2741ATHERhood, PART 6

by Jonathan Lyons on February 18, 2013

Wow. So this is teething.

I’ve been thanking the gods today that we send Curran, now 14 months old, to daycare on weekday afternoons — thanking them because he spent last night screaming, protesting, refusing to sleep, and generally pitching a hurricane of a fit. Once the dose of infant ibuprofen kicked in, he finally started to simmer down, but Jesus! The pipes on that kid!

He woke up feeling much better this morning, and while we actually got a pretty good night’s rest once he finally dropped, the echoes of the tension were still with me. For whatever reason, I carry stress pain in my left trapezius. This morning, that muscle group didn’t hurt, exactly, but it was the kind of sore that muscles in your back can get after you shovel a driveway full of heavy, wet snow.

He went to the grocery store with me and was in great spirits while we were out, but I was ready for him to head to daycare. I was going out of my effing mind! All I needed was half an hour to lie down in our quiet bedroom, a little time to decompress in the dark. I followed that with some writing time, then course prep for the rest of the week, and finally a shower and a much-needed shave. Between my stress level and the two days’ beard growth, I must have looked like an escapee from the asylum.

I just keep wondering: Really, evolution? You couldn’t come up with a better solution for teeth than having them cut their way out through a baby’s gums?

We have so many high points. He’s really a smart boy. We’re teaching him sign language, and he’s picking up words with astonishing speed. He trotted through the house this morning thumping his hands against his chest. I said, “Curran — are you signing gorilla?” He replied with a delighted squeal and a huge smile. He was being a gorilla. We only just taught him that sign.

The other morning, when a friend and her toddler visited, Curran was clearly listening to the two moms chatting. From time to time, he’d walk over to the visiting mom and sign a word he’d just heard them say, making sure that she saw him doing so.

He loves music. He goes to a music class for toddlers on Fridays, and he bops along whenever he hears pretty much anything with a beat. He’s walking, even jogging, around the house now. Like, a lot.

His teething follows his catching colds repeatedly since a bit before Thanksgiving, one right after the other. Each one interrupted his sleep every few hours. Every night. For months.

As positive as my previous entries in this series have been, sometimes you just have to take a few minutes — or hours — of personal time. A respite for your sanity’s sake. As nearly as I can tell from parenting blogs, all of this is pretty common. Sometimes parenthood leaves me exhausted, bedraggled, beaten down. After a particularly rough ride through the night, I’d even say demoralized.

But he can’t be teething forever.


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Jonathan Lyons is a new 2741ATHER. He lives and teaches and writes strange things in Central Pennsylvania. His latest novel, Signal to Noise: A Novel Infused With Music, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and cool indie bookstores everywhere.

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