‘Why not be a dentist when you grow up?’ Asked my mum when I came home from school with a good science report. ‘They get paid a fortune, you’d only need to work a few days a week and nobody can answer you back.’ The reply to my mum’s ever so pragmatic career advice was, quite simply, that I’m just not that interested in teeth. Days spent looking in people’s mouths just did not appeal. Or so I thought.
Last month Matilda got her first tooth. And every week since then a new tooth has emerged. Four weeks later we now have four brand new teeth. And this has led to my new found obsession with teeth. An obsession that means I am now religiously check her mouth 6 times a day hunting and patrolling for any new signs of teeth.
The first tooth was her upper right lateral incisor. I’d been studiously checking her bottom 2 front teeth (the books say these are the first!) for 9 months but I got totally blindsided by this lone hillbilly upper side tooth slowly nudging through. The next week her bottom front left tooth cut through, quickly followed a few days later by the bottom right front tooth. I won’t say these were painless for any of us but as they were all accompanied either by a sleep inducing ‘unidentified viral infection’ followed by an equally sleep inducing tummy bug at least I got the naps and the nights to make up for limpet baby days.
The left lateral incisor cut through this weekend. And this my friends, this was emotional. Without another illness to knock Matilda out we were faced with having to endure the full brunt of teething and she threw the book at us. We had screaming from 11pm – 3am, followed by an encore at around 5:30am. All this despite Sophie Le Giraffe-ing calpoling, nurofening, anbselo-ing, granule-ing, bickiepegg-ing and all the other remedies I got lay my hands on in the middle of the night, over and over again, night after night. Matilda also decided morning naps were not a time for sleeping but rather a time for screaming. Thanks M. Just what mummy needed after a sleepless night. Some very quiet new chinese neighbours have recently moved in to the flat below Matilda’s bedroom. I dread to think what they make of us…
We even called in the big guns. We had the Granny from the north and then Grandma come and stay to help out with this Toothageddon. They retreated back to their homes, eyes glazed, drained of all energy and operating on autopilot, like soldiers emerging from a particularly vicious battlefield.
And then a ceasefire. Finally the little white flag of peace emerged, ie. The Tooth had cut through. And we had smiles once more. We had a happy baby, one who laughs, naps and sleeps through the night. We survived this battle and emerged weary but unscathed.
However, during one of my routine teeth inspections earlier I noticed a suspiciously white and raised gum, combined with an increase in dribble. Another week, another tooth it looks like. We might have won the last tooth battle, but there’s a long war still ahead.