Friday, December 30, 2011

I bet sharks don't have this problem

So we have teeth. Finally. For all those who wonder about teething, I’ll have you know that it took approximately three weeks for those little fuckers to come through. Most ‘experts’ will tell you that teething doesn’t take this long. I can assure you that sometimes it does. And it wasn’t this magical tooth fairy thing where one day the teeth aren’t there and the next day they are. We saw those things under the gums and swollen for at least a week and a half. We then felt the teeth but could really see them properly for another week and a half. Finally, they are there in all their glory and oh my god is it impossible to brush little teeth - but that’s an entirely different story.

Because it took so long for those little bottom teeth to come through, Henry’s sleep schedule is no longer, well, effective. For three weeks he work up almost every hour on the hour and now he just does it because that’s what he’s used to. No longer can we put him down at 6:30 PM and break out the Sambuca and stripper pole. We barely get the screws tightened in the ceiling before he starts screaming. For the last few nights Andy and I have taken turns sleeping with him on the couch as it’s easier than fooling yourself 7 times a night that you’ll actually get to sleep in your own bed. I finally broke down and bought a book called “The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies and Toddlers”. I felt really idiotic buying the book as I felt at the time it’s the equivalent of buying a book called, “If You Don’t Feed Your Baby Everyday, It will Probably Die.”

The book arrived today and I read through all the bits that actually pertained to us. What I paid almost 8 pounds on a book to learn was that we’re idiots, we’re doing it all wrong, and it’s going to be weeks of pain and suffering to correct the problem if we even have the will power to do correct the problem in the first place. Basically, we’re supposed to sleep train.

Sleep training (according to the book) involves a variation of the Ferber Method. I can’t be assed explaining it to you here (read: I’m too damn tired) so if you are interested, click the link. The long and short of Total Parental Impact is, after about a week baby sleeps. Before that magical time happens, TPI is 7 days of listening to your child cry while you never sleep. You know, like turn yourself into a robot. Wee! Andy and I have approached the subject in the same way we approach the subject of cleaning the bathroom.

“We should really clean the bathroom.”

“Yeah, it’s gross in there.”

“We should clean it then.”

“Do you want to clean it now?”

“Hmm, maybe after this show is over.”

“OK, the show is over, shall we clean the bathroom?”

“We should clean it, shouldn’t we?”

“Yep, we should.”

“I don’t feel like it though. How about we clean it tomorrow?”

“Fine by me.”

Obviously the bathroom gets cleaned eventually and eventually we will do this sleeping training business. Until then, I will just bitch about Henry’s bad sleeping habits here while I sulk at the couch for giving me a sore neck last night.

Henry catching some flies.

As always, it’s not all doom and gloom around here. I might have mentioned that Henry is properly crawling now. We had to step up the security measures by way of a baby gate and continual reinforcement that the cat food is in fact “yucky”. He’s very cute the way he follows us room to room. He’s also managed to stand once or twice without any assistance. From his current skills on the baby walker we got him, walking shouldn’t be too far off either. He’s trying to talk but not having much luck with it yet. He says “mama” on a never ending stream and tries to say “hello” but it’s all still babble. Andy insists that this is fine. For him to work in the mines by the time he’s three, he only needs to stand and swing a pick axe – no need for conversation.

We also had our first proper family day out yesterday. Since Andy is off of work this week, we decided to go to the Blue Planet Aquarium. Henry wasn’t terribly interested at first – he was more excited about kicking the glass and having a crawl then looking at the fish – but after we fed him lunch, he got really involved. There was a big tank filled with tropical fish. The Henbot didn’t quite understand the concept of “things behind glass” and kept trying to grab the tail of one of the bigger fishes that kept swimming by. Andy and I laughed our asses off at that. Henry also really liked the underground walkway with the sharks and things swimming above us. For the record, the teeth on the sharks at Blue Planet have to be the scariest I’ve seen in any aquarium…I think the staff purposefully pull back the sharks lips.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And I wished for teeth? Somebody shoot me.

I had meant to update this space last week but I had a cold and Henry is still teething. From what I have been reading on the internet (more efficient than the NHS) teething technically doesn't last this long and really, I just have a really grumpy baby. However, if you read the forums on the internet, many other mothers (and fathers!) have run into the same shit that we are going through.

Basically, the teeth are there, sort of. You can see them under the gums and you can feel them poking out but their physical presence is as mystical as Father Fucking Christmas. Sorry, I cursed. I'm really tired.

In three weeks we have run out of Calpol and had to go get some more. In three weeks Henry has yet to go through a night without waking at least 4 times. Sometimes he flat out refuses to go to bed. Have I mentioned that we are tired?

You know, I always told Andy that I only wanted one kid. He used to go on and on about having a "spare". After the last three weeks he has come over to my side.

Seriously, teething is killing us.

The only reason Henry has remained in this world so far is because he's so fucking cute. Because my brain can't think of anything more (have I mentioned that I'm tired?), here are some pictures.

A first thing in the morning shot.  Henry has bed head which you can't see but nails in the cuteness thing.

He is a very smiley baby between all the whining and not sleeping.

That's all the teeth we got folks.  There, but so not there.  And no, he's not wearing contacts.  Picnik spruced up his peepers.

"To throw on the floor or not to throw on the floor.  That is the question."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 Points

So this has been a pretty bad week on the baby front. Everything, and I mean everything, has been a struggle. The worst has been the sleeping. While just last week Henry would very contently have his bottle at 6:30 PM while we watched ‘Pointless’ then start jabbering away at around 7 PM telling us to put him to bed and then sleep soundly until 5:30-6 AM; this week he’s refusing to have his bottle, refusing to sleep, refusing to stay asleep for more than 2 hours, refusing to lay in his crib and refusing to be anything more than a punk ass bitch. Needless to say that it’s been days since Andy and I have gotten anything resembling a proper night sleep and I have to admit that today I cracked. I cracked in the sense that I actually had a fleeting whiny thought that screamed, “I don’t want to be a parent anymore! I want to run away to Mexico to join a gang that smuggles illegal drugs in sombreros and accordions!”

It’s been that sort of week.

In an effort to get my head on straight, I thought I would compose a little list compiling all the great things that Henry does now that he turned 8 months old. I can not be held responsible if a bit of negativity creeps in. My vodka hasn’t settled in yet and I might still be a bit bitter.


OK, he isn’t crawling crawling yet, but he’s doing the Commando crawl and quite proficiently too. Just this week he started pulling his knees up for a proper crawl but gets confused on what the next step is and just rocks a bit before falling back to the Commando. It’s kind of funny…

…it’s also kind of a pain in the ass. While before I could leave him in a room with a bucket of toys while I took a shower or whatever, now I have to watch him like a hawk. The clothes iron almost fell on his head yesterday. The flat iron did fall on his head (I wasn’t quick enough) but it was made of plastic and turned off so not a problem. Andy’s laptop cord is a current favorite of his, as is the weekly TV guide. Also, by the look of Henry’s pants and socks at the end of the day, I’m clearly not sweeping the floors often enough.


Henry is more than just eating pureed peas or whatever, he’s actually eating small bits of things. Today I made him a plate of cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, cucumber, cheese, chicken deli slice, boiled egg, and raisins. He takes FOREVER to chew just a single small piece, but he eats it all without complaining. We could actually try to feed him a store bought pureed baby beef stew packet and he’d refuse it, but if we made the same thing ourselves at home with little pieces, he’d chomp it down like cake. I really like that I can give him bits of my lunch and we can sing silly “eating turkey sandwiches” songs. He’s also so very cute when he opens his mouth like a little bird when I’m about to feed him something.


This is a typical milestone at 8 months. This is when babies start using their thumb and forefinger to pick up something. Henry is about 80% of getting this perfected. In the meantime, I tend to pick up a lot of little pieces of potatoes, carrots, cucumber, cheese, chicken, egg and raisins off of the floor that I need to sweep more often.

Also, pincher grab? The ‘pincher’ in the title gives it away. You have not lived until your darling baby with his beautiful big eyes gives you a nice ole hearty pinch in your bingo wings.


Like all babies, Henry has gone through the gambit of sounds, testing each one out for about a week until he feels he has nailed it. Some are more annoying than others; the screeching week was like chalkboard hell. My personal favorite was a couple weeks back when he did a soft whisper “sha sha sha sha”. It was like he was telling me the dark secrets and gossip that his stuffed toys get onto at night when they think he’s asleep. I guess you could say he says “mama” and “dada” if “mamamamamama” counts (I don’t think it does).

This week apparently is the clench up your entire body and let out a guttural yell. I’m sure this one will be useful for when he’s older and his boss tells him he needs to work overtime.


Henry has always been easy to make laugh, but in the past you had to make him laugh by doing something physical. A bit of a tickle, raspberries, kissing his feet or hands…so on and so forth. Lately he laughs at things he sees that he finds funny. There is nothing like seeing your baby laugh, it’s addictive.

Also, the way I drink coffee is apparently hysterical, I wonder why no one has mentioned this to me before.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No really, it's us.

Every book or internet article you read will tell you that around 7-8 months of age, separation anxiety will kick in.  Separation anxiety is, of course, when your kid starts freaking the fuck out if you, his parents, aren’t around.   These periods of separation anxiety is suppose to be a right pain in the ass as trying to leave your child with a capable carer while you go out and have a proper drink like nature intended will result in a cascade of tears and distress.  

Henry, like his parents, has always been quite social.   He’s never had stranger anxiety (which I will worry about properly once he’s mobile and thinks all white vans sell ice cream).  Any time I take him out, whether to the store or the park or even the goddamn bus, he will smile at anyone who so much as gives him a glance.   He loves people and people love him back.   Andy calls him a tart; I call him a flirt.  He doesn’t mind strangers touching his hand or his cheek – which annoys the hell out of me because I mind (Who does that?  Don’t touch my fucking child.  I seriously don’t know where your hands have been – you’ve been cutting up raw chicken and wiping your ass with your thumb, haven’t you?).

Stranger anxiety is a bit different from separation anxiety though.   Henry doesn’t mind strangers because I’m always there with him.  But at the same time, I’ve only seen Henry have separation anxiety twice.   Once was last week when my sister was in town.  He had just woken up and Maggie tried to hold him.  The flirt in him smiled immediately when he got in her arms.  The tiredness and separation anxiety made him start crying a moment later.  It was basically, “Auntie!  I love you!  …. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!”   I took Henry back for 10 seconds where he calmed down, only to have him realize that he wanted to be with Maggie after all.  Damn tart.

The 1st instance of separation anxiety was a week before that, when we had left Henry with his nan for an overnight stay.  Henry’s nan watches him at least once a week so he’s very comfortable with her.   What we didn’t expect though, was when we went to pick him up the next afternoon that he’d have separation anxiety with us.   

When you carry a child for 9 months, then spend an agonizing time extracting that child from your love hole using some vegetable oil and a pair of tongs (exaggeration), then suffer through 3 months of fragmented sleep, accompanying by months of wiggling and whining and weaning and various stages of wetness (have you ever tried to give a 7 month old baby a bath in the kitchen using a tiny baby bath?  Hope you have some hand towels), you seriously expect that child to be overjoyed when they see you after an absence.   Well, not a teenage child.  Teenage children are assholes, but seriously?   A baby should be pleased.   If not pleased, they at least shouldn’t cry when you try to hold them.  I mean, he was crying like we beat him.  “Nana no!  Don’t make me go with them!  They only feed me dust mites and make me clean out the toilet with my tongue and my delightfully cute bunny slippers!”

So yeah, that was disheartening.  Of course my mother-in-law was all, ‘oh, he’s just tired’ but I know the truth.   Henry hates us.  It’s the only explanation.


In case you were on the edge of your seat in anticipation, Henry has yet to cut his first tooth.  A few days before Thanksgiving he started doing this weird chewing thing – like he had a stick of Wrigley’s in there and he was about to blow a bubble – but it’s over a week later and nothing yet.  I’m starting to dread talking to other moms at the Children’s Center.   I dread it because I’m so curious I always have to ask about teeth.  It appears all the babies in all the lands have teeth except Henry.   6 month olds with molars!   Newborns with a whole mouthful!   A 3 month old that chews steak!   I have dreams about making a bologna and cheese sandwich smoothie for Henry’s school lunch.