Today is exactly 8 months since Master Freddie Worthington-Phillips arrived in the world. Never has 8 months gone so quickly; never have I slept so little or loved so much. My life is busier, more fulfilled, and the bags under my eyes are certainly greater! As much as my heart yearns to relive all those little days again, I know I’ve appreciated and lived every second – and it’s wonderful to watch as Fred discovers new things and develops a rather cheeky personality. Today is a Thursday, Thursday 5th … and Freddie was also born on a Thursday 5th. My little boy who has far to go. My little boy who now claps and babbles, my little boy who eats cheese sandwiches in his high chair, and whose 6th tooth is just cutting.
This week I experienced for the first time the real “tiger mother” instinct; and I’ve been meaning to Blog about it ever since. My parenting philosophy is fairly gentle [if indeed I have one]; I breastfeed and co sleep; we get out and about a lot, and I’m not one of these mums who throws a biscuit away if it falls on the floor [indoors] for a second. I think mud pies and germs are good; go easy on the Dettol wipes. I want a child who is sociable and can hold his own; and understands that sharing is good. Anyway, we were at a group – and my darling 8 month old took some teething keys which belonged to another baby. This is what babies do; they have no concept of what is “mine” or “yours”. They are babies. Teething keys are just teething keys, to be gnawed on and discarded. Mother of said baby immediately reacted [before I may even have had chance to consider it!] and took keys off my baby, saying that her child “didn’t want to share” today. I sat there, silently fuming; whilst also slightly alarmed by how fiercely I felt this surge of protection and defence. I produced Freddie’s “Sophie giraffe” from my bag, and the other baby immediately grabbed it. I decided the best thing to do was tell Freddie that we were “sharing” Sophie, because that’s the kind thing to do. So we let other baby dribble and chomp all over his toy, and let him know that this is fine. They are babies. That’s what babies do.
I Blog about this because I realise little incidents and conflicts such as this will happen frequently as Freddie grows up. No two mums do it the same way, and that’s brilliant – that’s part of the rich tapestry of life … but as they grow up, I expect more and more incidents like this to occur – and it’s difficult when sleep deprived and on the spur of the moment, to know how to react. I do not intent to be a shouty mum, but I will protect my child til the end. Let babies be babies. Nuff said.
I’m sitting here with a cup of hot tea and a crumpet; baby boy is with his Daddy until 4.30, and I’ve been catching up with some paperwork. I’m quietly proud of the past 8 months, not only of how Freddie has grown and blossomed, but how his Dad and I have communicated and created the life he leads. 8 months ago today I was sitting in bed on the post natal ward with a sleeping baby Freddie on my chest … what an adventure we’ve had so far. What I’ve learned about selfless love and giving of yourself when you’re so tired you didn’t think there’s anything else to give. It isn’t easy, motherhood – but nothing which is worth it is easy … every day I get to wake up to my baby boy’s smile, and every night I snuggle down beside him. The whole world is at those little feet of his … his whole life … and that excites me greatly.