It’s funny how exhausting a good night’s sleep can be… The last week and a half we’ve been catering to poor spud’s sore mouth as those final four molars start pushing through the tectonic plates of his jaw on their journey to their place as peaks in his dental range. We’ve had tantrums and grumps; red cheeks and drool; unexplained tears and that’s just been me.
The poor little thing has been waking up in tears after naps as well as every few minutes all night and we’ve kept him dosed up on as many pain killers as we can without mortgaging our house to pay the Boots bill. We’ve tried everything – teething gel (no use, YOU try to get your finger into the very back of a grumpy toddler’s mouth without dumping your load of gel onto his lips and getting your finger bitten), Calpol, baby Neurofen, teethers and co-sleeping. The only one that worked for him was getting to sleep in our bed. Worked instantly – from crying in his sleep to deep happy breathing. The only trouble was he had to have each of us holding one hand and apart from snoring, he moves around like a windmill meaning that we got even less sleep than before. And then he’d wake up and be so happy to be with us that he’d have to thump us both resoundingly about the head and then clamber all over us shouting joyfully and trying to reach our phones from the side table so he could ring China to tell them the good news. At 5am.
Surprisingly, all this prancing about with no sleep has been like revisiting my youth – staying up most of the night and then getting up in the morning, mainlining coffee, getting through the day by putting on the Ramones and promising myself a nap and trying to forget that I’ve been up 21 hours. Unsurprisingly, when I look in the mirror I get told a different story – I need an emergency hairdresser. And a facial. And Botox. Best not to look really. I’ve been very productive however, all that manic energy is really useful when it comes down to preparing piles of documents and doing the mountains of laundry necessitated by a teething toddler who was treating the pain in his mouth with endless gulps of water and juice.
Anyway, so the molars have chucked in the towel. They’ve not come in, I think they were just flexing their molar muscle, uttering a few threats and have hunkered down to plan their next thrust. In the meantime, we’ve been sleeping and I cannot believe how tired I am. I mean, two uninterrupted nights sleep in a row and I just cannot function. It’s like, now that my body thinks it’s going to get regular sleep it has withdrawn whatever self-medication it was administering to keep me standing and I am in a permanent state of collapse. In fact, we all are. The Frog is talking in single-syllable words and the spud is spending a lot of time clutched to my shoulders sighing deep sighs.
I'm not sure what we're going to do when all this teething business is over. I mean, it's been defining our lives for the last year. Our little potato has been such an easy baby, sweet and funny, lovely and sunny - except, except when there are teeth to be grown. It's going to be interesting to see, once the fab four make their entrance, if some of the things we blame on teething are in fact down to some other cause.
In the meantime, I am going to bed.