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Monday, November 21, 2011

Lisa discovered a 'Height Predictor' tool on the internet at the weekend, which uses the scientifically proven Khamis-Roche Method to accurately reveal how tall your children will be as adults. So we entered my height (5'7") and Lisa's height (5'5"), plus Amelie's height (3'6"), weight (42lb) and age (3), and having analysed all the data, it told us she'll be 5'9" by the age of 13. We've only got ten years before she'll be looking down on us. Although in many ways, I think she already is.

So while we're still able to look her in the eye without the use of a stepladder, we decided to take her out for some fun in the sun on Saturday. We'd had a slightly stressful morning, after I had a flash of inspiration and decided on the spur of the moment that what Amelie would enjoy more than anything on a bright November morning, was for me to get out my old PS2 dance mat from under the bed, and for the two of us to boogie on down in the living room for a couple of hours.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The time being 10am. By ten-fifteen I'd realised that the dance mat wasn't where I thought it would be, and by ten-thirty I was turning the flat upside down looking for it. I eventually found it at eleven. And that wasn't all I found. I also discovered that if your Playstation's done nothing but gather dust on a shelf for two years, you might struggle to get it working.

But two hours, numerous tears and a lot of regrets later, we were finally up and dancing. At which point Amelie took one look at the game, told me she didn't like it, and ran out of the room crying. To say it was a disappointing end to all my hard work would be like saying that Burlesconi was only slightly corrupt.

But what really gets my goat is this...

That's Amelie having a lot more fun with a lot less effort from me.

We decided to take her out on Saturday afternoon to the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare near Ringmer. We took her there in June, when we pretended it was Drusillas Zoo Park, but we decided to come clean this time and admit that it's an animal rescue centre. Unfortunately she associates the word 'rescue' with me retrieving her cuddly toys from behind the sofa, so she spent most of the time asking why the animals were stuck, and how we could pull them out.

But despite the confusion, a good time was had by all. Not only did we manage to cross the wooden bridge to Goose Island with no more than two or three tantrums...

Burning her bridges.
... but we also saw a variety of interesting animals. Here's a hot bunny girl having a bad hair day...

Sorry, wrong photo. That's my wife with no make-up in the cafe. Here's a hot bunny girl having a bad hair day...

Mad March HairOr possibly a bad hare day. Surprisingly, however, that wasn't the oddest small mammal we saw on Saturday. Raystede has become so overrun with rodents since we last visited, that they're on the verge of being sponsored by Rentokil. But in addition to rehoming rats, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and spiny mice, they also had two destitute degus. Although they looked more like obese gerbils.

Not only is the degu an ideal pet, but you can have a lot of fun with them in the lab. According to Wikipedia (so it's bound to be true), "Degus entered the research spotlight due to their unique relationship with sugar and diabetes, but are also studied for a wide variety of other reasons. Neuroscientists at the Riken Institute in Tokyo, Japan, used degus for research into tool use in animals with good eye-and-paw coordination, in which they spontaneously learned to use a tiny rake to retrieve out-of-reach seeds. Degus have also been found to spontaneously stack objects in order of decreasing size. In both cases it is the first time these behaviours have been recorded in animals other than apes and birds."

They're naturally diabetic, can use gardening tools, and appear to have OCD. Lisa had to physically restrain me from adopting one. I'd have it cuddling my patients, sorting out my window box, and alphabetising my CDs within hours.