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How in the world has the human race survived this long? I mean, you barely recover from giving birth soon enough to deal with sleep deprivation and sore nipples and just when the baby starts getting all cute and mobile and human-like, TEETHING STARTS. You want to prevent teen pregnancy? SEND ‘EM THIS WAY. I guarantee an hour with my baby and any teen’s knees with slam together so hard they’ll be limping for a month. I have no job, no pressing responsibilities (beyond keeping my child alive), no other kids to care for, no neighbors close enough to disturb if the baby screams and I am almost at the end of my rope. I cannot imagine what dealing with a teething baby would be like in a mud hut or a covered wagon or an 800 square foot apartment. If you have teeth, go kiss your mama right now.

By the time E got home from work yesterday I was lying on the floor of the nursery begging the baby to take a nap. I know E was secretly thinking “Geez woman pull yourself together, he’s not that bad” – until Baby started screaming his head off because someone smiled at him the wrong way or said his mama was funny looking. I wouldn’t blame E if he suddenly had to start “working late” so he would miss the afternoon meltdown. I would totally kill him, but I wouldn’t BLAME him.

The real problem is the child cannot make up his mind. Cutting just one tiny tooth has thrown any semblance of a schedule out the window. Two nights ago I was totally ready to throw in the co-sleeping towel because Baby Evan thrashed and tossed and nursed ALL NIGHT and I can’t deal with a cranky baby during the day without at least five hours of sleep. But then last night he slept from 9pm – 2am, nursed, and then went back to sleep until 5:30 am, still and quiet as a mouse. Unfortunately, GETTING him to sleep was a nightmare. I don’t think it counts as cry-it-out if E is holding him and rocking him and shushing him in the nursery…but the baby cried himself to sleep anyway. During the day he’s just as unpredictable. One minute Baby Evan wants to nurse non-stop and the next he thrashed and screams if I put him anywhere near a boob. I was not expecting engorgement to be a problem anymore but yeah, it is, AGAIN. One second he’s playing in his exersaucer happily and the next he’s screaming bloody murder. One minute the teether toy is his favorite thing ever until he sees me holding the remote and then he wants THAT RIGHT NOW INHISMOUTH GUMGUMGUMDROOOOOOOOL.

I wish there was a definitive answer as to how long teething lasts. It would really help me deal with this if I knew “OK, he’s horrible now but I only have two more weeks (or months) to go”. But the internet has very little to say on the subject, except that he has 20 teeth to get through and that the molars can be worse. WORSE. My heart actually stopped beating for a second.

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At Baby Evan’s 2 month check-up, the pediatrician made a passing comment that all the baby drool is the first sign of teething. I think he may have confused my stunned expression with a death threat (or maybe it was when I said “take it back or I’ll kill you” – I see now how that may be confusing) because he quickly amended his statement to “although it may still be months before it really starts!” Ever since then I’ve been on constant tooth watch. Every time Baby Evan was the least bit cranky or squirmy or his sleeping pattern changed or he wanted to nurse more or he wanted to nurse less or he stuck stuff in his mouth I thought “Oh here we go, teething.” And every single time his gums remained unbroken. UNTIL NOW. Dum-dum-duuuuum.

Yesterday morning at breastfeeding support group I was commenting on Baby Evan’s sudden desire to nurse ALL NIGHT* and my sudden desire to move to Ouagadougou (wow, my spellchecker knew that one!) – alone – when he suddenly clamped down on my finger and I found his first tooth. Subsequent attempts to SEE the tooth have resulted in the kind of bloody murder screaming usually only found in bad horror movies right before the girl in her underwear remembers running UPSTAIRS is always the wrong decision. So there will be no pictures of the tiny, sharp little monster that has turned my sweet baby boy into a hell demon. If you want to come hold him for a minute though, I’m sure he’ll be happy to gnaw on you so you can feel it for yourself.

We have a tube of generic baby orajel which seems to dull his pain enough that he can be distracted with toys or the dog, but I’m going to need a lot more. Like, gallons and gallons more. If I’m looking for a remedy more in the “crazy pants hippie” direction, wearing Baltic amber close to the skin is supposed to help dull teething pain and my favorite maternity store sells amber baby necklaces. I already have my share of teething type toys but poor Baby Evan’s tiny mouth isn’t quite big enough for most of them and we’re still not quite ready for solid food so teething biscuits are out. So it looks like I’m going to need some teething tablets. Do you think they still sell this kind?

cocaine-toothache*Last night I was trying to put myself back to sleep after YET ANOTHER nursing session by reciting all the poetry I know in my head. I was pretty proud of myself for getting half way through Longfellow’s Hiawatha until I got to the part where he kills the Jabberwocky. My sleep deprivation, let me show you it.

I love email! It's like talking to other grown ups without having to worry if the baby is screaming! Contact me: bebehblog@gmail.com
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