Monday, January 05, 2009


(Developmental stage)

NEILL says:

I am unable to give an accurate review of the subjective experience of teething, as it was quite a long time ago and I don't really remember all the details. But I would imagine I didn't particularly enjoy it. What I can give you is an all-too-comprehensive account of the experience from the other side, as the parent of a teething one-year-old. Essentially, in layman's terms for those of you who are fortunate enough to not yet have spawned offspring of your own: it involves a lot of being awake when you would prefer not to be awake. One's nights become a soul-destroying routine of being wrenched from pleasant dreams1 to spend several hours going through a futile cycle of milk bottles, teething gel, Calpol and "oh just leave him, he'll surely stop crying sooner or later". (He doesn't). Of course, when you do finally manage to successfully get the screaming ratbag back off to sleep, the mind then chooses just that moment to rebel and experience a perversely ill-timed bout of insomnia, and you end up lying in bed for hours in the middle of the night worrying and wondering about topics as diverse as whether the kid's okay, the global economic crisis and its likely impact on your mortgage, and whether this would be an appropriate time to get up and have that leftover ham in a nice sandwich with maybe a glass of milk.

I once heard about a scientific study which found that the impact of small-baby-enforced insomnia on one's mental acuity and intelligence levels was functionally equivalent to experiencing a mild but significant form of brain damage, and the only thing I can say about that is "well, duh." I do feel it gives one a peculiar insight into one's own parents. Have you ever wondered why your Mum and Dad were so weird? Well, it's because you, by the sheer fact of your existence and basic needs as a human infant, systematically destroyed their mental stability, judgement and decision-making abilities to the point where wearing corduroy trousers with bicycle clips seemed like a good idea. Are you happy now?


1 Tonight's, since you asked: with the assistance of Marvel supervillains and Thor adversaries the 'Wrecking Crew', I was helping that woman out of the first couple of series of Teachers move her new soapmaking business' stock of Bath Bombs out of her old premises and onto a nice new canal narrowboat HQ, and everyone present was very impressed that I could carry the whole sofa on my back with no assistance.


  1. Good dream. No idea who those comics people are (was never a Marvel boy) but Raquel Cassidy - she's great.

  2. Raquel Cassidy! Thank you. Yes, she is highly awesome.

    The Wrecking Crew were a bunch of nondescript bankrobbers or something - their schtick as far as I understand it being that each one had a tool (crowbar, wrecking ball, etc), with which they would, y'know, wreck stuff.

    Why this made them appropriate adversaries for the NORSE GOD OF THUNDER I have absolutely no idea.

  3. PKTGP6:19 pm

    Neill, did your 6 years in Glasvegas teach you nothing? Teething is number 234 on the list of appropriate uses of whisky. A dab around the gums of baby and baby happy. For a guaranteed full nights sleep the adults can partake as well. Hurrah!


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