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To the Tooth of the Matter

SmilyThere are few absolute truths that apply to everyone in this world, few items that I can point to any given person in any given place and say the exact same thing about every one of them and be utterly and unerringly correct.  We are all different, monumentally different in our life experiences,  relationships, beliefs, and whether we call it “soda” or “pop.”  For example, I don’t know you, dear reader, from any other of the millions of potential IP addresses that may visit this blog whether purposefully or in search of information about “cat poop diseases.” But I can say unequivocally and supreme confidence that:  “You don’t remember what it was like when your first tooth came in.”

Admit it, I am, of course, correct.  How could you remember?  Based on my admittedly scant research it appears a human being doesn’t even have a proper brain until the age of 3 – everything before that is done using a temporary, memoryless brain that grows in your abdomen and eventually morphs into your appendix.  So not remembering when that first little white sliver of a chomper burrowed its way out of your adorable gums to someday rend regular people food into digestible chunks is understandable.

Naturally though, it would help immensely to have some memory of the milestone, if for no other reason than when decades later, your own offspring suddenly begins having wild moodswings, waking in the night to scream in pain, and drooling like a Saint Bernard on a hot day, you have some notion of what she’s going through. I’m told that being able to relate at an emotional level to the experiences of your children will lead you both to bond to one another, offering meaning in life to the parent and at least partial payment of college for the child.  Thus my inability to relate to Justine’s suffering may indirectly force her into attending DeVry rather than the more formidable University of Phoenix Online.

Clearly teething is what we are suffering through at the moment.  Justine already has developed her two bottom teeth – they came in about a month ago, and have served to mar her adorable little baby smile and infect it with an (admittedly) equally adorable “old prospector ‘I’ve struck it rich, daggumit!'” grin.  Those two teeth led to some sleepless nights, but for the most part she seemed to weather the “punch through” reasonably well.

Not so with these top two teeth, which, despite the relentless pull of gravity (and the needle nose pliers I pull them with while she sleeps) have stubbornly taken their sweet time in descending. At this point the right chomper has made an appearance, although at this point it looks more like an errant grain of rice she has stuck on her gums than the formidable breast-feeding hazard it is destined to become.  It’s companion on the other side still lurks beneath the surface, an ugly and probably painful bulge still trying to make it’s way to the surface and causing all of us considerable consternation.

Worst of all I can’t relate to the situation – for all my mind tells me, my teeth emerged painlessly or perhaps I was born with the full set I have now.  I have no recollection of getting my original teeth, only losing them, and the painful discovery that the tooth fairy was in cahoots with my mother, reselling my precious cast offs to her so she could keep them in a drawer in her dresser.  Which, also in retrospect, is rather creepy on my mother’s part.  Perhaps she hoped to one day clone me using the DNA trapped inside, which although appealing to me in reducing my workload, would probably horrify my wife.  But I digress.

So time will march on, Justine will let out her piercing cries in the night, I will remain  oblivious to the pain she’s going through (and the cries too – thanks, earplugs) and someday, hopefully soon, those teeth will lock into place and we can all start sleeping again.  Until that other brain kicks in at least.

Posted in Day to Day Baby Living. Tagged with , .

  • Paul and Ed

    Our son finally got two teeth. I can only imagine how painful it is to have things break through your gums…YIKES…

    He is getting through it like a champ

  • Isabella

    We’re in the same boat – our daughter got her bottom two and is working on the top ones (though, no sign of breaking through yet). I’m glad I can’t remember the pain of first teeth – the memory of “teething” when I got my wisdom teeth is enough for me!

    Happy FF!

  • MileHighDad

    Anbisol your friend?

  • Otter Thomas

    Our son is starting to teeth according to his doctor. My wife and I have worked so hard to get some measure of regular sleep. Now it will all be ruined. I am depressed.

  • Weaselmomma

    You certainly don’t need to remember the pain to have empathy for your baby girl and for it to pain you when she teethes, just wishing you could make it all better.

  • Joe

    You said consternation. Very enjoyable read. I suggest whiskey for both you and the child.

  • ciara

    my oldest daughter was colicky so i had to hear crying everyday for 3-5 months. i don’t think teething was that bad for her. definitely know it wasn’t for my son, who’s now 21 btw lol and youngest? she’s so carefree easygoing i don’t think it bothered her one bit either. some babies handle it well, some don’t. hope it isn’t too bad for her & the pain doesn’t last long, and you’re back to getting rest. :)

  • Jason

    The worst part of teething for both of my boys, that I recall, were the rashes. They both had horrible diaper rashes when new teeth were coming through. I don’t recall them waking up much through the night.