Monday, August 16, 2010

Tiny Pearly Whites of Misery

I have to admit, thinking about the time when I would have to say goodbye to that gummy grin would really make me sad. The arrival of teeth is yet another milestone that signifies the passing of the baby stage. It is also a period of time where the family (yes all of us) has to endure the misery of teething. A stage I will not be reluctant to throw out the window. They say the two top, two bottom and molars are the worst ones to deal with and in my opinion thats way too many. Desperate, I tried anything I could get my hands on: expensive herbs, amber necklaces, those teething tablets everyone loves, teething gel and Tylenol. Whether any of it actually works is beyond me (except the Tylenol of course) but I use them religiously every day just in case with exception to the Tylenol which I wish I could use every day. When the first tooth on the bottom showed itself I was ecstatic. She looked a little like a crazy homeless man with one tooth, but that was ok. Now she has two, side by side on the bottom. They're totally cute and give her character. My mother has even expressed an interest in kissing those teeth although I don't think that Devyn would allow that. They're great when she smiles and laughs and talks. The only drawback of these cute little white squares is the biting. She's bit me before on the hand, or on my arm and I marveled at the perfect bitemark consisting of 2 little indentations. So charming! However she has recently taken an interest in biting while nursing.. On purpose. I tried scolding her sharply, loudly, tapping her on the mouth and always ended the "punishment" with terminating the nursing session. It worked in the beginning. Now she has used this against me. During our bedtime routine when I am trying to put her to sleep and she doesn't feel like retiring, she will bite and look straight at me. I scold her and end the nursing session, which I believe is her ultimate goal. She rolls off the boppy and crawls away. Great! When she is really tired she will cry and become clingy but she achieves her goal of delaying the bedtime ritual. Having her rely on nursing to go to sleep is a choice that I made and I understand that. Do I envy those moms who can just place their little bundle in the crib, give a goodnight and go along on their merry way? Yes! But I chose this path and I enjoy our last little cuddle before she goes to sleep in her crib, especially since we don't do it much in general anymore. Nursing her to sleep is rather pleasurable for me. Walking around the room and trying to rock a fussy, sleep fighting Devyn to sleep is not. I decided that if she needed me to go to sleep, it would be on my terms. The next time she pulled her rebellious biting routine I expressed my distress about the situation and put her in her crib. I let her cry for 5 minutes before I got her to give her another go. I was preparing myself for a 10 minute stint next time if I had to but she did her part and went to sleep. The next night she just went to sleep like a good girl. As a behaviorist I am leery about using her crib as a place of punishment but I feel that it's my only option since weaning is not possible yet and even if it were, neither of us are ready. Hopefully the rest of the teeth won't prove to be bigger adversaries than the ones she has now. Only time will tell!

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