Behind every teething baby is a Sophie the Giraffe with PTSD

I got ridiculously excited about my eight month old son cutting his first tooth this week. He’s been going through that dreaded blanket-term get-you-out-of-staying-long-at-people’s-houses ‘teething’ stage since he was about 3 months old, and after 5 months, numerous bottles of Calpol and a very tired Sophie the Giraffe he’s done it! Without flourish or fanfare, there was the tiny little jagged edge the other day when he beamed at me. My husband looked back at me to find my face crumpled with proud tears, my mascara already down near my chin. I’ve been told that I should really be getting him to a dentist as he’s only just had his first one by now but they can shove their ‘concern’ up their hairy b-holes. Nothing can take the shine off this apple!

I was exactly the same brand of rapturously weepy when he first sat up, when he actually he ate an Organix carrot stick without it ending up pasted to the crotch of his joggers and even when he had his first – what I can only describe as a – ‘grown up’ poo. (My eyes water at the memory of the smell). He’s my little thing that I’ve made and when he does (admittedly mundane) things that make him seem like a human, my tear ducts have a violent reaction.

I wound myself up because he wasn’t rolling over and hated tummy time. (I loathe that phrase, it sounds like something very saccharine from the Disney Book of Babies, Kitties and Puppies) I thought it was something I was doing wrong because he just yelled and looked like I’d put him in an acid bath every time I placed him on his cushiony little belly. I bought one of those stupid draft excluder looking things from one of the big baby shops and he just used that to try and give himself a head injury by slowly launching over it.

I checked the Babycentre 0-6 month milestones page obsessively several times a day and kept asking myself why I was such a shitty mum as my baby couldn’t roll. Never mind that he perfected his pincer grip and passing things between his hands when he was 4 months old. I was constantly comparing him to other people’s babies and everything to do with his mental/physical development became what occupied my spare brain space after feeding/napping schedules. (Until the Living Nightmare that is weaning, but that’s another story!)

Then after weeks of obsessing and only thinking in Milestones, he got to about 6 1/2 months and he rolled. And then he rolled again. And he hasn’t stopped rolling since! He does it in the blink of an eye, he wakes us up in the night with his effort grunts when he does it in his cot at 2.37 a.m. (It’s always 2:37 a.m isn’t it?!). He’s happy as a clam, sticking his peachy little bum in the air while I’m trying to change his nappy. But me, I’ll always be worrying about the next thing. He isn’t crawling yet but when he’s pulling all our painstakingly selected duck egg and rose gold decorations off our Christmas tree and dragging nappy bags out of the bin, I’ll wish my brain had kept its fat mouth shut and I’d just enjoyed it when he could ‘just’ roll.


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