Everyone knows of the Tooth Fairy. Sparkly, popular creature that visits older children with pennies for their fallen teeth. Welcomed by all and mostly well loved.
Well every family has a rotten egg. The black sheep. That awkward person shunned at family gatherings.. Enter the sister of the Tooth Fairy – welcome the Teething Goblin.
The Teething Goblin has taken up residence in my house and is harassing my nearly four month old baby. She is a horrible creature, lurking quietly in the background some days, other days making her nasty presence obvious to all. She entered our lives at the most opportune moment – the one and only chemist in our town was out of infant panadol and thanks to storms that had damaged train lines, wasn’t due to receive more stock for a week. A frantic phone call to the loving Grandma of my cranky boy later – “Please send DRUGS!” – I had baby nurofen in my hands three days later, curtesy of express post. Bless Grandparents!
So teething comes with a range of symptoms. Excessive drooling, rosy cheeks, rash on the chin (thanks to the abundance of drool), disinterest in feeding, inability to sleep for any substantial period of time and general crankiness. The worst symptom that manifested in my poor boy though, by far, was diarrhoea. Now some may argue that teething in no way causes diarrhoea (there is no proven link) a quick chat to other Mummies informed me that it was quite common. And looking into Fletcher’s mouth at the two tiny chompers that have nearly broken through his bottom gum, it’s safe to say that my little man is going through his first round with the Teething Goblin, and currently coming off second best.
Our teething experience has been going on for close to two weeks now, seeming to flare up some days, other days are not so bad. It has been equally trying for Mum, Dad and baby – particularly for the two days of poopy nappies, causing me to rue the day we decided on cloth nappies and culminating in one particularly memorable night where I seriously considered beating my partner to death with a dirty nappy – how dare he peacefully sleep next to me while I change the third dirty, stinky nappy since midnight (it was only 4 am) and attempt to comfort a baby who alternated between screaming for boob for comfort and then trying to rip my nipples off to soothe his aching gums. Note, my partner sleeps so deeply that even when I shoved the nappy under his nose in an attempt to wake him so he could share in all the night time entertainment, he simply grunted in disgust and rolled over. It was at this stage I toyed with the concept of smothering him in his sleep..
Our teething battle is not quite over, but my little trooper is carrying on like a champion and those teeth are closer to the surface with each passing day. We’re still struggling with lack of sleep – Fletcher was going gang busters, getting close to 4 hours between feeds – we’re now back to 2 hourly wake up calls, but the end of the tunnel is near! The secret to our sanity has been plenty of cuddles, a fit ball to bounce our baby on when my nipples can’t take any more abuse and a large glass of wine (Mumma’s secret helper) once our little one has finally dropped off to sleep for the night.
Watch out for the Teething Goblin, she’s a nasty sort. I’ve learnt now that the Tooth Fairy brings money to children – hush money as an apology for the failings of her evil sister. Best of luck to all the families out there who play unwilling hosts to a very unwelcome guest, she does outstay her welcome, but she’s not there forever.
Alli is a new Mummy of 11 week old baby boy Fletchy Poo who is the brightest new joy in his whole families life.