It started months ago.
The chewing. The drooling. The red cheeks and the whining and the OMGPICKMEUPBECAUSEIFYOUDONTIWILLWAILUNTILYOUDOANDIMEANITYOUCRAZYPERSON
If you think I’m joking, ask my husband.
Teething with Butter was such a breeze. I didn’t even know he had a tooth until just after his first Christmas, when the spoon he was eating something off of kept getting stuck on his lower gums. I put my finger in his mouth and he bit me. Sure, he drooled and chewed, but there was very little whining and very little OMGPICKMEUP…
Little Bear is an entirely different story.
His first eight teeth broke through fairly easily. There was a lot of chewing, there was a lot of drool, there was a lot of rejoicing when I finally found Hyland’s Teething Tablets back on the shelf one Sunday after church. But then the excessive drooling started. We go through no less than eight bibs a day. If drool were currency, my house, car, and medical bills would be paid off and I’d still be a bajillionaire, that’s how much drool we deal with in this house on a daily basis.
Then came the chewing and the red cheeks. Butter had such an easy time teething that every time Little Bear whined and pulled on his ear, I attributed it to teething, because that’s what we’d gone through with Butter. Turns out I’m not so smart and he had a double ear infection. Twice. [We go back to the doctor this Friday for another ear check. My gut says there are tubes in LB's future.]
I tell you all of this to explain why it took me until now to realize why wild animals sometimes eat their young. Two nights ago, we had A Night with LB. He went down well around 7:30. He woke up at 10:30 and all hell broke loose. Let me remind you of something. Today I am twelve days post op from my second brain surgery. Mama was not pleased LB was up so much that night. I’m still so tired from that night I can’t remember who did what. I know I tried to get him back down. M tried to get him back down. My mom finally got him back down around 12:45 a.m.
I? Cannot sleep once someone has woken me up, or broken my attempt at going to sleep. [Even on painkillers. Who knew?] So I finished a book I’d digitally borrowed from our library. I read another book in its entirety. I got a quarter of the way into another book when LB woke again, this time at 3:45 a.m. Three times, I got him out of the crib, rocked him, and put him back down. Two times, he screamed the moment his little body hit the mattress. The second time, M came into the room behind me [I was patting LB's back and trying not to pick him up again] and offered to take over. Prettttyyy sure I snapped something along the lines of, “What’s the point? I haven’t been to sleep yet, I’ll handle this.”
There was some cursing directed at my sweet baby boy. I got him out of bed. Again. I rocked him. Again. After he was asleep, I laid him down. Again. This time, I got back into bed and had picked up my nook to continue reading myself into oblivion when he started crying. Again. M said he’d get LB. I told him to wait, because I was convinced this was going to be the time he cried a little and whined himself to sleep. M sat up in bed and waited. LB calmed down. The minute M laid back down and started to get comfortable, LB started crying again. M mentioned bringing Butter into our room so he wouldn’t be disturbed by his brother’s crying. I disagreed; Butter would sleep through a train wreck in his room, so we were fine. LB finally calmed and slept.
I think I finally put the nook down around 5 a.m. My alarm was set to go off at 7 a.m., because I needed to be in Philadelphia at 10 a.m. to have my stitches taken out. Woohoo. I cursed the alarm and reset it for 7:45 a.m. The baby started crying at 7:30 a.m. I think I kicked M, reminded him Butter’s swimming stuff needed to go into the dryer, and fell back asleep. I hit snooze. Twice. I finally rolled out of bed at 8ish a.m., got a shower, and went downstairs. That’s when M told me he’d definitely felt that one side of LB’s gums were really hard and my mom told me she’d felt the same, and two points of a molar on the other side when she’d put Orajel on him sometime around midnight. I looked at LB, who was happily munching on Cheerios in his highchair and told him, “Fine. A molar has broken through. I won’t eat you today.”
And then he smiled at me and nothing was wrong. The entire night was forgotten. Until I told my friend last night I knew why animals ate their young, she laughed so hard she woke up her cats, and told me, “That has to be the title of your next blog!”
Turns out she was right.