I never thought I’d be grateful for teething in any particular. Baby teeth can, as a general rule, bog right off from this house. Don’t mess with me, teeth. I’ve got pepper spray.


When Henry was cutting molars earlier this month, all he wanted to do was be held. We sat for long afternoons on the sofa with him on my lap, our legs under a blanket, a pile of books on our knees. He’d never had the patience for storytime, not until it hurt to move. Dosed up with Calpol and holding onto the hem of my t-shirt, he was enthralled.

Now, in that difficult hour before Daddy gets home, when he’s hot and tired and hungry, we put down everything else and go sit on the sofa. Him on my lap, our legs under a blanket, a pile of books on our knees. He loves those stories from the library so much that I’m wondering if I can just renew them till he’s five, and whether I’ll actually go insane, repeating them once a day till then. Left to himself, he gets them off the shelf and turns the pages, clucking with excitement. You should hear his monkey noise in Where’s Spot. It’s a zoological masterpiece.

(I deliberately omitted the question mark at the end of Where’s Spot. I know all too well where he is: in the basket, the rotter. Out out, damned Spot. Eat your dinner, for all of our sakes.)

It was teeth, of all things, that made Henry look at books like there might be something thrilling inside, and sit down long enough to find out. Well, I’ll take that, demon molars. Now off you jolly well bog.

Favourites thus far:

Where’s Spot [THE BASKET. LOOK IN THE BASKET], Is This My Nose?The Terrible PlopPenguinCarrot Soup, and absolutely anything by Oliver Jeffers (those illustrations are something else).

Unexpected rejects:

Each Peach Pear Plum (pastel-coloured pictures. Not interesting enough); The Very Hungry Caterpillar (reasons unknown. Caterpillar fear? We never get beyond the three blue plums); There’s an Ouch in my Pouch (I love this. He doesn’t. He thinks the rhymes are a bit much).

2 thoughts on “Teether/reader

    • Ha, I have come to the conclusion that any kind of personality change, if they’re not properly ill, will boil down to teeth at some point. My ten-month-old is waking up every three hours, randomly, and I’m certain there are teeth in his near future. Good luck – hope it subsides soon! x

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