Teeth Happen

A friend of mine would brag about his daughter’s sleep habits. “Claire’s slept through since she was six weeks old,” Bob would say. This turned into “Claire started sleeping through the night when she was six weeks old, but I don’t know what the hell last night was all about.” And eventually it became “Claire slept through the night when she was six weeks old, but this month has been a hot mess.” Now he only talks about sleep in hushed tones with legitimate knocking wood nearby. Speaking with him was like speaking with Jacob Marley, I fear. Only this time, the grave that I see reads “R.I.P. Dustin’s six straight hours of sleep.”

About two weeks ago, I heard moaning coming from the magic swing that puts Mabel to sleep for 10 hours at a time. I looked over to find a set of eyeballs. This was a new development. An hour after the excited little girl was taken from the swing, she fell back asleep. For an hour and a half. Crap. It looks like the honeymoon is over. I could hear Jacob’s chains rattling as he flew out of the bedroom window.

Coincidentally, my sister called the following day and I told her about the night. “Oh. She’s probably started teething.” I looked down at Mabel, who was sitting in her high chair with all her toys and chewing on the tray. Either Mabel was trying to gum her way to freedom or my sister was onto something. This was good news. Teething implies that this is a phase. One that lasts several years, but still just a phase. Like finding out that what you thought was dog poo on somebody’s shoes before a five-hour car ride was really just gas. There was hope that I may sleep again.

So I did what anybody who didn’t read books would do, and I called people who read books. Bronwyn said that their son was only in pain for a couple days at a time. OK. I can get behind that. Keith and Meghan said their two boys never had problems teething. That’s not helpful in any way, but good for you. My sense of panic was tempered a bit.

How to handle this new hurdle? We have some chew toys, but Mabel can’t fit them in her mouth. We also didn’t want to just medicate her because we felt like that would make us bad parents. But we didn’t want to let our pretty little girl suffer because of our parental pride, which would make us worse parents. So we bought this awesome five-pronged teether which she seems to enjoy, but since the pacifier in the eye incident, not much progress has been made with her hand to mouth coordination. So in lieu of holding it her mouth for hours on end which seems unreasonable, we decided we could give her baby Tylenol on a very limited basis when we both agreed, making us about half bad parents. But Jenn and I were never on the same page at the same time. Whenever I had reached my breaking point and thought Mabel had had enough, Jenn wasn’t so sure. And vice versa. So the stars have aligned just once so far. And Mabel spit up the entire dose.

Thankfully, since our brief night of panic, Mabel hasn’t been that bad since. Surely nothing to complain to other parents about. She’s made due chewing on Mr. Giraffe and shoving her fingers violently down her throat. However, the motor in her magic swing just burnt out, so we’re hoping her exhaustion outweighs her pain before ours does.

2 thoughts on “Teeth Happen

  1. You forgot about the chicken sacrifices and burning incense. I left out the rum for Jobu.

    We had great success with Tylenol in the bottle. Less so with Tylenol from the syringe. I’ve been barfed on, and Jill’s been beside me when I’ve been barfed on. Not much one for the vomiting, she.

    The internet will tell you not to put the dose in the bottle because, if she doesn’t drink the whole thing, you won’t know how much she actually gets. But the internet is a harsh mistress, and as long as Mable gets enough to take the edge off, who cares if she gets it all?

    Jill and I have very different tolerances for the screaming, which is to say that Jill has tolerance for the screaming and I don’t. But you make it work, in the words of Tim Gunn. You make it work.

    • Ah yes, the syringe barf. I don’t even consider it barf because it doesn’t contain anything else but the Tylenol. at least that’s my experience.
      I’m trying the Hyland Teething tablets. Don’t really know if they’re working because the lack of a swing introduced two variables to the equation. Turns out my 10th grade physics professor was right about that control group nonsense. Sorry, Me. Vreeland.
      I may try putting the Tylenol in her bottle if we choose to give it to her. I don’t care much about the internet and I’m not in the habit of caring about whether or not she finished the whole thing, as you already mentioned. I’ll keep the chicken sacrifices and incense in mind. Thanks.

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