Posted by Duff

A lot of new moms ask those who’ve borne witness to teething: “What should I expect? Is it that bad?”

When I asked, I never got a straight answer. Generally, teething manifests with drooling, and some pain, and for some, sleep disturbance or digestive issues. Pretty much anything that has a normal pattern to it can be upset, or it might not. Your basic game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

I think one of the more telltale signs that it’s really teething is that you want to knock yourself out with your own fist.

Or, as the Dervish has told me several times over the last three long-arse days as we  ironically await the canines that cried wolf, “It’s hard.”

At times like this, it’s probably better for both of us that she’s more verbal now, even if the things she’s been saying under dental duress are not pleasant. As with each of the Dervish’s previous twelve teeth,  we are sharing the house with the shadow of a seventh grade girl in the throes of unrequited love. She’s devastated, and nothing but sugar and showered attention can take her mind off it. The world that was once her oyster is now her sworn enemy. Short fuse? Try no fuse.  She will spontaneously combust at the slightest disappointment, so tread lightly. 

I knew teething wouldn’t be among the Dervish’s favorite milestones, but I was unprepared for the game of cat and mouse that her teeth were prepared to play – the ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ baloney that would be typical of each and every one of those pearly little bastards.

Based on pre-teething research and interviews, I thought I’d give her teething toys or frozen bagels to chew on. No sale. She’d prefer to tough it out, thankyouverymuch. Don’t ask how I tricked her into accepting the medicine she typically loves but lately snubs. She can thank me later. If the Dervish keeps up this bravado, I anticipate her forgoing the epidural. 

I expect she’ll choose four-letter words other than a simple, albeit plaintive ‘hard’  to describe that process.