The very worst night of teething, if there were such an award, would have E standing at the podium. She was just less than G's age now when her daddy had his lung tumor removed, and she decided to suffer two new teeth the night he came home from the hospital. M had a psychotic reaction to the narcotics he was given and thought boxes were falling on his head. Though he had just had his rib cage cracked open and a third of a lung cut out of him, he jumped about once a minute out of the bed to escape a falling box. E wouldn't sleep unless she was cradled against my chest. E wouldn't sleep when her daddy yelped and rattled the bed every minute, either. M wouldn't sleep because the boxes kept falling on his head like the demise of a complicated Tetris board. I couldn't sleep because E wouldn't stop screaming and M wouldn't stop jumping at invisible threats and he was scaring me and she was wearing me and that was, without question, the longest night of my life.
But come morning, a call to his surgeon and a new prescription gave M pain relief without psychosis, and E had two new teeth.
M understands that he is under strict instruction from me not to grow any more tumors, but our children, collectively, still have many more teeth to pop.
I spent a sweet afternoon communing with our youngest today. We fed each other Cheerios and didn't throw them down the heating vent (mostly). We cruised the coffee table and that was so fun, we did it again. We enjoyed a book together: I read the words, he chewed on them. (Fibrous.) We played with blocks: I stacked them, he chewed on them. (Soggy.)
We did not do our typical Monday things. I did not work in my office; he did not play at school. He got kicked out of school for exhibiting an enthusiastic elimination system. They feared virus but I've played this game with two other babies. He is drooling so much from his swollen gums that he's swallowing his drool and it's affecting the viscosity of his diaper contents. A little gross and you don't care, I know, except that he's not sick and he is miserable, but still filled with energy and curiosity. We had a sweet but exhausting day together and then we were joined by the girls and the lovely husband and then we put all three kids to bed, but G is suffering that tooth. He was asleep in his crib but right now he's asleep in his daddy's arms. His eyes are closed but his cries are loud and his only solace is being cradled, for the moment against a chest with a lengthy scar.
This tooth is so close to out that the gum has turned translucent. Please send good thoughts that it pops tonight.
Special thanks to my friend Sarah, who reminded me of the fun of cropped compositions and prompted that photograph at the top.