Parenting

Dear teething: YOU SUCK.

After two days of drooling and crying, Blaine, Katie and especially Soph are still waiting for that tooth to break through.

Photo by dan_wrench/iStockphoto

My least favourite thing in the world is the high-pitched, screechy cry Sophie emits when something is wrong. She’s usually happy, quick to smile and very, very funny, and we can easily tell the difference between tired, hungry and bored. Give the kid a piece of banana or a new book and the whiny cry abates; this painful, tortured crying seems to be reserved for pain. And what a painful weekend we had.

We can see the culprit — a pearly ridge, in the top of her mouth, left centre — just on the cusp of cutting through the gum. She’s drooling like a St. Bernard puppy, and her fingers are in her mouth from the minute she wakes up in the morning. She’s having a hard time taking a bottle — which happened the last time she cut teeth — so we’re spoon-feeding her formula mixed with cereal or she’s sipping from the side of a “big kid cup.” It’s tedious, and she gets frustrated that she’s hungry but can’t get full quickly. Cue the aforementioned scream, which, I admit, has made me (and her softie of a daddy) tear up, too. We all feel relief when she calms down enough to sleep. (I am fully admitting to Tempra as a last result, with no apologies.)

I’ve been researching teething tips with a fervor, but nothing is really doing the trick. Amber necklaces, cold teething toys, cold soothers, frozen washcloths, natural teething gels — the list goes on and on. Distraction works from time to time — we’ve been doing a lot of goofy dancing and horrible singing — but one can only sing “Whip It” (previously mentioned as a regular Sophie request) so many times. I’m just hoping we’re over the worst of it and that blasted tooth will come down in the next day or so. But, seriously, we have to do this for 20+ more teeth? Tell me: How long until the mouth is full and the screams lessen?

I wrote a few weeks ago about realizing the immense love I feel for my girl — something that caught me somewhat off-guard, though I was told time and again how overwhelming it can be — and it is solidified by the way I feel when I hear that cry. Shivers shoot up my spine and I go running. Biologically-speaking, that’s pretty cool; motherhood-speaking, when she’s screaming a blue streak, I just want to make it better. I need the equivalent of a Band-Aid and a kiss for the booboo. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.