Yeah. So that just happened. For almost two years. Teething. The war is over now.
I finally realized it. It just suddenly hit me. And it took a flashback to get me there. My flashback didn’t consist of the sickly sweet smell of napalm or the sound of Jimi Hendrix sawing a guitar in half, but it was a flashback regardless. The teething war is over.
I was looking through our family photo library. Making a mental note that I need to take it easy on the trigger finger when I’m taking pictures, I ran across some photos of Lucas, year one. Can I still say “some” when we’re talking about several hundred? Anyways. In a lot of them the “thousands of words” the pictures told were something like “What is happening inside my mouth!?!” or “Please let the madness end!!!” or “Are you using that shoulder, ’cause if not… um, I could really use a good chew on it, m’kay.”
Okay! I’m much better now! Yeah. Sorry about all that.
All those days and nights came flooding back. A time when it was hard to decide on how to ration my pity. Some for the little one, with really hard, sharp pieces of bone-like thingies plowing cruelly slow through his poor defenseless gums, or my wife bobbing him up and down in dismay and torment after only just having set him down to sleep five minutes earlier, and doing this 24-7-365. I always made sure to give myself the smallest slice of pity. I knew I had it easy. And I had access to something babies and a breastfeeding moms don’t: boat-loads of coffee.
The thing is, he hasn’t been teething for a long while now. So why am I just realizing it’s finally over? Remember, it’s not an over-night affair like some magic bean stalk. You don’t go to bed and wake up to the sound of a BLING! and see your baby-turned-toddler blinking in the morning sunlight with a toothy smile and look of relief and finality on his face. It tapers off, teething. It has aftershocks that remind you not to bother bringing out the party hats and champagne.
But then it’s over. At last. The teething is finally over. So now, like the older boys, Cody and Max, we move on to making sure his teeth aren’t knocked out or rotting out of his head. A new war. A toothpaste-minty cold war.
For those of you who are parent veterans, I sincerely apologize for opening the wound with a rusty butter knife, if I did. And for those of you who are still privates s##tting your pants in the teething trenches, hang in there! It does have an end! And trust me, afterwards, the bad memories will fade away (or be blocked out) and leave whatever you can remember of the good ones. Memories of baby lips wrapped around the arm of a couch in a cute little wriggling gnaw, or adorable smiles with spit-bubbles that turn into magical, glittering waterfalls of drool. (sigh) Good times.
Why not? You’ve probably lost enough of your mind already for this to make sense.
If these don’t make you laugh, there may be something very wrong with you.