Teething. It’s a crazy thing. Who would have thought that these little bumps that pop through their gums would cause so much pain. It’s like a rite of passage in becoming a toddler. I guess they call them growing pains for a reason. Every kid handles their pain differently, too. Some kids scream and cry non-stop. Some whine all day long. Some don’t sleep and some don’t eat. Either way, they all have to experience it.
I looked up teething symptoms just to see what the “experts” say. This is what I could find: “drooling, gum swelling, irritability, biting behavior, refusing food, and sleep problems.” These are all pretty straight forward except for “sleep problems.” Sleep problems? What the hell does that actually mean? They should rephrase this to “temporary insanity!” I mean, Ellie is having “sleep problems,” but more specifically, she has gone temporarily insane! You can see it in her eyes, too. You can see that “normal” Ellie has checked out, and “teething” Ellie has checked in.
For example: The other night, Ellie was fine playing on the floor around bedtime. At about 8:00pm my wife gives her the bath, and nurses her. She passes out during nursing, but as soon as goes to put her in the crib, Ellie starts bawling, screaming, scratching her head, her neck, her ears. It’s like she’s got the “itch.” Nothing calms her down. I come up to try the Dad touch. Nothing helps. So just for a try, we bring her in to the bathroom by the mirror. As soon as she sees herself, she quiets down and SMILES! Now that’s vanity. The only thing can soothe her, is herself. “Who is that smilin’hottie lookin’back at me!?” We try to bring her back in the room. As soon as we cross the threshold into her room, she starts screaming again. I walk in the hallway and she quiets down. I walk back in her room and she starts screaming. Is her room haunted? Or is it the teething gnomes? Do they come out at night and chisel away at her gums? It’s possible, right? They are like the reverse Tooth Fairy, but they don’t leave any money! After two hours of Operation Sleeping Ellie, we decide to pull the plug because it is going nowhere. To avoid the gnomes, we all go downstairs at about 10:00pm. Once we are downstairs, she PLAYS! But you can tell she’s not all there. Her pupils are dilated. She seems like she’s had two pots of coffee and eight bags of Skittles. She’s crawling over here, and crawling over there. “What’s this? What’s that? Who are you? You’re funny! I’m upset… hahaha just kidding! Oh look, a bird!” Finally, about midnight, my wife nurses again. Ellie passes out without a fight. We think this will last till morning. It has before, why not tonight? I mean, Ellie always follows a pattern, right? Of course she does… At 1:00am I hear this screaming in my head… Then I realize this screaming is real…Â Is it morning already? It’s only been an hour!? Efffff… My Dad had told me that his grandmother had put whiskey on his gums when he was teething. There comes a time when you feel so desperate that you are willing to give the absurd a try. At that moment, I start to wonder if we have any whiskey in the house. And If I don’t use it on her, maybe a little for me won’t hurt. Luckily, the screaming pushed those thoughts away from my head and no whiskey was consumed by anybody. And at 3:30am, we all fell fast asleep just to wake up fresh as a daisy at 6:30am ready to tackle the day.
So why can’t these “experts” just tell the truth? “You’re just sh*tÂ outta luck til Christmas.”