Teething is cruel. I find it really distressing and it often leaves me feeling helpless. An invisible tyrant who creeps up on you and your child, destroying your seemingly natural routine, which in truth, you worked really hard to establish. Sleepless nights. Tears. Tantrums. And plenty of tears from everyone (including the neighbours).
Last week, George had high temperatures of 39-40C for three days. He is now 17 months old so we’ve experienced our fair share of teething and immediately went to our trusty, ‘teething techniques’ in a bid to help our son out. But this was different. We couldn’t see any teeth or what looked like teeth trying to push through. So then we faced the dilemma, do we take him to A&E in the midst of the Covid_19 killing pandemic?
These decisions are always left to the Mum. I don’t know why, because I don’t think I know better or more than my male partner does. In truth, I wonder if a Mothers intuition is a myth because, several times (normally at critical decision making time) I’ve patiently waited for some Godly information to come to me, and been left empty handed.
Teething makes me appreciate my ability to easily communicate.
If I don’t feel well, I can take some pills. If I’m sad, I can call a friend and talk about it. I can follow my desires for food, drinks and I know how to comfort myself. Poor George, I have some idea on how to comfort him but, since we can’t communicate it’s a lot of trial and error. More error. I don’t speak ‘high pitch scream’ but I can quickly respond to the cries with cuddles or several different types of food, that I reluctantly then pick up off the floor, when he eventually goes down for a nap.
We didn’t go to A&E. I was too frightened they would be angry that we’d wasted their time, when clearly, their expertise are desperately needed elsewhere right now. Instead I turned to my loyal friend, Google. And after several different articles, I found one that made my anxiety crawl down from the ceiling and take a moment to breathe. After reading the tick list out loud and seeing Daddy nod away in agreement, I knew everything was going to be okay. I stopped panicking and placed my ‘Mummy hat’ back on my head to resume by childcare duty.
When George is distressed, so am I. I can’t relax, sleep or concentrate on anything, until we are out of the danger zone. Even with Calpol and Ibrufen, it took 72 hours before his temperature returned to normal and he began to eat something other than toast and Weetabix. My hair wasn’t brushed, I didn’t manage to drink a full cup of anything or eat a proper meal. My moods were all over the place and I wasn’t the best partner or person to be around. All I could think of was George and seeing him in pain and feeling his little body vibrate in my arms, from crying so hard really cut me deep.
I guess this is normal?! The reaction from the Mother I mean! Does everyone feel like this? Does it get easier over time? I hope so. Sometimes I worry I’m being over dramatic in my reactions or responses. My mind takes me to a dark place when George isn’t his usual perky self, and that fear shows no signs of slowing down. It has decreased slightly, as I become more accustomed to teething or instances where my toddler does something new for the first time or pushes the boundaries whilst he explores his new surroundings.
Nothing about parenting is stress-free, if it is, then hey, write a book and I’ll be the first in line to buy a copy! I’m learning it brings incredible highs along with incredible lows. And you can’t have one without the other. I get so uptight and moody because I care and, feel helpless in those moments when my son needs me the most. But what I’m actually frustrated by is not having an immediate answer or cure.
Through persistence and love, I find what I’m looking for eventually because that’s my job as a Mum.