December 20, 2011

Teeth and sleep, sleep and teeth

As I mentioned previously, we are growin' some teefies up in here.

If you've been paying attention to Facebook, you know this is not an enjoyable experience for Peyton or for myself.

It's funny because Denny's mom told me how he got his eye teeth first. If anything, our daughter is the spitting image of her father, so I swore she would most likely take after him in her teething process as well. I was so focused on those upper gummies of hers that I paid absolutely no attention to any other area of her mouth. So convinced, I was. EYE TEETH ARE COMING FIRST.

I was also so wrong, but it's not the first time I've been mistaken, nor will it be the last (pshhh).

About two weeks ago I was doing my normal check, feeling, of course, only her upper gums, pep talking those little teeth into existence. Then Peyton BIT ME, and I felt a little nubbin on her lower gum. That thing was so effing sharp I actually cried out in a mixture of surprise and pain.

So there was a tooth. Where most babies get them. Bottom gum, front and center.

All downhill from there.

Peyton had actually been doing quite well with her sleeping. After a lot of thought and sleeplessness and TOTAL AND UTTER DEVASTATION (exaggeration) at night, I finally caved and tried the Ferber method of sleep training (am I alone in constantly thinking "Fockerize" every time I hear about the Ferber method?). Ferber encourages timed check-ins to let baby know you haven't disappeared forever, but my check-ins only induced hysteria the likes of which I have never seen and did more harm than good. Eventually I had to tearfully (both of us) leave her in her crib, tell her I loved her a million times, and then sit and wait for the crying to stop. After about a week, we could put her down and she'd be asleep in five minutes.

But I digress. Because then TEETH HAPPENED.

Alllllllll downhill.

I couldn't just let my baby CRY while her MOUTH HURT. That's barbaric. And then she got sick. I couldn't let my baby CRY because she's SICK, DAMNIT. So back we went, rocking and nursing until she was sound asleep. I undid all my hard, stressful (seriously, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do) work. I would try to put her down, sound asleep, but NOW the second she hit the mattress, her little eyes popped open.


Gentle encouragement, that "no, darling, this is not playtime, this is sleep time" does not translate well to babies. I am such a sucker for that quivering lip and tear-filled eyes.

A huge sucker.

Now I make excuses:

"She's getting her second tooth; she's in pain."

"She had a fever on Friday!" (it's TUESDAY.)

"She misses me already!"

"I just changed her crib sheet. She must not like the pattern."

Now we're back at square one.

But baby is better now, no more nasty cold and the fluid in her ear must have miraculously disappeared because no symptoms of an ear infection ever popped up. And now, since Sunday night, we are enduring the brutality that is bedtime in our household, trying to get my baby to sleep on her own again.

And tooth number two is coming in, guns a-blazing.

I have the strange feeling that the next few months are going to be a vicious cycle of sleep, teeth, no sleep, rinse, repeat.

But did I mention that those teeth are freaking ADORABLE? I love me some gummy baby smiles, but there's something about those two little teeth that KILL ME.

Thing 1 and Thing 2, I've named them.

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