A Bad Morning With the Mean Old Teeth

Baboo is passed out on my lap, with her head hanging over the armrest the way she prefers it.

She’s always been an upside down baby, and when she’s stressed or in pain, she’ll do everything in her power to arrange herself so that her head is hanging lower than her body.

Cause of stress today: the teeth, the teeth, the goddamn teeeeeth. I don’t mean to be impatient, but I swear to you that she has been teething for four-thousand years … without any actual teeth appearing. The calendar says two months, but what does it know.

I think this process takes so long and is so painful to all involved so that parents don’t weep when their little babies disappear. Two months ago, I would tear up at the idea of her sweet little gums being all hidden by teeth. Now I can’t wait for them to bust through so that she can stop suffering.

I’d also like to say that I think it’s mean that we basically can’t give kids anything for their teething pain now. The doc said Tylenol, sparingly.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Not everyday,” she said.

Unfortunately, Baboo is teething every day, which means that we’re spending a lot of time trying to distract her. We use frozen teething chew-toys and rub her gums and distract her with stories and toys and new things to look at. We walk her up and down and put her in the bath and take her for a walk outside or a ride in the car.

None of that changes the fact that she’s in terrible pain and there’s not much we can do to relieve it. Homeopathic treatments and numbing creams either don’t work or have harmful ingredients; Tylenol is to be used sparingly; no one will give us baby Percocet, which is what she really needs but apparently “doesn’t exist” and “would be illegal.”

I told my dad about all of this and he was incredulous.

“Are you trying to tell me that when I was a kid, I got paregoric and your mother got whiskey, but now you just give them cold stuff to chew on, like we’re cavemen?”

“Yup, that’s about the size of it.”

Modern medicine has discovered that modern medicine is dangerous, in this case. So we’re all suffering through.

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