Once my baby hit the ripe old age of three months, the mysterious and unpredictable malady of teething was all of a sudden a convenient yet viable diagnosis for any abnormal and/or unpleasant behavior. Excessive drooling, refusal to eat, runny nose, first-thing-in-the-morning fussiness, mid-day fussiness, evening fussiness, middle-of-the night fussiness … you get the idea.
So for three months now, we’ve been using this handy, catch-all excuse to visitors or family members whenever she seems the slightest bit undesirable to hang out with. “Oh, she must be teething,” we’ll say as she whines and squirms in Grandpa’s arms. “Poor thing.”
See, the good thing about teething is also the worst thing about teething – anything and everything could be a symptom of teeth on the way, and still those little buggers may not show their pearly little faces for weeks or even months to come. And, the age range for teething is so wide and ongoing (starting at 3-7 months and then continuing until age 2!), you never know when to expect it. Great as an excuse for a generally fussy baby; not so great for parents who are wondering what the heck is wrong with their generally fussy baby.
So when baby screams her head off in the middle of the night, and you are dying to reach for that infant Tylenol to finally end it all, you either feel like a) hero-mom bringing your little one much needed relief, or b) guilty mom who is drugging her baby just to get some sleep. This kid better pop a tooth soon, or she’s going to make quite a big liar out of me.