Sunday, 15 April 2007

I'm an auntie! Will I soon be a mummy?

I am an auntie for the second time! My sister Gillian had her baby yesterday. A son, born 11 days late, but happy and healthy. Congratulations to Gillian and her partner Vince!

The sad thing about being in Germany at this point is that I won’t be able to see my sister and her new family for some time – and she won’t be able to visit mine. Neither of us will be able to travel for several months. Firstly, we’ll be too overwhelmed with trying to adapt to our new lifestyles and getting into a routine that travelling on a plane/ferry/train across a continent would be an unimaginable challenge. Well, I can sort of imagine it and what I picture in my head isn't pretty. Think of all the hard work you'd need to put in to keep the baby fed, changed, clean and entertained en route…and that's on top of the fact that we adults get tired and grumpy when we've been travelling for long periods.

Next, the babies need their own passports. I’ve looked into this and found out that it could take me at least 6 weeks to sort out all the birth registration and passport documents the baby would need. Our baby will need a biometric passport. I have two gripes about this. Firstly, infant biometric passports are more expensive than the old style passports - around 80 pounds when applying from overseas - and will only last for 5 years. Secondly, I am not sure how worthwhile it is to give babies biometric passports. Biometric passports will include 'facial recognition mapping', stored on a chip within the passport. Now as I will be applying for a passport for our baby ASAP, she’ll be a mere newborn in the photo. It'll take some skill to capture a photo which passes the UK Passport Services' strict requirements. Apparently she will need to have her head up, but as this is impossible for a newborn it seems to me that we could use one of two techniques:

a. Someone will have to hold up her head but the supporting 'puppeteer's' arm will need to be erased with the power of PhotoShop
b. We could put a ruler up her romper suit and behind her neck before taking the photo
(I suspect we could get into trouble for option b.)

Anyway, imagine the quality of the facial data you'd get from a picture taken with either technique. Imagine again, how different the baby will look on each successive birthay...

But, rant aside, I am very happy as I now have a nephew and I hope soon to have a daughter...

1 comment:

Anna said...

Congratulations to your sister Vicky. Let's hope you're not kept waiting for 11 days!!

Maybe another option could be to tip the photo booth totally on its side and lay the baby down. However I suspect that this option may also get you into trouble.