Among the various mythical, magical and apocryphal figures who have visited our abode in the last 12 months (The Boob Fairy, The Stork, Santa Claus...) we have a new arrival: The Tooth Fairy - or rather, whatever evil cousin of hers it is whose duty is to implant teeth in the gums of babies and then force them up through the skin, rather than creating little gum sleeves for teeth that don't require ripping open.
Us humans (I'm assuming we're all human here) have a fair few design faults (Testicles? Kidney stones? Split ends? I digress) and this is a doozy. Two years, say the accursed parenting books, two years it takes for all teeth to come through. Two years while (and I'm going to quote another website here) 'razor blades' push through baby gums.
Evolution favours a gummy baby of course. No Mother is going to spend six months breast-feeding a child who is trying to nibble down his dinner - but why can't teeth slip gently into existence rather than causing all this trouble and drool? Currently Charlie is experimenting with differing ways to ease the pain in his gums and a significant majority of these involve varying parts of my anatomy. To date Charlie has chewed on the following: my boobs, my fingers, my chin, my nose, my arms, my cheek, my hair. Clearly some of these have higher success rates than others (vis a vis the radius of human cheek to the size of a baby's gape) however fear of failure is not one of Charlie's strong points and so he just keeps on trying until something goes into his mouth successfully (not to mention wetly).
I in turn am becoming obsessed with teethers (anything to stop the gumming). Charlie has three or four and I have spent hours online searching for more. Wooden ones, plastic ones, ones with gel inside them, ones filled with water, rubber ones, ones that rattle, ones that freeze, ones with bumps, ones on books... Charlie however is just as happy chewing on the corner of a washcloth although he is always willing to try new things - like the edges of tables, books, my laptop, the telephone and I'm sure if our cat were still alive he'd have had a go on him as well.
The key thing for a teether is that he has to be able to hold onto it and luckily, the Co-ordination Fairy appears to have arrived right on cue so perhaps they're working together on this one. Now all we need is the Poo Fairy to come along and train him and we're away.
Meanwhile, any suggestions are welcome