Forgive me for I was wrong...teething really is serious business.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, mothering the third time 'round continues to surprise me. You see, teething was never much of a drama for Che and Poet. Sure there was a bit of whinging, some finger gnawing and a low-grade temperature or two but it was nowhere near the experience we've had over the past week. Percy is currently cutting four teeth; his gums are red and swollen and if he's not on my hip he's pulling at my skirt and throwing his head back in pain, simultaneously whimpering and howling. It's loud and persistent and unsettling. Of course, it's just a matter of biding time, administering panadol and using this, this and this to ease the agony. But you know what helped the most? A facewasher, dipped in chamomile tea and placed in the freezer for an hour or so. A friend suggested it a while back and it was one of those remedies that came to me during witching hour when my skirt was being tugged and my patience had expired.
Recalling this advice, at such a dire moment, got me thinking about socialising in motherhood - how important it is, how rare it is. For the first time in my almost nine years of motherhood, I catch up with a gaggle of mums each week for coffee. We all have kids at Montessori but coincidentally, I met each and every one of them at pre-natal yoga. We often arrive at the cafe slightly bedraggled and in need of caffeine but within the confines of our group we find a sense of camaraderie and understanding that is completely free of judgement. We are all in the throes of motherhood with babies on our hips, preschoolers testing boundaries and kids navigating the schoolyard. We spend a lot of time in the car, a lot of time stepping over toys and far too little time sleeping. We're in it together and it feels good - to the core - to chat, moan, laugh and, sometimes, cry.
Lately I've needed that weekly catch-up more than ever. Moving house really took its toll; the exhaustion crept up on me last week and here I sit, with boxes still awaiting my attention and a ridiculously large washing pile looming from the laundry. Just this morning Poet thought she'd get her craft on and promptly made a paper trail that runs from the bedroom to the kitchen and out to the front balcony.
It's messy, this stage of motherhood. And I feel, more than ever, that I'm chasing my tail. But over the past few weeks I've also come to realise the importance of acknowledging the small achievements. Dinner on the table by five? Done! Kitchen cleaned? Great! Children asleep by 7:30? That was a good day!
There's a lot to be said for setting your goals at a realistic level.