Max turned 6 months old today and to celebrate this milestone his teeth are staring to come in and we’ve started him on solid foods.  I’ve learned a few things….6 month olds like to feed themselves.  The bowl tastes better than whats inside, and soggy rice crackers get reduced to such a consistency that you need a paint scraper to get them off the floor.  Oh..and why was I looking forward to feeding him solid food? I might as well have said I couldn’t wait to have avocado on my cushions, banana in my hair, and to wash the floor after every meal. I’m seriously contemplating lining the floor with newspaper, but from our pumpkin carving experience I’ve learned that this also goes straight into Max’s mouth…nevermind the fact that Rob had scavenged the newspaper from the neighbourhood recycling box….and to think I sometimes pretend to be one of those good mothers who actually clean off their baby’s soother!

Since eating solid food means food going anywhere and everywhere but Max’s mouth (plus he insists on feeding himself, usually with the wrong end of the spoon), we’ve had to up our abysmal bathing habits. It is no longer bath time simply because we can’t remember the last time we gave Max a bath, but a necessity should the food in his fingers, behind his ears, and yes, I think I even found some carrot between his toes start to collect mould.  But, Max hates baths.  As soon as he is naked and you start to lower him into the water he starts to hyperventalate.  Then, he starts to shake. Then, he goes red in the face and starts to scream louder, and LOUDER, AND LOUDER.

Yesterday, I thought I would try to make it fun.  I sang the “bath song” ,

Hey hey what do you say, Its time to take a bath to day
Bring your Ducky, Bring your Boat, Bring your toys that like to float,
First we scrub from tip to toes,
Then I kiss you on the nose.
All done! 

I tried to show him that splashing mommy was fun.  I brought toys in the bath.  And, I may say that I might have had an ounce of success.  As I tried to lower him in the water, he actually used me as a climbing wall and scurried from being held at my waist to clinging to the roots of my hair with his feet dangling closer to my shoulders. The hyperventalating started, but, the “you’re torturing me” screams, someone call 911 never came.  Success??!!  I didn’t tempt fate tonight, and he is sleeping soundly with rice cereal on his cheek.

Oh and to top of the adventures in solid food…Max has started teething, and I think he is in a lot of pain.  I actually feel like this is ALL my fault, and that Karma is a bit of a bitch…I’ll tell you why.

We had a ridiculous schedule flying home from Turkey.  We boarded a domestic flight at Dalaman airport at 10:30 PM for Istanbul.  We arrived at Istanbul airport at about midnight, and tried to settle in for our next flight to Amsterdam which was leaving at 5:50.  The airport was packed.  After searching, Rob and I found a bunch of chairs, and we decided to stake our claim and get comfy.  I settled into my sudoku puzzle (alright I became a little obsessed with them in my sleep deprived state) and Rob read his book. Max napped on our laps.  Great success.  We hadn’t been sitting 20 minutes until a large family came and surrounded us.  There were several elderly ladies who needed a seat, escorted by fierce looking men all looking anxiously at not only Rob’s seat, but the 2-3 extras that we were taking up.  We moved over, offering the free seats, but that wasn’t good enough. Rob realized this right away and gave up his seat to the old veiled women on their way to Mecca who soon had Max in their arms cooing and tch tch tching. Needless to say when we got on the plane to Amsterdam I was exhausted.  I wanted to sleep, just a little bit more than anything in the world.  Max, my perfect little child, was happy to give in to my wishes and snoozed quietly beside me on Rob’s chest.  But, there was an 8 month old terror behind us.  He screamed and he cried and he screamed and he cried.  I tossed and I turned and I tried to get comfy, but each time I was about to fall asleep an ear-piercing scream followed by sobs filled the air.  As we landed in Amsterdam I struck up a conversation with the mom.  For some reason, it switched to teething, and she made the off hand comment that it hadn’t been “nearly as bad as she thought it had been”.  In my sleep deprived state I was confused, and responded incredulously “the flight?!” thinking, “because if that wasn’t bad, I don’t know what is”. “No teething,” she corrected me. “TEETHING” wasn’t too bad. So I’ve deducted that if your kid flies well, and you’re smug about it he’ll have a horrible time teething, and if teething isn’t too bad, don’t you dare take him on an flight.

So, since Max is a perfect angel thus far on international flights, I feel that the teething gods are getting their revenge.  The poor little guy  (and mom) has been up every 2-3 hours at night.  He wants to cling to me all day (sadly, he doesn’t realize that clinging to me will do nothing to make his teeth feel better). We were out with a friend the other day when Max started gnawing away on the metal bar on her daughter’s stroller.  “Go. Go now and get that kid some Advil” she advised me, and I am thankful to say it did work, but I don’t want to be pumping Max full of medicine until he has a full mouth of teeth.  We are now armed with a few things that seem to be working well: A rasberry like soother, Sophie, a weird knobby yellow ball, gum-numbing stuff, advil, tylenol and Gripe Water…if this all fails I might attempt advice I’ve heard about a little Cointreau on the gums….or maybe even in the milk! I’m desperate…I’ll try anything 🙂

And did I mention, I’m a single mom for 2 weeks while Rob is in Afghanistan, so there is no one to take Max so I can have a shower, brush my teeth or even run to the washroom (really, he wants to cling to me so much right now, that going to the washroom means Max wailing like I’ve abandoned him).

I do, however, have a small victory to share….if you saw my last blog post about “trying to write a novel” my “NaNoWriMo” attempt is going really well. I’m way ahead for my word count goals, and the story is starting to take shape.  Its amazing what you can accomplish in a nap time when you decide that exercising and having a clean house is no longer a priority. I’ve also been sustaining myself on left over halloween candy. Its going to need a year of editing, but I am writing, and I am enjoying escaping the world of teething and pureed carrots for the court of Khublai Khan and the travels of Marco Polo.