DIARY OF A NEW DAD: Playing tug of war . . . with spoons

A personal view
A personal view
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As difficult as it sometimes is to be a grown up, it must be so much harder to be a baby, writes Ben Keenan.

The things they must overcome in the pursuit of toddlerdom seem so monumental in scale, it’s an indescribable joy to be able to witness the speed at which they overcome the basics.

I’ve been trying to remember what it was like for me when I was a baby. Try as I might, I can’t remember anything before a family outing to see Return of the Jedi in 1982. This has been firmly cemented in my mind because it was also the day my parents bought me an official Star Wars Gamorrean guard figure which became my chew toy and confidant.

Over the last few weeks, things have been progressing rapidly in the Keenan house as Tom attempts to master walking, talking and using cutlery with a fierce disregard for the fact that he is just over nine months old. The boy now finds it very annoying that he is helped by his family in these matters and has taken a stand against most forms of assistance. From six months, Jen and I took a stand of our own against pureed food. We didn’t really see the point and opted for a baby led approach we’ve enjoyed immensely. Meal times are now a joy to behold as Tom reaches for his favourite foods with gusto and wide eyed enthusiasm. But the moment you try and spoon something into him, the situation turns ugly with impressive speed. Tom suddenly realises you’ve attempted to undermine an opportunity for him to feed himself which leads to a tug of war with spoons.

Tom’s progress never ceases to amaze me but there is one thing that he, nor I, can speed up – much to the disappointment of his entire family. Even armed with natural powders, Calpol and an ingenious silicone toothbrush designed to be gnawed on with relish, those tiny white lumps remain embedded in his gums are causing him regular discomfort and sleepless nights for all.