So I might have been just a tad quick to compare my daughter’s recent behavioral transgressions to those of a bipolar schizophrenic. She’s still smack dab in the middle of the “Terrible Twos” (given that she started this phase when she was about 18 months old), but Mommy B and I made a discovery last night that has put everything in perspective.
Three words: TWO YEAR MOLARS
Not just one, or even two… no, in true Alli fashion, all four molars are making their presence felt in her tiny mouth as you read this. This explains so much of what’s been going on recently – and I literally gasped when I made the discovery last night. But first, time for a flashback…
When Alli got her first tooth (at 5½ months old), we were a little surprised at how early it came in. But a week or so later, her next one came in also. Then a couple weeks passed and she was up to four. The next eight came in like gang busters, one right after another. She literally went from four teeth to eight in the matter of about 3 weeks. We could always tell she was getting more teeth because she became irritable, would get a snotty nose, a little more drool and softer “deposits” in her diaper. These are all natural side-effects of teething, which I didn’t know until my RN of a wife told me so. Good thing too, because I was starting to worry something else was wrong with her. And just like clockwork, just as Mommy B and I were about to hit our breaking point, out popped a tooth (or two). We’d both look at each other and feel awful for losing patience with her when all along she was just in pain from a tooth (or four) burrowing their way to the surface of her tender gums. My sweet little girl would turn into an absolute basket case for a day or two, then the pain would pass and she’d be back to normal.
Alli basically had the majority of her baby teeth completely in before her first birthday (if I recall properly). This has turned out to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, she’s been able to eat solid foods for as long as I can remember – which has been a good thing for the bottomless pit that she is. On the other hand, it’s caused Mommy B and I to forget what teething was like. After all, it’s been over a year or so since she’s gotten any new ones in. We knew the two year molars would be arriving any day, but when they didn’t come early like the rest of her teeth, we kind of forgot about them. And since Aiden hasn’t gotten any yet, it was the old “out of sight, out of mind” adage. Mr. No Teeth, meet Ms. Lots of Teeth.
So there we were, standing in the bathroom last night brushing her teeth – which Alli usually does on her own these days. She handed me her toothbrush and I decided to give them a once-over just in case she missed a spot. She opened her mouth and as I was leaning over her to give her teeth a swish, I saw the points of her bottom-right molar poking through her gums. I literally gasped, put my hand over my mouth and looked directly at Mommy B. In an instant, she knew what I had discovered. I grabbed Aiden from her and she took Alli into the bedroom for a closer look. She began feeling around in her mouth only to discover that both her top molars had already broken through and were about a quarter of the way in already. Both bottom molars are just under the surface and will be breaking the rest of the way through any day now.
Holy cow, girl! No wonder she was such a brat a couple days ago… it coincided precisely with when her top teeth were probably bursting through her gums – and we had no idea. Not to mention that she’s had a really snotty nose and a pretty productive cough lately. We just thought this was a sign of the changing weather patterns this time of year. Everyone gets a runny nose and a little cough when the weather changes, right? Yeah well not everyone has 4 molars coming in at the same time.
She’s been acting better the last couple of days, and go figure… the worst part is over now! I’m rather surprised she never mentioned anything about her mouth hurting, since she tells us about every little scrape or scratch she gets over the course of her day. She’s such a sweet girl normally, and to think that we were going to have to deal with her attitude for the next year or better (everyone says the Terrible Threes are worse!) was too much for Mommy B and I to bear. But alas, there is clarity in the wake of chaos. I should have known…