finish his tea.

So, G's vests are now being washed. As the picture shows, she's taking a keen interest in their progress. It's difficult to know exactly what's going on inside her tiny mind at the best of times. But I wouldn't be surprised if she's pondering new ways of getting them all dirty again.

Swimming And Traffic Lights

I took G for a day trip today. We went over the Snake Pass and into Derbyshire to visit Hathersage, mainly because all the fine weather had put me in the mood to go for some outdoor swimming and I think the pool at Hathersage might be the nearest lido to where we live. The website also promised that it would be heated, which seemed like a particularly good idea when I started driving and the sun promptly disappeared behind some rain clouds.

We stopped off for lunch then got to the pool just as a group of schoolkids were arriving. A couple of the teachers offered to help me get G and the pram up the steps. While the female teacher held G and I carried our bags, I folded up the pram for the male teacher to carry, imagining that being a man he'd be good at lifting stuff. He strode off confidently, then missed a step and fell straight on his face. I think I did a reasonable job of sounding concerned, although I was laughing very hard indeed inside.

The water was heated, although the overcast weather meant it wasn't really all that much warmer in there than your standard council baths. The pool's in a beautiful setting though, and you can get a view of the Peak District hills all around as you swim up and down. G is too young to appreciate that sort of thing, but she enjoyed showing off to all of the other people in the pool, as she waved and smiled winningly at anyone who came by.

We had a bit of time spare before I wanted to drive home (that is, when G was next due for a nap) so I followed the signs to the edge of the village to see Hathersedge's other main attraction, the David Mellor cutlery workshop and museum. That's this David Mellor, not that one. Turns out that as well as doing all kinds of cutlery and homeware, David Mellor also designed the traffic lights that you see across the country. To illustrate the point, there was a giant working set of lights in the middle of the museum cafe, where I had a coffee while G got her little fingerprints all over the previously immaculate windows. I had plenty of opportunity to ponder this design classic on the way home, as I drove past dozens more sets of lights. In fact, I found it so interesting it almost got that image of the other David Mellor having sex in a Chelsea shirt out of my head. Almost.