Saturday, August 29, 2009

Teeth Bite

For first-time moms, there’s a lot of pressure to do everything everyone says you should do. You shouldn’t spoil your baby; you should give your baby whatever he needs—it’s impossible to spoil a baby. You should take the pacifier away early so that your baby doesn’t become too dependent on it; you should let the baby have the pacifier as long as he wants—he’s teething after all. You shouldn’t co-sleep with your baby; you should keep your baby as close to you as possible—nothing wrong with sharing a bed. You should keep a consistent bed time for your baby; you should make the baby adjust to your schedule, even if that means keeping him out late on the weekends. The world is full of parenting experts and according to at least someone out there, I am ruining my child by my parenting choices. But isn’t it also possible that my child, to some degree, will do whatever the heck he wants regardless of my choices? Aren’t there some other variables involved besides just my parenting choices? To the people who say, “You need to get your baby on a schedule,” I continue to wonder, “Do their children have no teeth?”

It seems every time I think Finny is on a “schedule,” he reminds me that he is determined to challenge the status quo. Don’t get complacent, Mom, bicuspids are on the way!

Finny just spent four lovely days at Cape VanHimbergen in Louisville where, relieved from his normal, everyday stress, he was able to sleep from 8-7:30 every night and take two good, solid two-hour naps everyday. Now that he’s back to the daily grind of life at home, it seems he is stressed to be back at work and can’t seem to relax. Suddenly, he struggles to go to bed at night, is waking up at 4 a.m., and refuses to take a nap longer than forty-five minutes, which is just long enough for me to pour myself a hot cup of coffee and make a list of what I’m going to get done during his nap—I have yet to drink a "hot" cup of coffee this week or get anything done during his so-called “nap.”

“Maybe he’s adjusting to being back at home.”

“Maybe it’s because you have hardwood floors; he hears everything.”

“Maybe it’s his teeth.”

I’m going with the teeth; they sabotage all attempts at scheduling and all attempts at sleep and productivity. Poor guy. Poor me. Yesterday, I had had about all I could take when he was up wailing after a twenty-minute morning nap, during which time I successfully took the garbage to the garage. When I brought him downstairs, I sat on the couch and cried, which Finny found hilarious. Every time I let out an exasperated sob, he thought I was laughing and would crack up, which then of course, made me crack up and then sob some more and then crack up some more.

Then, I called my parents. Finny needs me. I need them. They allowed me to get some housework done and gather my sanity again and Finny got the undivided attention of his grandparents.

This morning brings a new day and as I write this, Finny has been napping for close to two hours. Alleluia, back on schedule.


  1. I feel for you! I had the exact thing happen to me yesterday. Both Lukas and Austin refused to nap. When I put Lukas down, he requested a book and some juice so I gave him both hoping he would eventually just fall asleep. Boy, was I wrong. He then asked for milk which I didn't give to him as he had his juice. I said he'd get the milk after a successful nap. I even promised a chocolate chip cookie if he went down for a bit. I went into the other room, trying to get Austin settled, while Lukas kept yelling for me and asking for all kinds of things. I then tried letting him cry it out which didn't work either. Exhausted, I got up from my chair feeding Austin, went back into his room where he was crying asking to sleep in Mommy's bed. I gave in, took him into my room, put him down in my bed. He laid still for one minute, then he started asking why the baby wasn't napping. I said I didn't know and asked him to be quiet. It didn't work - eventually, I had to drag myself out of bed, baby in one arm, Lukas in the other arm. I gave up and I was close to crying... So I relate very well to your crazy day.. and it seems that Austin will get his first teeth soon and Lukas is working on his last molars. So teething is definitely something very EVIL.

  2. First of all, I love this picture.
    Second, I am tucking all of this away, so when the day comes that I am dealing with this I can remember that it happens to even the best moms. Thanks for being willing to share. I enjoy reading the posts.