Friday, 26 October 2012

It’s all about Teeth

My father once told me that the “terrible” in the terrible twos is all about teeth. For a man in his late sixties, he knows a lot about babies. I’m not sure that he has this one entirely right, but when you consider the teething and the biting, it certainly seems to be part of the picture. Being unable to fully express yourself may be another.

Regardless, right now it is all about teeth. J-man likes to brush them; “It’s my turn,” he demands the second I pick up his toothbrush. “I want toothpaste,” he continues, like there was ever a day when I forgot the toothpaste. I insist that I give his teeth a full brush before he has his turn. Sometimes we “fight about it” and he refuses to open his mouth. When that happens I pin him down and tickle him until he opens it. Sometimes this is really funny, other times it ends quickly and in tears, but either way, they get done.

We’ve also been counting his teeth — something a friend who is a dental hygienist told me to start doing in preparation for his first dental appointment. “Let me count your teeth,” I say, just like the dentist does (he has eight on top, and as of this week nine on the bottom). Next he counts mine (I apparently only have ten; well, sometimes I have one-teen — he can’t quite figure out eleven).

The new addition to his bottom teeth took some serious work. After a particularly fussy day, he went to the Advil bottle and insisted that he wanted some. I of course thought he wanted it because he likes the taste. So I distracted him with his toothbrush. And then, “Let’s count your teeth. Oh my, what a red bump in the back…” and I quickly got the Advil and Orajel. How long had he been trying to tell me it was his teeth? Oh well, he’ll survive. For the next couple of days he’d demand cream for his teeth, and then after it was applied, “Spicy,” he’d exclaim. A week of sleep-disturbed nights, the crankiest of days, and a tooth was born.

When I counted last night, there were more coming. Maybe my dad is more correct than I thought. We have six months until age three, and I fear we’ll be dealing with teeth, sleeplessness related to teeth, and temper tantrums related to teeth until then!

-Sleepwalking Mama

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