All the internet articles in the world can alert you to what to expect when your baby is teething. Runny nose, mild fever, irritability, drooling, loss of appetite, chewing on fingers, chewing on toys, chewing on baseboards..oh wait, now I’m thinking of my dogs. Sorry, Easton. However, the element of surprise is a busy mom’s nightmare.
Alas, days and weeks and months all blur together. You aren’t expecting another tooth to be on it’s way, and so, all those clear-cut signs of teething blur right in there with the lost hours. When coupled with constant concern for a happy baby, it becomes very easy to enter the “I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU” stage of mommy-melt-down.
Or, what I will lovingly refer to as: my wednesday night.
I made it to pick up Easton and home in record time (which means I managed to avoid a road rage induced, hair-splitting fit that surely sends my blood pressure through the roof – thanks to stupid drivers who clearly don’t realize I’ve been missing my son for TEN HOURS.)
So, it was a good start to the evening.
We had dinner plans and my momma sue was going to be coming over in t-minus 1 hour to stay with man-cub. Just enough time for me to pick-up and clean dishes I was too tired (ahem, lazy) to get done the night before, get Easton fed and ready for bed, and get myself changed. Pft, I’ve got this.
I start on the dishes while E is brazenly trying to find new ways to give me a heart attack. I don’t know how he went from barely walking to running overnight, but kid can get himself into trouble…and about 10x faster than he used to. So of course, trying to keep him alive while washing dishes just means that I have now scattered my kitchen and all adjoining rooms with random dishes and soappy bubbles (fellow moms, you know what I mean).
Not to worry, I’ve got 45 minutes to go.
Easton is starting to fuss – dinner time. I get him all set-up in his high chair and enter “airplane mode”. Yes, I may be a mere mortal and the spoon may be shaped like a monster, but when there’s food on it, together we become an airplane. This tactic typically results in laughter, bonding time and an empty bowl.
Typically. Not this night. No, no, no.
Easton decided to play along with the whole “airplane” theme, an assumed the role of Godzilla. With every futile attempt to get a bite of food in his mouth, he swatted my hand and sent the spoon and food flying. Being the stubborn gal that I am, I let this go on for about 10 minutes before making the executive decision that he must not be hungry and he wants to play.
For those of you keeping tabs, yes, my house is now scattered with random dishes, soappy bubbles and chicken and stars gerber graduate meal.
Did it cross my mind that he may not be hungry because he’s teething? Of course not. I gave up checking his mouth for incoming teeth after the first two came in – those suckers are like razors and he is a biter! I think I’ll keep my fingertips, thank you.
We still have 35 minutes until we need to head out, I’ll just feed him right before we leave. I resume “doing” the dishes. Right as I’m about to go get changed, Easton starts to get fussy again. Okay, now he’s hungry.
Repeat: Airplane vs. Godzilla.
Okay, fine. You don’t want to eat. Don’t eat. You’ve been a bottomless pit for the last 3 weeks, so if you were hungry, you’d eat. Get over it, Kelly, let the kid go play and quit trying to force-feed him.
*enter Christian* “Oh thank GOD you’re home, Easton won’t eat, here – you try” (as I basically throw the food at him – sorry, man). Twenty seconds later: “Kel, he’s not hungry”. Christian pulls him down from his chair and proceeds to make him laugh his little booty off. Agh! Mommy always has to be the big bad wolf.
I sulk off, defeat weighing me down. Then the light bulb goes off.
Wait – maybe he just doesn’t like that food!
Ah-ha, that must be it, he did the same thing the last time I tried to give him avocado. I grab a sure-fire hit from the pantry. It’s one of those fruit & veggie squeeze pouches. He LOVES those things and sucks em down in about 10 seconds.
10 seconds later…my child, my area rug, my feet and my kitchen island are covered in apples and sweet potato or whatever the heck that stuff was. I don’t want to get into the details of how we managed that, go ahead and let your imagination run wild.
Yeah, yeah, probably not a good idea to give Godzilla over here a squeeze pouch. I was pretty much asking for that one.
WHAT am I doing wrong here?!?! We need to cancel our dinner plans, that’s it. I’m the worst mom ever and the world is ending.
*enter momma sue*
“WELCOME – aren’t you glad to volunteered to babysit tonight?!”
The rest of the night was wonderful, Easton was great for momma sue and one glass of wine was all it took to bring my blood pressure back down.
Like my husband, some of you are probably wondering how I could get myself so worked up over what seems like nothing. Well, those ‘some of you’ must not have children. Just let me think that, okay? Because in my reality, there’s nothing like children to make to feel like you can’t seem to do anything right from time to time. Yet, just as quickly as it all seems to unravel it can all make sense.
In this case, it meant finally noticing Easton’s new tooth poking through. How, you ask? He was happily eating (he didn’t die of starvation overnight) with daddy this morning and giving me giant goofy smiles. Serves me right for obsessing.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll get over the idea that if he’s unhappy it’s because I’m doing it all wrong.
Maybe, just maybe I’ll finally learn that sometimes I just overlooked a simple fact of life. Babies get teeth. Babies also get gas. They pinch fingers in drawers when you’re not looking and they cry when they’re tired because they just don’t know what else to do.
And it’s not my all fault (well, maybe the fingers in the drawer part, someone needs to babyproof better!). So, I’ll try to cut myself some slack and go buy more oragel because GOD DAMMIT I’m a great mom! 😉