Parents know that with having a child comes a world of firsts.
I said firsts, guys. Okay, yeah, and definitely the occasional hurt, too.
First smiles, first steps, first time sleeping through the night.
They happen at any moment, and at some stages feel like they’re happening with every moment (hello months 12 – 18)! Sometimes they’re sudden, like when they babble their first audible word. Others happen over time and with much effort, like when they finally take their first wobbly, little steps. And then you have the hotly anticipated firsts, when you take them for their first haircut or putting them on a bike.
Of course, some are more welcome and rewarding than others. NO parent looks forward to being shat on for the first time. Or puked on. Or peed on. Or pinched/slapped/scratched/bitten/etc.
Or… maybe you are! In which case – um, neat…?
Over the past week I’ve experienced a few firsts, some good and some… not so good:
Bee’s First Epic Public Temper Tantrum
I don’t know, can I call it a temper tantrum? Not sure if there’s an age when you can officially start using the term “tantrum” – this could also have been called a “meltdown” if 18-months isn’t yet “old enough” to throw a good ol’ TT.
It was on a lovely day last week after picking her up from daycare. It was so nice out (read: above 5 degrees celsius) I thought it would be cute to let her walk a little of the way while I pushed the empty stroller, of course making sure she held my hand as we went. Because that is the RULE. If we’re walking along a busy street, which her daycare is on, she is always to hold the hand of whoever she’s with. She knows this from practice, and is usually very good about it. But this day, however, she decided that, “no, I am just going to walk by myself, Mummythankyouverymuch.”
Um… I don’t think so, kid.
I grabbed her hand firmly and said, “Bee, you know the rule, when there’s lots of people around you hold my hand. If you don’t hold my hand you get back in the stroller.” She understood me, I know she did, but wasn’t having any of it.
As I held tightly to her little wrist, she arched her back and threw her body to the side, trying desperately to pull away while losing her footing and flopping to the ground. All the while letting out the highest-pitched scream I’d ever heard come from her mouth. And, of course, this all happened right next to a busy, rush-hour streetcar stop. Where about twenty horrified and slightly embarrassed observers stood, trying politely to ignore the drama that was unfolding.
My brain shouted two options over the screaming/writhing/kicking/”WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, MUMMY”-ing:
- pick Bee up off the disgusting sidewalk and let her walk on her own to make a quick escape and save yourself further embarrassment and judgement from the forty eyes that are side-glancing this spiralling situation.
- pick that child off the ground, tell her she’s broken the rule and strap her flailing body into the stroller because YOU ARE THE MAMA.
I went with option 2.
It took about three minutes of restrained force and very little words (“Bee, you didn’t follow the rule, so you’re going in the stroller.”), and ha-LOT of twisting and screeching and attempted scratching on her part – but eventually, I got her in.
I didn’t look up, I didn’t check to see if I was being whispered about or stared at by unapproving strangers. I just put on my Boss Hat and didn’t back down to my disobeying child.
Because guys, I Am The Mama. If Bee breaks my rules, she suffers the consequences.
And I mean, how are children supposed to learn if you pander to their every whim and let them get away with things one day and not the next? There has to be consistency, and I am not going to be That Parent who flip flops on the rules. The end.
Once she was locked and loaded, I breezed off with my head held high. As I passed the tail-end of the streetcar lineup I caught the eyes of a woman, probably in her fifties, and she winked and nodded as I went.
Bee’s First Show & Tell
Is there anything cuter than the idea of your toddler standing up in front of their little friends with a random object in hand, while the teacher asks them questions and talks about it with everyone? And when I say, “asks questions”, I mean asks Bee a question as she she’s stared at blankly by a room of gaping children, and then answers it herself. These are, after all, toddlers, most of whom have only a handful of words.
I just about burst into tears when I was told Bee needed to bring something for Dinosaur Theme week to share with the class. There’s something so “Big Kid” about Show & Tell, it makes me feel like suddenly Bee is five years older than she is. *SOB*
I gladly obliged and brought her little toy Raptor for the occasion.
After peeling her out of her boots and mitts and snowsuit, I handed it to her and said, “make sure you give this to your teacher, Bee!” She took the toy, and as I got ready to leave I saw her walk straight up to the teacher and hand it over. Smart kid.
That was on Friday, and the lady in charge of the Show & Tell had already left by the time my husband arrived to pick Bee up. So I won’t know until tomorrow how she did… but knowing my kid, I’m sure she did great.
“Don’t Forget the Dinosaur.”
Something I never thought I’d say, but did.
I Found a Chia Seed in my Belly Button
This one is self-explanatory. Mysterious, yes. But it happened, and I will never know why.
I Felt the Baby Move
I felt the first flutters of Bee when I was 14-weeks along, and even though I thought I’d felt something here and there with Baby #2 over the last couple of weeks, I for-sure-most-definitely-100% felt him/her moving for the first time a few days ago, just before I hit the 15-week mark.
I’ve read on many different sites that, “women generally don’t begin to feel the baby move until sometime between 16 and 22 weeks or later” And I’m thinking…. what?! But… I felt my babies earlier than 16 weeks! I DID! I guess from my experience of having felt both babies so early, I just can’t imagine someone being 22-weeks along and only feeling those familiar sensations for the first time. By 22 weeks, Bee was kicking furiously, knocking small gently-balanced objects off my belly as my husband and I laughed about her being a soccer player.
So my advice is, if you are pregnant for the first time and feel that gentle fluttering or popping in your pelvis sooner than 16 weeks, don’t dismiss it because of what you’ve read. It is absolutely possible, and probably likely, that that’s your wee one saying, “hello!” Listen to your instincts, and enjoy every second of it….
Because soon it’ll be kicks to the rib cage in the middle of the night or a punch to your bladder while riding the bus, and you’ll be longing for those first soft tickles again.
EDITED TO ADD: Bee’s First Molar(s)
HOW could I forget this one!? It has been the sole perpetrator behind Bee’s on-and-off misery these last few weeks! Hands constantly in mouth; perpetual drool beard; red, blotchy cheeks; general malaise, if not full-blown anguish! The poor little babe.
We knew it had to be molars since all of her other teeth are in, though one on the bottom is still a bit stump-ish. Looking in her mouth I could see the culprit on the righthand side, bulging just below the reddish-pink surface of her swollen gum. “Damn you, molar!” I’d scream internally, “just fucking bust through, already!!” It seemed to take forEVER, as most teething does. The stupid tooth, teasing us by easing her discomfort for a day or two, then surging back with a vengeance as evidenced by her sudden turn to wretchedness.
Though the other teeth were bad, molars are, as I have heard and now know to be true: The Worst.
As we held on, day in and day out, tiptoeing on eggshells at the unpredictability of Bee’s demeanour thanks to this evil milestone… I saw them. Just last night. Not one, but TWO tiny white dots poking through the gums. And not even on the bottom, the one we’d been waiting for weeks to come through, but on the TOP! The first shiny bits of the two TOP MOLARS are just starting to poke out! I gently felt around the bottom and could tell just from touch that the others are close behind.
So, FOUR MOLARS! All at once!! Oh my SHIT, no wonder she’s been cray cray!! I feel terrible for every bad word uttered at her and against her these past several weeks, it hasn’t been her fault! Stupid nature giving her all those humungous teeth at once… is that normal?! For them to come in in a cluster like this?? I can’t even imagine how that would feel! I had a lot of my teeth pulled as a kid and vaguely remember the recovery being not-so-pleasant – is it like that? But, drawn out? Elongated to one, long, stabby-feeling over an extended period of time???
It feels like fire, doesn’t it. Like iron that’s been put in a fire, slowly making it’s way through the gums. Like some horrible Game Of Thrones-type torture that NO HUMAN should endure.
I guess, to look on the bright side, she’ll soon be able to chew an apple and not spit it out! I can start making her steak! Giving her lettuce! Uncooked carrots!! The eating possibilities will soon be endless!
Baby’s First Steak. That will definitely be Blog Worthy.