When Baby A was born I looked forward to his toddler years, his childhood, cuddles and games, cartoons and adventures. But alas, Baby A has decided to skip all that and become a teenager at the tender age of four months. I know this because:
1. He wants to party all night and sleep all day.
Once I made the mistake of gloating, “My baby sleeps through the night at only three weeks”. I should have known that kind of bad karma was just going to come back and bite me on my smug new-mamma ass (which, incidentally, is bigger than it used to be). I really thought that I had the sleeping thing cracked…but Baby A had different plans. Where once he slept for a full 8/9 hours at night plus a few good long naps at either end, he has now taken to waking every three hours and demanding booze…I mean, milk. Then it takes me two hours to get him back to sleep because he wants to play, sing songs and lick my face. This is apparently called the Four Month Sleep Regression but I’m pretty sure I did something similar when I was 16.
2. He has an eating disorder.
Baby A has recently discovered his hands. He likes to jam them into his mouth and stick his fingers down this throat. Inevitably this results in his last meal exorcising itself from his stomach and splattering itself all over the nearest newly-showered human. This is deeply shocking to Baby A who thinks that someone has stolen the food right out of his stomach (he suspects the squeaky donkey). After he has finished expressing a suitable degree of outrage at this unwittingly self-inflicted indignity, he emerges from his cocoon of rage to flash me the ‘feed me’ eyes. And thus the cycle of binging and purging continues.
3. He doesn’t speak to me. Mr Oh when he comes home from work, at which point he lights up like a glow worm. All I get through the day are a series of demands (“Milk…now…I want miiiiiiilk…right now…why don’t I have milk…I hate you”), protests (“I will not sleep…I don’t care if you think I’m tired…I’m not…and I’m going to wail for the next 45 minutes to prove it”) and sulks (“If you won’t feed me I’m just going to close my eyes and silently moan until my daddy comes home”).
4. He thinks he’s a grown-up.
He has started trying to eat things that are unsuitable for a baby i.e. things other than milk. I’ve had to increase the levels of vigilance when holding him on my lap at the dinner table. I look away for one minute and the next thing I know he has a piece of salmon hanging out of his mouth and a smear of chill-miso sauce on his forehead. He looks at me innocently, as if perhaps I hadn’t noticed that his left hand is buried deep in a bowl of basmati.
5. He deliberately tries to thwart me at every turn.
“If I arch my back just so, grab my left foot with my right hand and throw my head over the back of the changing table…let’s see how you get me into the babygrow then.”
6. He likes things that are bad for him.
Knives want to be hugged, glass wants to be head butted and carpets want to be licked. I haven’t caught him drinking jagermeister in a field yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
7. He wants to run away.
If only he knew how to crawl.