We're working on tooth number three. It's poking out of her top gums, a hard little spot that can seriously pinch when she chomps down on a finger (which she occasionally does, I think just to remind me that she can). Days like these I'm glad we had to bottle-feed from the start. She can bite that bottle all she wants while we have our afternoon cuddles, ain't no skin off my nose.
Unfortunately, it does seem to mean that sleep has become a mystery of the past that we can no longer unravel, like the Rosetta Stone or the Shroud of Turin. I could write you whole books on how much I wish I had appreciated sleep while I had it. In fact, lots of moms have written books on that particular subject. I've read a lot of them. I will probably read many more, you know, whenever it is I am able to find time to read again.
Yesterday when I picked her up from daycare, she had just fallen asleep when I got there. I had to wake her up to leave, which is never my favorite thing to do, because it sets in motion a whole terrible series of events:
I get her home. She eats and falls asleep. She wakes up ten minutes later angry because I let her fall asleep. We play for a bit, then she eats some more and falls asleep again, and wakes up ten minutes later. Wash, rinse, repeat, think idly about when I used to read books a lot.
I decided I was just done with that yesterday, after a certain point. I was tired of the circle we were going in, and I had roasted a whole chicken and a pile of vegetables Monday so we had plenty of leftovers to eat. I was done fighting her and trying to force her into a nap she didn't want to take, wasn't going to take. She had apparently decided that if she had to go down she was taking me with her. I was just done. It wouldn't even be a long enough nap to matter if I even could force her into it, we'd have to get her up for her bedtime routine before it could even be restful.
I couldn't fight her any longer.
So we laid on the bed and played with her bathtime ducks until Jason came home for dinner.
It was lovely. She was all giggles and tired eyes and happiness and "duh.. ugh, duh... ack... duh duh" while she fights to figure out how it is we're turning those syllables into words. There were pillows and blankets and snuggles and no fights at all.
Of course, she then woke up every two hours all night long thanks to that tooth. Turns out top teeth are worse than bottom ones because they mess with her sinuses when they come in.
Here is what baby books should say about teething:
Hold onto something solid, this is going to undo everything you thought you knew about parenting one tooth at a time. You'll think you know teething and then a new one shows up and you realize all the rules are different for this one. Forget sleep, just forget you ever had any, it'll be a pleasant surprise when she's thirteen and you get to wake up after sunrise, not before. Forget dinner, forget the dishes, forget it all. Lay in bed and play with ducks, and thank God for the smiles and those halting little consonants that remind you that you wanted every moment of this, and you still want it, and you'd do it all over again and again and again.
Also, invest in caffeine.
Lots and lots of caffeine.