You may remember from my recent post on Rants from Mommyland, that "Veteran Moms" ( or VMs - as in, women who are not "New Moms") have a way of making me feel all stabby when they come in with their sage "JUST YOU WAIT..." advice.
I find it important, however, to share some of the incredible bits of information I've received from my beloved VMs lately. Mostly, because this stuff is SO GOOD, it's too awesome not to share. And to prove that I don't think VMs are all bad.
I've paid as much as $4.00 a container for those stupid pieces of artificially flavored puffed rice. I complain about the price of them all of the time, but it's one of the few things I can get TIH to self-feed. I was at a pool on vacation a few months ago and handing The Incredible Hulk his first trough-full of Puffs. A VM at the pool said, "We didn't have those when my kids were growing up. We always just gave them Cheerios." If you were sitting there, you would have seen the light bulb turn on. I think I actually screamed, "CHEERIOS! OF COURSE!" in a way that would make you think I'd almost never heard of one of the most common brands of cereal EVER INVENTED. I looked at home and I had not one, but SEVERAL coupons for Cheerios which stated "Recommended by pediatricians for finger food." Face. Palm.
TIH got his first legit "boo boo" when we went to go visit my husband's parents a couple of weeks ago. He face-planted into a large stuffed ottoman and gave himself a fat lip. No big deal, except that a few nights later, he was suddenly bleeding profusely from his mouth. [Note: He probably wasn't bleeding "profusely" per se, but I've been known to exaggerate. Especially when blood is involved.] I figured he had done something to aggravate the original injury, but after careful inspection (because we all know how easy it is to get an eleven-month old to open his mouth and let you have a look) the original injury was not the source of the bleeding. And worse - and sorry, this is going to get gross - when I'd wipe the blood away with a wet washcloth, it seemed like there was some sort of bloody tissue coming away with it. Commence freak out. We gave it about 20-30 minutes and the bleeding seemed to stop. The next morning, my mother-in-law asked how we got the bleeding to stop and then nonchalantly asked if I thought that "little flap of skin" at the gum line had just detached. Apparently this is totally normal and some kids are just born with it a little tighter than others. The flap helps guide the top baby teeth as they grow in. And sometimes it just detaches. And bleeds. Profusely. No big deal.
Y'all - I have read lots and lots and lots of baby books. I have not stumbled upon this information in any of those books. I Google'd it and all I can find from the Internets is that ER doctors look for this kind of injury because it can be a sign of child abuse. (Oh. Great.) But, according to my mother-in-law who is the VETERAN of all VMs (since my husband is one of TEN) - this is totally normal and can happen during normal playtime. Thank. God.
This advice wasn't actually relayed to me directly from a VM, but it was passed along to me from another new mom from her mother-in-law. After trying out about a billion different teething rings, this gadget, and as many ways as you can possibly freeze a washcloth, I was thinking we would never survive teething. TIH just wasn't into holding cold things in his hand or mouth, long enough to get any of the benefits. But, this new mom friend had gotten a suggestion from her mother-in-law to try using a washed stalk of celery. I tried this technique out with TIH? Best. Teether. Ever. For whatever reason, he loved carrying it around. He was able to get a couple of good crunches with those new little teeth and celery has a bit of a numbing sensation right after you bite into it. Now that he has more teeth on the top and bottom he's able to do a little too much damage and always seems to be able to turn this innocent teether into a monster choking hazard - so we've had to try other things. Still - for those first few teeth, it was a GOD SEND. Try it. I'm serious.
What is wrong with this child?
Teething. If you're asking that question, it is always teething.
After sharing my favorite blog post as a mindfulness exercise with my consultation team, a co-worker and VM (she's a super veteran because she has several grandchildren as well) was quiet for a second and then said:
It's a double-edged sword when your kids pass milestones. You get all excited for all of the new things they're doing, but you know with every new step they're taking another step away from you.
So, while I get wrapped up in how awesome it is when TIH points to a balloon and says, "Ma ma, ba?" or how he's basically toddling around God's green earth like an old pro - it's bittersweet. This first year went by in a blink - in. a. blink. This VM helped me remember to enjoy each small step.
It's the best advice I could possibly get.