Refusing to be licked by this challenge, Emily Jade tackles Millie’s licking problem

Just when I thought my daughter had graduated through the disgusting years of putting everything in her mouth, she has started licking the world.

Now you may think “come on Emily Jade, you are exaggerating there, the world is a big place”, I agree with you, it is a big place and it is now very clean thanks to my kid’s tongue.

It started on the train. A trip from the Gold Coast to Brisbane to see our beloved Broncos play.

It was on that crowded train with maroon and yellow clad fans crammed in our carriage that Millie licked a bike tyre. Not only did she lick that dusty black tyre, she proudly yelled out her actions so everyone in earshot could hear.

There was no escaping her strange behavior nor the fact that she was my offspring as she was holding my hand. I passed it off as a one-off thing, an act of excitement, toddlers do strange things when happy, like bite you – I thought it was something like that.

But then we got to Suncorp Stadium, it was as if she thought she was Charlie and the stadium was Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

She sampled everything she could see – a pole, a chair, the fence. I could have died if it weren’t for the fact that I was hyperventilating and trying to scrub her tongue with a baby wipe.

Finally a few days later while cooking dinner she hugged my leg, stuck her head up my dress and said “Mummy, I want to lick your bottom!” All I could think was that she is definitely her father’s daughter.

But this last licking incident tipped me over the edge, not only because she would rather taste a tyre than a Tiny Teddy, but no amount of explanation for where she should be placing her tongue seemed to be getting though.

Pediatrician Dr Chris Toumpas from Paed’s in a Pod at Greenslopes Hospital assured me it was common.

“A toddlers brain is sensory seeking, it’s a sponge and wants to take on as much information as it can. Licking is a part of learning. She will grow out of it and realise it’s not socially appropriate at some stage,” he guaranteed.

But what of the bacteria she is ingesting?

“Most germs are going to get broken up in the acid on the way down but I wouldn’t let her lick anything rusty or let her lick bike tyres or bottoms too often,” he advised with just the hint of a smile.

I haven’t noticed throngs of toddler tongues treating the world like a lollipop, but I am relieved she is normal.

I was beginning to think it was my terrible cooking and now I can’t wait to tell her first serious boyfriend where her tongue has been.

Revenge will be so sweet!