I know you’ve read several columns where I brag and brag and brag about how much of a dream baby Everett has been. I really do feel he has given us the easiest parenting experience I could ever dream of having. I am sure it has caused a few parents with colicky babies to get just an itsy bit jealous. Well, this is the column you’ve been waiting for.
Everett has started teething. I don’t see any teeth yet. I really haven’t noticed any major physical changes. I definitely know he is teething.
I have a slightly flattened thumb that tells me that he has been teething. If I’m holding Everett, then there is a good chance he’ll grab a finger and attempt to chomp it into a fine paste. Luckily, my finger can survive a powerful gumming. I have learned that for someone who has never had to chew anything before, that Everett has one mighty jaw.
I’d be happy if my battered fingers were the only sign that he was teething. Everett has also had a much harder time getting to sleep. Of course, this has started to happen right after he began to sleep through the night. For the last several days, he has been waking up again around 3:00am. He hasn’t necessarily been hungry, but rather just begging to be comforted. Not only is he waking up in the middle of the night again, but for the first time, Everett is actually struggling to even fall asleep at bed time. For months, we’ve been spoiled by a baby who will still be slightly awake when we lie him down, but he will quickly fall asleep on his own. If he doesn’t fall asleep himself, we just have to sing a little song and he’ll quickly drift off to Sleepville. It seems like teething has caused a disruption in the transportation to Sleepville, because Everett now performs elaborate cry concerts before sleeping. I’m talking about concerts that last for hours. Emily had been a big proponent of not picking Everett up after lying him down, but she has even agreed that strategy needs to be temporarily abandoned for the time being.
Everett rarely used to cry. Essentially, crying meant that he either had a dirty diaper or he was hungry. Now, it seems like his crying is part of a riddle that we must solve. He will be laughing for one minute and then unleash the most heart breaking noises and tears. During that period, the only thing we can do is hold him tight and let him know he is secure. This strategy can work, or it can cause your shoulder to get really wet. It does mean that my time with Everett has changed, and he has now developed several patience testing games. I really don’t have time for them.
Everett’s face has almost started to develop a perma-puff. He has cried so much that I started to think my son’s natural face colour was red. He has also suddenly started to be far less cooperative with people not named mommy and daddy. He has seen his grandparents several times, and he always has a great time with them, but he has even started to break into his impersonation of Fussy Gussy when they hold him.
Now, you also have to realize this is being written by someone that has had it easy for several months. I am not conditioned for an upset baby. My baby laughs and smiles, and only cries for a brief time before getting a boob stuffed in his mouth. I’m not used to a baby who unleashes unexplained cries or refuses to sleep. There must have been some alien that has taken over my son’s body, and I want it to leave now. My point is that my son probably wouldn’t seem all that fussy to the average parent, but I think I’ve entered into a world of chaos because I’ve been enjoying the Caribbean cruise version of parenting.
He does still have many great moments during the day. He still laughs, smiles and plays. When he is in a good mood, he will allow other people to hold him. My world hasn’t completely shattered.
It isn’t really about me. I expected the not so easy days when I signed up for this parenting deal. I do feel bad for my little cherub. I know he wants to be happy. He’ll often try to sneak in some smiles and laughs while he is screaming out his latest anthem of sadness. He wants to be that cheery and easy going baby. He is uncomfortable and he is in pain. I sure know that I couldn’t cope with what he is going through. I stub my toe, and I instantly fall into the fetal position. My son is trying his best, and we’re trying to come up with many strategies to try to make the next few weeks more comfortable. But you know what, I also won’t complain if all the teeth come through tonight.