Kayleigh has been teething for the last… oh… 6 or 8 months. Maybe not continuously, but it sure feels that way. As soon as one tooth makes its way through, about 3 or 4 follow right behind. By my calculations she’s gotta have at least 40 or 50 in there. This has to end soon, right?
Alright, this latest bout appears to be on the mend, but if not for the Motrin – the patron Saint of parenthood sleep – I’m not sure our sanity would have made it through. Not only have the sharp objects poking through her gums been driving her bonkers, but her recent attempts at staking a claim to some amount of independence has occasionally made it difficult to sympathize. I am not necessarily a strong man, so let’s just say that it’s a good thing she’s too young to understand certain diatribes that may have been spoken out loud.
As much as I curse the day she began making diaper changes a stressful activity (after 18 months they suddenly bother her? wtf?) and look forward to a time when she’ll sometimes answer with a “yes” instead of the constant barrage of “no”, the reality is these things just aren’t that big of a deal. Already my memories of 3 AM wakings with her curling up in my arms while I skip another 3 or 4 hours of sleep for her benefit have developed a sense of fondness. Even those horrible nights in Florida when she rarely slept more than 2 or 3 hours straight and forced us to watch Brainy Baby videos in the middle of the night seem sweet today.
Like I said, this is the easy stuff. As much as parents grow anxious to ditch the diaper days, how many are excited by the prospect of dealing with the teenage years? I’m not about to romanticize the overwhelming lack of sleep, but how many of those really difficult life situations Kayleigh faces in the future will be solved by rocking her for an hour in the middle of the night? Do you think some Motrin hidden in apple sauce will get her through junior high?
Last night I came close to losing my cool during another butchering of our bedtime routine, but reminding myself that she’ll get over these new teeth soon enough and a couple bad nights really aren’t a big deal certainly helped me in the face of tonight’s disaster. We’ll get through this together – one look at that face and how can there be any doubt?