Posted by Fitz

The Bean has only been sick once in her young life – she had a fever when we were on vacation a few weeks ago.  While we were traumatized at the fact that she was burning up and we were approximately four hours away from our pediatrician, she was hardly bothered.  She slept more than usual, but other than that was her happy self.  She’s a fighter, our girl, and this is why teething has thrown us for a complete and utter loop.

Over the past two weeks, The Bean has cut four top teeth and is working on two bottom teeth that are still lurking beneath the surface.  She’s irritable, not sleeping or eating as she normally does, and goes from laughing to screaming in a blink of the eye.  She doesn’t want to be held, she doesn’t want to be put down, and the two of us find ourselves looking each other in the eye and wondering what the heck the other one is going to do next.

This is the most helpless I’ve ever felt.  Aside from regular doses of Motrin, a few teething rings in the fridge at all times, and some extra hugs, there isn’t anything I can do to help The Bean feel like herself again.   The worst part about it is that it’s going to go on for another year – at least! 

I know that many of you reading this have survived an entire set of teeth and might even be gearing up for the tooth fairy already.  I know that if this is the worst pain that The Bean ever feels, than she (and I) will be one very lucky lady.  But for right now, this is a big deal to us and it seems interminable. I would do anything in the world if it meant protecting her from this and any other pain that she might experience.

Teething has given me a glimpse of what the rest of my life will be like as a mom.  I will always be on high alert, ready to pounce upon anything or anyone who might hurt my baby.  I will always want to protect her and console her.  And, I will never again secretly think to myself that the following Elizabeth Stone quote is cheesy:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”