Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Taming of the Teething Toddler

Michael and teething do not mix. Never have, never will. Though Abby somehow breezed through the process, with the trying but brief exceptions of the canine and molar eruptions, Michael has struggled with every step.

It's not that he hasn't tried to be brave- I'm sure he has. It's not even that he's more of a "wimp" than his sister when he comes to pain- I think it's the opposite, really. Strangely, mystically, he seems to have a set of gums that are dead set against denying entry to the constantly-encroaching baby teeth slated for arrival.

I've seen it in action. Teeth that have finally broken through are mysteriously blocked behind tissue regrowth the next day. Breakthroughs are preceded by hideous-looking blisters and swelling. It's been agonizing to witness.

And here we are, finally, on the very last set (until about a year from now, anyway), those cursed canines, which caused even his easy-teething sister a bit of aggravation. Though I can see no more activity within his mouth than the recent appearance of the tiniest points of white on his upper and lower-right side, there must be quite a war going on in places unobservable. We've had low-grade fevers on and off in the early part of the week, and for the past few days, though his forehead has remained a normal temperature, his mood has been all over the place.

He's been one miserable little dude.

And so it was that he completely lost his mind over something pretty simple after lunch today. He's not a patient kid, by nature, so you can imagine how frustrated he quickly became when his unexplainable mission to get this guy...

... into this sugar bowl...

... proved an instant failure.

For, you see, it was not merely enough to place the toy inside the bowl- he also had to get the lid on.

Do you see the problem?

Sadly, I did not. Not right away, anyway. I was busy trying to get Amelia sleepy enough to hand off to Tom to put down for a nap, and could initially only perceive the obvious: a) he was quite upset but b) it was not because he was injured or in any need of instant intervention.

I'd been trying my best to hold off giving him a binky, particularly now, when he is just on the brink of making some real strides in verbal communication, but decided that I might just have to give in. I vowed, back when he hit one year, that he'd only have it available for nap and bedtimes, which is basically what I did with his sister. However, while neither of them ever had any interest in teethers, chew toys, or remedies involving cold objects, Abby never really needed much help with her discomfort. Michael desperately does, and binkies seem to be the only source available. Since he was melting down before my eyes, and I was loathe to medicate him during the day when he was sure to need more to make it through the night, I instructed Tom to bring down a binky for him after collecting Amelia and laying her down to sleep.

In the time it took Tom to return, I had a moment to get down on Michael's level and assess the situation. Clearly, what the boy needed was a larger container. I knew just the thing.

The teapot was plenty deep enough to hold the cherished toy and...

... allow for the placement of the lid over-top.

It's hard to say which method of appeasement worked the fastest, or best, since I first had to locate said teapot and lid, and ended up approaching Michael with my offering just as Tom arrived to pop the binky in his mouth. The tears stopped immediately. I will say that his eyes veritably lit up when I popped the little toy into the teapot and demonstrated to him just how well it fit inside.

The important thing was, all was peaceful again.

Michael had his toy, and made it fit too.

And the opportunity to hang out in Daddy's comfy lap for awhile?

Well, that certainly didn't hurt, either.

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