Right now my arch nemesis in life is the Little Mister’s one last molar. It has haunted me for weeks. Taunting us. Causing pain to my child (it really knows how to hit where it hurts by getting to the one I love). It is the worst tooth of all the teeth. ALL OF THEM. And things got pretty hairy back in the baby days, let me tell you.
My arch nemesis also knows that sleep deprivation is the best torture. Nights have been spent sitting up with an anxious Little Mister. Weathering the pain together. It’s been a long time between new teeth and it’s been strange reacquainting ourselves with the whole ‘teething’ thing. Nothing that worked back then works now. That’s the tricky thing. The Little Mister is older, more aware. His needs have changed ever so slightly.
He’s got a new amber necklace to replace the old one which has been lost over time. He clings onto his giraffe blankie and filled with the occasional dose of ibuprofen he tries so hard to be a brave boy…until it wears off. See, it is supposed to last 6-8 hours, but in him it only lasts five. So I sit with him in the night waiting for him to fall asleep again or until it’s time to give him another pain killing dose – whichever comes first. I hate giving him drugs, but I hate him being in pain.
When he’s in pain he gets anxious. Then he gets so used to being anxious that it almost becomes some kind of habit he’s resigned himself to. A terrible cycle. Pain. Anxiety. Pain. Anxiety.
“Sad bed,” he’ll tell me before he’s even laid down for the night.
“Sad mouth,” he’ll tell me when he wakes up in the morning.
This molar spent weeks, painfully busting up against the Little Mister’s gums. Never poking through, just sitting there reminding us of its presence. Now little white peaks around the edges are starting to reveal themselves, ever so slowly, day by day.
My sleep is broken and I feel very hard done by, because I’d become spoilt by the lack of teething problems in the night. Had started to take for granted the ability for all in my household to sleep through the entire night. I have felt the ‘I have a good sleeper’ guilt and feel even more in awe of my friends who have not been so blessed since day one to year 2 and beyond. I probably don’t have the right to whine, but Twitter at 3am has become my salvation. Thank goodness for smart phones and electronically stored books. On the bright side, I have finished that book I was slogging through 3 pages per night for the longest time.
My brain has become fuzzy around the edges, I’m a little slower on the uptake as I go about my daily business. My social awkwardness levels skyrocket as I fumble for the right words with shop assistants and people who cross my path throughout the day. I feel like a bumbling mess and I keep reminding myself that I survived the early days when sleep was scarce. Auto pilot was in action. I got used to little sleep and it just became what you did. If you kept having ‘quiet’ days to recuperate, then you didn’t have a life! So you kept going. How do I find that feeling again? I told you I’ve been spoilt!
Never have I been more relieved that I do not have a little itty bitty baby AS WELL, like many of my friends currently do (hats off!).
So we sit. And we wait. Find comfort in the fact that this is the very last one. This won’t last forever. At some point this tooth will emerge completely and… before I know it, they’ll all start falling out again. So what was the point in all of this again?
What are your best teething tips and tricks? How about toddler anxiety? x