Teething

Zak and I have always found that people overuse teething as an excuse to explain baby behavior. As soon as a baby is fussy or crabby, it seems to get explained by “I think he’s teething”. Some babies I know have seemingly been teething from birth to about age 2. But a friend of mine explained to me recently why teething is such a practical excuse: it carries no parental guilt. If your baby is tired, it usually means you didn’t put him to bed on time or haven’t found a schedule that allows her to sleep properly. If your baby is hungry, it might mean you didn’t feed them enough or, even worse, that you don’t produce enough milk. If your baby is sick, you might wonder if you should take them to the doctor or give them pain medication. But it your baby is teething, there is really nothing to do. It’s not your fault. And therefore it makes you feel less bad about their behavior or their possible pain.

It has therefore been the running gag between us with our baby girl. Whenever she was fussy, we would exclaim that she must be teething. We have said that phrase over and over again, but she still didn’t have any teeth. Yesterday was one of these days when she seemed to go from eating happily to holding her head and crying. So we joked about it. And guess what? In the afternoon, I happened to have my finger in her mouth (sounds strange, but it happens a lot with babies. This time I was removing something she had put in her mouth that wasn’t part of the 4 food groups) and I felt a tooth! Zak verified, because he wasn’t sure he believed me… and it was true. There is a tooth piercing that gum! Whether or not it has anything to do with her behavior is still debatable. But there is definitely a tooth! At 9 months, it was about time! Bring on the food!

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