I’m a sucker for punishment. You might find me, for example, digging up the backyard to lay some new lawn on the morning after Mardi Gras.

I don’t really mind if my soccer team loses week after week and I spent my childhood trudging to football matches with my dad to watch our team in the middle of their longest, most heartbreaking losing streak.

Now, this punishment suckerage has reached a head. Following some short, loud and bloody hours on Sunday night, my girlfriend and I are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. That’s right, two kids under two. Peter Costello would be so proud.

She’s absolutely gorgeous, and clearly a genius. I can tell by the way she opens her eyes. That’s all she does at the moment.

It’s excellent having a girl baby, if a bit weird. As anyone who knows me will attest, and as I’ve bored my poor, patient readers before, I’m no kind of lady.

My wardrobe, like the Fonz’s, contains a mess of jeans and T-shirts (and one suit for when I need to feign professionalism). Unfortunately, in internet dating terms, I’m probably more sports kit than anything remotely fashionable.

I’m also known as a fairly practical kind of shopper, more interested in IKEA flat packs than any kind of beautiful accessory.

So it’s pretty strange that now I have a tiny baby daughter, I’ve spun into a kind of pink fit. I can’t stop looking at and buying small pink things. Miniature socks. Fuzzy hats. Bunnies. Fuzzy wuzzy funny little furry things. Nothing remotely practical. Anyone with a baby knows they’ll smell like vomit within a week.

In short, we’re going to have the most ridiculously girly-looking girl baby in town. No one will ever mistake her for a boy -“ even if it occasionally still happens to me. She’s going to be so cross with us about her baby photos when she turns out a mountain climber or truck driver.

In the meantime, we’ve got about 13 years before she turns us grey, so we’re making the most of it. Pink hats, fluffy wuffy bunnies and all.

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