Little baby girl bathing in soapsuds.

Credit: Dmitry Naumov/
The daily routine offers an ideal context to observe and enjoy your child's development.

Same tub, same child, but a subtly different person

Repetition has a bad reputation these days. For many people repetition is drudgery and tedium. It is the daily grind, the seemingly endless toil of days spent doing the same thing over and over again. It is humdrum and boring. The antidote is an eternal quest for novelty, which has become one of the hallmarks of our age. With young children around, repetition takes on a different, more interesting character. As every parent knows, routine is good. It gives children signals about what is going to happen next. Repeating sequences of events at certain times every day lets children know how things are going to proceed.

Every night since Astrid was a few weeks old, we have given her a bath before she goes to bed. Usually it is a pleasant and relaxing time, a way for her to wind down and start the transition from awake to asleep.  Now and again, I find myself succumbing to the modern ennui: another bath time, I think, another day nearly over; it is the same thing day after day. Then I see Astrid splashing about and I am reminded of the newness that children inevitably create within ostensibly similar days.

Astrid has some wooden rings of different sizes and colours that fit on to a pole and stack on top of each other. Every morning she sits down and plays with them. She turns the entire apparatus upside down so the rings fall off the pole. Then she sets about putting them back on. When we bought her this toy, she did not know what to do with it. Now she can thread the rings over the pole. She has done the same thing every morning, but she does it slightly differently each time, becoming gradually more skilled as she repeats the activity.

Even though she is doing the same thing over and over again, it makes you realise that nothing is ever exactly the same. Even though the action may be the same, the person doing the action is different. The 19th-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote a book on this subject. It is called Repetition. The narrator, Constantin Constantius, attempts to repeat a trip to Berlin by doing exactly the same things as he did before. He finds himself frustrated at various points. He is unable to sit in the same seat at the theatre, for example. And, although he goes with the same people to the theatre, he does not enjoy their company as much as he did the first time.

"The only repetition," he concludes, "was the impossibility of repetition." Children are particularly good at ramming this point home. Their use of repetition is akin to a jazz soloist's: repetition provides a stable foundation upon which to improvise, it provides a framework within which new things happen, it provides a base from which new territories can be mapped. Next time I leap to condemn something as stale or boring simply because I have done it before I shall remind myself to think again.

Astrid has started to cackle like a jackdaw. One evening during dinner she opened her mouth and rattled off a volley of metallic sounds in quick succession. She stopped only briefly before starting up again with this peculiar machine-gun splutter. It was a little disturbing, as if she had been possessed by some kind of fledgling spirit.  In fact, she picked it up from a friend's daughter while we were swimming earlier in the day. It happened very quickly. Astrid saw and pretty soon Astrid did.

She seems capable of remarkable feats of observation and imitation at the moment. She picks up mannerisms and actions very easily. Then she uses a particular action over and over, trying it out in many different situations to see if it fits and to see when it is appropriate. Mirror neurons, the part of the brain humans use to impute the actions of another person as if they were their own, have been shown to exist in babies as young as two or three weeks, but they don't develop fully until much later in childhood.

Astrid's mimicking of this distinctive chuckle is a fascinating glimpse into the progress of this ability. * Robert Carroll

Conservative MPs who have publicly revealed sending letters of no confidence
  1. Steve Baker
  2. Peter Bone
  3. Ben Bradley
  4. Andrew Bridgen
  5. Maria Caulfield​​​​​​​
  6. Simon Clarke
  7. Philip Davies
  8. Nadine Dorries​​​​​​​
  9. James Duddridge​​​​​​​
  10. Mark Francois
  11. Chris Green
  12. Adam Holloway
  13. Andrea Jenkyns
  14. Anne-Marie Morris
  15. Sheryll Murray
  16. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  17. Laurence Robertson
  18. Lee Rowley
  19. Henry Smith
  20. Martin Vickers
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Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

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On sale: Now
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Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.


A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

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Marwan Lutfi says the core fundamentals that drive better payment behaviour and can improve your credit score are:

1. Make sure you make your payments on time;

2. Limit the number of products you borrow on: the more loans and credit cards you have, the more it will affect your credit score;

3. Don't max out all your debts: how much you maximise those credit facilities will have an impact. If you have five credit cards and utilise 90 per cent of that credit, it will negatively affect your score.

A general guide to how active you are:

Less than 5,000 steps - sedentary

5,000 - 9,999 steps - lightly active

10,000  - 12,500 steps - active

12,500+ - highly active

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Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


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Founders: Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori

Based: Bangalore, India

Sector: Health & wellness

Size: 500 employees

Investment: $250 million

Investors: Accel, Oaktree Capital (US); Chiratae Ventures, Epiq Capital, Innoven Capital, Kalaari Capital, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Piramal Group’s Anand Piramal, Pratithi Investment Trust, Ratan Tata (India); and Unilever Ventures (Unilever’s global venture capital arm)

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Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
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Sharad Nair recommends three investment apps for UAE residents:

  • For beginners or people who want to start investing with limited capital, Mr Nair suggests eToro. “The low fees and low minimum balance requirements make the platform more accessible,” he says. “The user interface is straightforward to understand and operate, while its social element may help ease beginners into the idea of investing money by looking to a virtual community.”
  • If you’re an experienced investor, and have $10,000 or more to invest, consider Saxo Bank. “Saxo Bank offers a more comprehensive trading platform with advanced features and insight for more experienced users. It offers a more personalised approach to opening and operating an account on their platform,” he says.
  • Finally, StashAway could work for those who want a hands-off approach to their investing. “It removes one of the biggest challenges for novice traders: picking the securities in their portfolio,” Mr Nair says. “A goal-based approach or view towards investing can help motivate residents who may usually shy away from investment platforms.”

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Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
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Pages: 316

Publisher: The Dreamwork Collective 

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Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded