It’s official, folks. We have a teether in the house. Since around Christmas, all signs have pointed to Jacob adding a tooth or two to his sweet gummy grin.
We first began to expect the arrival of his pearly whites when he began bearing less a resemblance to a sweet baby boy and more of a resemblance to a giant drool gland. Before we discovered the joys of bibs, he could soak an outfit in under five minutes flat. As you can imagine, this wasn’t so great in the cold winter months, but now that the weather is warming up, his self-cooling mechanism might turn out to be a good thing.
We got a second clue that Jacob was teething when we noticed that his chief occupation in life was not just drooling on everything within sight but gnawing on it, too. Toys, table tops, table legs, human legs (okay, not really), doorstops—you name it and chances are Jacob has chewed on it.
Oh, I hear what you’re thinking. “I’ll bet he’s never chewed on a magazine or a deck of playing cards.” Au contraire. (So, you probably weren’t actually thinking that, but for the sake of my thought process, humor me.) The other day, I left Jacob next to a magazine I was reading. Moments later, I came back to find it chewed into slobbery oblivion. Ditto for a stack of playing cards Tom and I left on the floor. The fate of these items leads me to believe that, as I said earlier, there is nothing you can name that Jacob hasn’t chewed on—as long as you name “magazine” or “playing cards”—or else our home is haunted by a phantom paper-product loving dog. For the sake of the little sleep that I do get, I’ll choose to believe the former.
And, speaking of sleep, of all the behavior changes brought on by teething, the hardest by far has been the changes to J’s nap and sleeping schedule. Awhile back, for a glorious week or two, he was sleeping twelve hours each night, waking only once around 4 a.m. Now, he is up every three hours when I’m lucky and refuses to nap more than once or twice during the day, usually for only 20 or 30 minutes.
I don’t mind the extra-crib side duty for myself so much. I’m more worried about Tom. I’m not concerned about him getting enough sleep, mind you. That boy sleeps like a baby—a non-teething baby. But with so little sleep these days, I’m looking about as haggard as they come, unless your name is Merle. (Cue the sad trombone wah-wah-wah sound effect.) As you can see, Tom also has my waning sense of humor to contend with. I’m not sure who you should feel sorrier for—Jacob or Tom.
For the sake of all three of us, I am hoping that the tooth fairy visits us soon. Now that it has been nearly three months and J’s pearly whites are still MIA, I can’t imagine that it will be much longer before they emerge.
Until then, ice cubes (wrapped in a wash cloth and tied off with a rubber band) will continue to be my lifeline to normalcy. They’re the little guy’s favorite treat these days—besides magazines and playing cards, that is.