She Says… Mo’ Molars

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.

Damn.

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.

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4 responses to “She Says… Mo’ Molars

  1. Aw man I feel your pain. In fact, just blogged about this last night! I think Maya is getting that tooth that is next to a molar–plus 2 others (hers oddly don’t seem to come in pairs). Anyway, this will make 10 teeth and she’s been clingy and it’s been tough … it’s so hard b/c you know they’re in pain but she can’t express it quite yet. :(

  2. What an experience teething seems to be. Good luck!

  3. Our kids being so close in age always makes your post so astoundingly timely with me. Cameron is teething his 2 yr molars right now too. A few came in a few months ago and were really hard on him but pretty quick. He has/had the fever the last few days (which by the way before witnessing it many times with my own eyes I was always “oh that’s just an untrue wives tale & doctors say fever can’t be a symptom of teething because it’s an immune response” – now I KNOW it happens!). He’s home today with his Nanny just to spend time with her and I called at lunch time to see how they were doing and he was in the middle of a meltdown because a cup fell and broke. He couldn’t control himself and was all “Mommy, mommy, mommy” and my heart broke. It was past his nap time too, but still, never would a broken glass or something spilling ever tip him over the edge like that. He hasn’t had any Advil since yesterday after his nap nor did he seem to need it, but I know it’s all because of the molars. If it were a virus causing the fever, it would have materialized by now after the Advil wore off. He was up screaming at 2 a.m. the previous night and woke up hot with a bright red face yesterday – all cured with Advil. And of course, while brushing his teeth last night, he made it pretty clear it was sore back there. It sucks :-(

  4. @lissa, It’s rough!!! Thankfully it doesn’t last forever? Right? RIGHT?!

    @Angie, So sad when they are in pain. In some ways I’m hoping this most recent bout of whininess IS teething so we can be done. Like, really done done. Hang in there!

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