God must have planned the development of babies really carefully. Have you ever wondered why the first thing a baby learns (once he or she mastered all the instinctual basics like sucking and crying, which they need to survive), the first thing along their road of milestones, is to smile? I’ll tell you why: Because to a mother, there is nothing that melts your heart quicker than that gummy smile. And secondly, but maybe slightly more importantly, because it stops that nervous breakdown that you have been teetering on the edge of, from actually occurring!
Why is it that babies can sleep beautifully peacefully until the very second that you need to do something really urgently or which you simply can’t delegate? Like making a dash for the loo; brushing your teeth before whatever is growing on it decides to walk off, taking your teeth with it; having something, anything to eat, or right at that moment when you’re trying to wash the shampoo suds out of hair, so greasy, that you had to “rinse & repeat” twice to get any suds in the first place, because you haven’t had the time to wash your hair in five days! This incredible baby-super-power is enough to cause anxiety in any new mother, and cause those already suffering from it to fall off the apple-cart.
That little gummy smile at 4am is what will sustain you for the next few hours…it is the last little straw you are grasping desperately while your sleep-deprived mind tries to remember which breast you are supposed to feed from first, But it does keep you going, as every other milestone reached keeps you aiming for the next.
So, today, I made a decision: I am going to slow down, hold my baby, stare into her eyes and return that gummy smile before any teeth start piercing those little pink gums and announcing the long, long walk to the next milestone. For now, everything else can wait, even if that means dirty teeth, a larger bladder and possibly shampoo suds in my hair!