Owen started teething relatively late (his first tooth didn’t pop through until 9 months), but then once they started coming in, they seemed to come in all at once. Four at a time, sometimes, and all of them were in by 18 months. 12-18 months was a blur of rough nights and whiny days (in retrospect, of course). BUT! It was actually better for us (me?) since they came in such a compressed time frame so that I wasn’t constantly complaining about teething and dealing with a sad kid for months on end. I’m very much a “get the bad part over with first” type of person. Don’t drag it out.
Since he got top and bottom molars around 18 months, I thought those were the ones everyone called “2 year molars”. I thought that we were done for awhile. Like, a long while. Life from 18 months – 2 years has been filled with great sleep, few illnesses, and little to no medicine. Smooth sailing in the physical discomfort department.
Then yesterday I was skimming one of those “Your kid is two! Here’s what he/she should be doing” emails and it mentioned something about 20 baby teeth. I hadn’t ever counted, but 20 seemed like a high number. So last night while I was brushing Owen’s teeth, I counted. And… dun dun DUN. He only has 18. Which means we’ve got 2 mo’ molars to go. This chart was helpful for me to see which ones he has and which are still to go.
Actually, I think they may be coming soon. The last week Owen has been fighting a snotty nose and waking up at night crying. He always quickly soothes himself back to sleep, but of course I’m sitting bolt upright in bed listening to him cry. He’s been crying at the drop of a hat when things don’t go his way during the day too, which is not normal for him. I never know whether to chalk that type of behavior up to him being 2 years old and testing limits, or something more physical that he can’t pinpoint, like an ear infection or teething. So far, for us, it’s always been the latter in the past. But of course you never know that until AFTER the tooth pops through or the fever spikes.
So a few days ago I started taking his temp and looking for any other signs of an ear infection. Got nothin’ except a whole lot of rare-for-Owen attitude. But he has been putting his fingers in his mouth recently (a habit that irks me to no end; I think it’s gross) and even acted like he was going to bite my arm when I tried to wash him in the bath last night. Both are behaviors that he’s only done in the past during the dark months of super teething. His teacher mentioned that he pushed several of his friends yesterday at school, including pushing one friend until she cried and fell on the floor. In the past when we’ve dealt with physical aggression it has always stemmed from an ear infection or teething — he only seems to hurt others when he is hurting.
I’m doing my best to realize this when he’s acting like a pill. When he’s whining and crying in an out-of-character way. When he’s acting out and hitting/pushing/biting. I’m trying to let the past inform our future, and to recognize that maybe it’s because he’s not feeling well. It doesn’t make biting ok, but it helps me be more empathetic and not just annoyed with his behavior. I’m trying to remind myself that in a short period of time, my sweet kid will be back.
Molars, I hate you.