Teething times

When I was first a new mum attending my very first Mother’s Group I remember we went around the group, introducing ourselves and saying one thing we wish we knew or wish would happen as a Mum. One of the other mothers, not a first time mum, stated that she wished they were born with all their teeth. I remember thinking how weird. Why would you want a baby with a whole heap of teeth? Why would you want all those new feeds with sharp little razors nibbling at you? Why wouldn’t you want those first gummy smiles?

As Leo grew, and started getting his teeth, I remember thinking back to this statement and not really understanding why she would have thought teething was ever so bad. Sure there was the constant dribbling, and I mean CONSTANT, everything was wet (something I have since realized is not that normal but he was my only reference so I thought nothing of it) but his teeth just popped up. No big deal. Surely all these mothers that go on about teething are just finding something else to whinge about, right? Wrong.

As I see it, there are lots of different parties of belief in parenthood. Particularly when it comes to teething.
I have come to learn that when it comes to teething there is Group A) who believe that teething is not so bad, the teeth just pop up and they don’t really get what all the fuss is about. Then there is Group B) who hate teething, they see the sign of a red cheek and that little hand rubbing the gum and they know they are in for it. { *side note: Group B also has subcategories; the mums who have angry teethers, the exhausted mums who’s children only seem to have problems with teething at night and the mums who just blame teething for absolutely everything, from their grumpy baby, to their feral four year old, to the fact that they haven’t washed their hair in ten days.}

I have been a member of both parties.

With Leo I was all about being in Group A. He seemed to be constantly teething but he was constantly OK with it. He had all his teeth well and truly by the time he was two and, apart from the dribble and everyone always asking me if he was teething because of the dribble, we knew nothing about it. I would catch a glimpse of the inside of his mouth mid babbling and notice a new pearly white one. Teething was easy.

Now we have a little girl. She is beautiful and she is sensitive and she has well and truly made me a member of Group B. Teething sucks. I hate it. I am yet to become a full blown member and blame everything on teething but I have well and truly been the mum of the angry teether and the exhausted mum.
Maisie has six teeth, six little teeth, that means she still has about fourteen or so to come. I now understand that Mum, the one that said she wished they were born with teeth. Maisie has been miserable, grumpy,she even seems angry, which, if you think about it it’s not hard to see why . Her mouth hurts, she doesn’t know why, she screams, she settles and then all of a sudden she will scream again. It is agonizing, it is exhausting and it is hard to watch. Poor little Maisie. It was never like this with Leo, proving once again that every child is different. Sure I have done this Motherhood thing before but I have never done it like this.

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Every morning when she wakes up I am frantically checking her mouth, surely another one will have had to come through by now, but most days I am left poking around in a gummy mouth, no new razor teeth endangering my curious fingers.

There will be a day, probably in just a few short months from now, that all of this will seem so long ago. There will be a full mouth of teeth smiling back at me instead of the glorious uneven rows, just how these uneven rows have replaced that gummy smile that I once loved so much. Like so many parts of parenting, teething tests us. Whether you are a member of Group A or Group B, whether, like me, you have been a member of both, it is a parenting rite-of-passage that we must all go through. Babes are not born with teeth, so I guess we just have to grin and bear it. And when all else fails, just enjoy the extra cuddles and know that an ice-cube wrapped in a face washer makes an excellent teething toy.

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