The way of the gum

The passing of my 30th birthday a week and a half ago should have been a startling reminder of how quickly time flies by, but it was quickly eclipsed. It seems as if James has been with us for but a few weeks, but alas, this week we discovered our youngest child is already cutting his first teeth.

Last month, we noticed our boy was slobbering like a Saint Bernard and his cherubic cheeks had become particularly rosy. Chris noticed some little, pale ridges beneath James’ gleaming gums; however, it was nothing substantial. But in the past week, our formerly OK sleeper has slept in stretches of two to three hours at night and, while he’s a good-natured baby, he’s been noticeably cranky. Not only that — his drool has been soaking through not one but two layers of clothing, he’s been choking on his spit and (WARNING: The following is a yucky discussion of bodily functions that non-moms will want to skip!) his poops have risen in frequency from once a week (if that) to every other day.

But now it’s official. After I endured a horrible, sleepless night and a morning filled with inconsolable wailing, the woman who runs the gym daycare (where James and Maddi spend 90 minutes each morning — she’s almost like another mom to them!) ran a finger along James’ bottom gums and discovered the definite beginnings of his lower first incisors. And lo and behold, when she gave him a teething toy, his wailing ceased.

You would think that, as a second-time mom, I would have figured out that this was his problem, but remember, James is only a bit over 4 months’ gestational age and I had no idea that the teeth were this imminent. Of course, it pains me to envision the demise of that gorgeous gummy grin, but there’s no denying it now. After a dose of Tylenol this afternoon, James had the best nap of his life and woke up his old happy self.

It seems like not too long ago, Maddi was cutting her first teeth, and now she’s potty training, talking in sentences, doing small chores and climbing jungle gyms. No doubt, James will be doing all these things long before I’m ready. Time flies when you’re having kids.

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