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It’s 5pm and I forgot to brush my teeth

June 26, 2010

Which is ironic because the reason I forgot to brush my teeth—the reason I forget to do a lot things lately—can be attributed to a single tooth. Someone else’s tooth, or near-tooth. That tiny enigma of enamel that may or may not be sprouting from the gums of my seven-month-old daughter. It’s her first tooth and it’s ruining my life!

Teething. You can’t even say the word unless you have teeth. Without teeth, It’d come out teasing. And at three o’clock in the morning, hunched over her crib for the third straight night as she wails like a banshee, that’s just what it feels like. I’m being teased. God is looking down on me from some high perch and he’s laughing. Only it’s not God. It’s the experts.

This from BabyCenter.com: “(E)xperts disagree about whether teething causes symptoms—which include drooling, facial rash, gum swelling, irritability and fussiness, biting behavior, refusing food, and sleep problems—or whether these common symptoms are not related to teething at all and just coincidentally appear at the same time as emerging teeth.”

Now how come I didn’t think of that? Of course, it makes sense. At the exact moment a tiny sharp bone (made from the hardest material in the human body) slices through the sensitive flesh inside my kid’s cry hole, she coincidentally transforms into a delirious, inconsolable, non-eating insomniac…who hates my very existence. If I see one of these experts on the street, I’m going to coincidentally appear up in their face and blow my tired, unbrushed breath straight into their lying eyes.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far about teething:

  1. It bites. Baby, parents, downstairs neighbors with the pet iguana—no one in the house is getting through this thing without a few sleepless nights. So get cable.
  2. “This thing” starts when your child is around six-months old and lasts for about the next three years. Or until you send her down the Nile in a basket.
  3. Baby Tylenol helps. Unless there’s a recall (which there is), in which case you’re going to need to learn how to pronounce acetaminophen.
  4. Wet rags, chew toys, rubber rings. Some people say these work, but I think they just remind the baby that she has gums—and that they friggin’ hurt.
  5. Stay away from numbing agents (creams or gels) that you rub directly on the gums. They can screw up your baby’s gag reflexes and make it harder for her to hock a decent loogie later in life.

And now for some smart gum-massaging tips from 90210’s Andrea Zuckerman.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lana Guernsey permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:11 pm

    This is a riot and I can relate! thanks for sharing your voice and keep going… a blog worth reading.

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