If teething was an art

20 07 2011

If teething was an art, it would be a painting of bright red smears on a black canvas. Hence, ugly. And ugly describes Sidney’s experience with teething the past few weeks.

I see two tiny mounds of opaque whiteness protruding from Sidney’s lower gum. Like camel humps rising above a dune, the tooth is barely visible and apparently it is enjoying its nearly incognito status. Initially when I described the eruption of her first tooth to friends and family, I heard repeatedly: “oh, the tooth will just pop out overnight!”

Look *really* closely and you can see the camel. Just kidding! Oh, and thanks freedigitalphotos.net.

It has been three weeks and I have to accept that this tooth missed its overnight debut. And keeps missing it.

Sidney doesn’t care for this process either. I know when she is in serious discomfort from teething; not due to her screaming but to her refusal to take medicine, cold teething rings or her ice pop (you know, that contraption that looks like one of those ring pops from childhood but the top, aka the candy gem, twists off so you can stuff ice cubes in it). Normally, she will gladly suck on her ice pop then let it melt all over the kitchen floor before painting water circles on the ceramic tile floor.

Reasoning with a 10 month old is, of course, absurd, but I attempt to tell her the medicine, ice pop, homeopathic teething pellets etc. will make her feel better. Her screams rise in decibel which I am afraid is merely one notch away from breaking my Tiffany wedding champagne glasses.

I don’t like giving Sidney medicine. Not because she throws a tantrum and thrashes her head from side to side (OK, so I don’t like that either) but because I just don’t like the potential side effects of medicines. But I also don’t like nights of restlessness, screaming and even less sleep than I usually get, so CVS tylenol wins out at bedtime.

I recently discovered the benefits of Humphrey’s teething pellets and by golly, they work! At least long enough to settle her down to nurse whilst awaiting the arrival of the elusive sleep gods. I have tried several homeopathic teething remedies and thought I tried them all. Fortunately I bitched about Sidney’s teething woes to my dear friend Facebook and learned of Humphrey’s existence.

Thus, the work of teething art continues, but at least some of the ugliness is subdued thanks to both old and new medicines. Perhaps when the work of art is complete, my description will go from “ugly” to “cute.”


For crying it out loud! Synapses must be formed

5 07 2011

Sidney sucks on her finger for a moment before she pokes it
onto my nose. She has a grin on her face and I know it will be another long
night getting her to fall asleep.

She proceeds to jump up and down on her knees a couple
times. Her organic sleep sack is stretched tight from the way she is sitting.
She rolls onto her back and plays with the zipper.  “Vroot, vroot.”

She practices her cow sounds. Or possibly elephant sounds. I’m not quite sure which animal she is imitating.

She proceeds to untie my pink and green paisley pajama
drawstrings from the Pottery Barn. She looks pleased with herself.

I let her poke, bounce, roll and babble for thirty minutes
or so. I’ve learned to let her expend her energy before the sleep gods make
their final descent. (That is, after another round, or two, or three of

“Dear, I’m telling you, you need to let her cry it out.” My father tells me this over

dinner the prior night. His girlfriend chimes in with agreement.

Perhaps I should make them read articles on the development
of a baby’s brain; how the developing brain from birth to age three forms
synapses essential for language, emotions, thought etc. at a rapid rate of
millions per second. These synapses
are molded by experience and practice. [i]

The practice of crying it out, in theory, must form
synapses. In Sidney’s case, crying it out would equate to hours upon hours of
screaming, wailing, sobbing and choking. I frankly refuse to entertain the idea
and shudder to think what type of synapses form from this practice.

Sidney cries and fusses enough despite her nearly 24 hour
attachment to me, with the exception of a two or three hour window after
putting her down to sleep at night before I join her so that I can eat, clean and
perhaps even watch a DVR’d episode Desperate Housewives  (this is major

progress in case you’re wondering). I don’t need to add any unneeded stress to our lives.

Teething, which I have recently decided is the work of the devil, results in enough
unneeded stress with its occasional scream-as-if-dying-by-being-stabbed night
awakenings. I just hope she gets a tooth soon from this devilish torture.