Monday, July 26, 2010

On the cusp-id of losing our damn minds

Want to see what four hours of sleep can do to a blogger?

Read on, my friends. Read on.

Em has been a bit of a...pill lately. Thought it was just an early preview of the Terrible Twos, which I hear are the prequel to the Theatrical Threes. Then she started gnawing on her fingers, pressing her little toddler palms to her cheeks with a look in her eye that said, "Mom, there's this pain and it's no fun. No fun at all."

Brent and I have always been proud of Em's taste buds and her willingness to gobble up everything within her reach. We boasted to friends and family that Em was a hearty eater and that we lucked out with our gal who didn't show any signs of being picky. Not long ago she started refusing all foods, including her ol' standbys -- yogurt, string cheese and apple sauce. Gah!

I assumed this was all due to it her molars coming in, the dreaded toddler phase loathed amongst the parenting info I've read. Upon closer inspection, though, I realized that she has her first set of the two sets of molars, and the second pair isn't slated to come in for a few more months.

Our little gal is not herself because of her canine/cuspid teeth. They've already busted through the top, and they're about to make an appearance on the bottom.

Em's never been one of those angelic teethers who aren't bothered by the protrusions and just wake up one day with pearly white surprises for their parents. She gets extra droolie and a little cranky, but it's generally not anything that can't be soothed with the usual remedies -- motrin (generic), teething tablets, Oragel, bribes. (Just seeing if you're paying attention.) Even on her crankiest days, Brent and I would at least have some respite after she was down for the night.

This time, though, it's a whole different ball of wax...or spears of calcium. She's the most unhappy we've ever seen her. She's a 29-lb. bipolar monster, if I may be so blunt. She can be in a fit of happy giggles one moment and then turn into a screaming banshee the next. That's not to say that she's never been a typical testy kid -- I've always thought she had a somewhat short fuse, although she can be quite the loving, endearing kid I'm always showcasing here. Lately, though, there's no fuse to be seen. It's one easily-activated button, and we never know we're pushing it until it's too late.

Brent works late sometimes, but generally only by an hour or so. I'm always eager to have him home to help me with our nighttime routine, particularly on days when Em has been home with me. I love my gal dearly, but she can be a tiring handful, like all toddlers. On Saturday I left Brent and Em home for a few hours. I came back to find Brent literally curled in a ball on the floor, muttering something about how Em had spent the majority of the time yelling at him. He suddenly understood the urgency in my recent calls to his office at 6 p.m. "When are you coming hooommmmee???" aka, "I'm standing atop our kitchen counter because Em is yelling unintelligible demands at me, and I don't think that's a play knife in her hand."

This morning Em awoke with blood curdling screams, shouting, "Up! Up! UUUUPPPP!" Oh, and this was at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. Here I was, thinking we'd seen the last of that hour until our eventual next newborn. No, I'm not pregnant, and as a matter of fact, I'm going to read this post the next time I get a twinge of baby fever.

I was unable to get her to go back to sleep, and eventually I figured out that the only way to calm her down was with some TV (bad mommy alert, bad mommy alert! Even more bad mommy? I put it on reruns of Full House. Have mercy!) I deciphered a demand for yogurt somewhere amongst her screams, and much like anything she seems willing to eat these days, I'm ecstatic to provide it if it means nourishment.

I'll spare you the details between then and now, including Em's sudden desire to dance and jump, and the part where I told Brent that I'm understandably snippy because I've had FOUR HOURS OF SLEEP. (For the record, he did get up, but I put him back to bed because there really was no need for two sleep-deprived parents.)

This morning's adventures end with this, two minutes into our seven-minute drive to daycare:


I sent the photo to Brent, who replied with an emphatic, "NO, NO, NO! She CANNOT become NOCTURNAL!"

So, this is my cautionary tale to you new parents and parents-to-be: canine teeth are the DEVIL. I don't want to hear about kiddos who are the exceptions to what has become the rule in our household unless you want to hear the sound of me throwing my laptop at your face. Em's cutting teeth and I'm this close to cuttin' a bitch.

(I will, however, consider suggestions for other remedies. I have an all-spice teething necklace that I'm hoping to get Em to wear. I'm also looking at some amber teething necklaces.)

Tired and testy in Santa Monica

"N'eggs are negative statements that sound like compliments to throw women off their game. Like, 'Most people can't pull off large teeth, but on you they work.'" - Howard Wolowitz


  1. We are going through the 2 year molars right now. I was up at 3:30am with a kid who wouldn't go back to sleep. I feel your pain. I was just about to make an appt to get the good ole Mirena removed and have decided no way, not right now can I deal with another child :)

  2. Oh dear. :/

    :: making a mental note to NOT send this to my two bffs that are pregnant::

  3. oh my lady, i'm sorry :( poor little em! (and parents!)
    scarlett is 8 months and not a pearly white in sight, I have a feeling this post is a precursor for me... eeeeek!

  4. Oh man, I am so sorry. I can't even imagine. But on a positive note...this was freaking hilarious. Things will start getting better soon(ish)! Says the girl with no kids...

    If I lived in LA, I'd offer to babysit. :)

  5. Thanks for keeping it real. It's good to know that raising a kid is just as hard as they say it is. :)

  6. Ugh, I am so sorry! Maya's not teething right now but she was up all night with a wicked cough. Mark had to be on that one, because I was with the other one. We are TWO tired parents today. Hope little Em gives her mama a break tonight.

  7. Jesus. Em may be The Most Adorable Kid Ever[TM], but I'm pretty sure this entry just scarred me for life. I immediately e-mailed my sister and was like, SAY IT ISN'T SO. She laughed at your entry (sorry!) and was like, "Welll, there are rewards after all is said and done."

  8. She's a 29 Pound BiMOLAR monster!

    Wait until she loses these teeth and you have to wake up in the middle of the night to slip her A Twenty.


  9. Oye - we are dealing with the exact same thing re: Benny's canine teeth. He woke up yesterday from an epic nap and screamed for an hour. He wanted to be held, not held, up, down, juice/no-juice!, etc. At one point I was perched on the coffee table w/him on my lap, both hands behind my back b/c he didn't want to be touched, and trying to breathe w/o him noticing. It was a delicate balance - and one that didn't last long before MOAR SCREAMING!

    Little stinkers. :-)

  10. Oh you poor things. Hope it passes soon. So not looking forward to this stage. T's top front teeth are cutting and he's been biting anything within range. You think he's going in for a nice little cuddle and them wham-o, he bites you on the shoulder. He bit Steve's nipple as they were showering one night, which was none too pleasant.

  11. I have one hell of a teether already and she is only 11 months...Lord help me! I will say that whether it is psycological or what, the amber teething necklace does seem to calm Zara down a bit on the super cranky days. Also, I tried the cloves on the gums and while they TOTALLY work, they are also spicy! I will send you NO PAIN vibes well as SLEEP vibes. I so, so feel your pain! Hang in there! :)

  12. Hear that ovaries? TEETHING! CRYING!

    But she still is pretty cute all passed out.

    You poor dear, so tired.

  13. What was with last night and the sleep strike? Wyatt too! He only let me sleep from 12:30 until 5:00. He doesn't have problems teething at least- he just wanted to be awake and have fun. We were very fortunate that Rex never had any problems with teething, maybe a cranky day here and there but that was it. Even with molars and everything. Poor Em- I hope she feels better soon!

  14. Oy! I just flashed back to that time in our lives with Addison. We were beyond sleep deprived!

    Hang in there, Mama! It will soon be over...I know that doesn't seem possible, but just wait...the 2 year old thing makes teething seem like a walk in the park! UGH

  15. Sorry to hear, Nanners . . . but you have to admit, 10 years from now this will be funny. Right? Right? Perhaps you can slip her a $20 next time she gets cranky? Wait, you mean that doesn't work with kids?

  16. OMG, I actually teared up reading this because it brought back Vietnam-esque flashbacks of me walking the floor with the princess during teething time. I hope Em's teeth push through quickly and you and Brent get some much needed respite!

    PS- The Terrible Twos are indeed followed by the Theatrical Threes. I'm on the tail end of the Sassy and Smartmouth Sixes and really hoping that the next phase is the Silent and Uber Obedient Sevens!

  17. yikes.

    since the bean is a year ahead of em, i wonder if she's already passed this stage and we just got super lucky. hmm.

    if it makes you feel any better, i am the epitome of bad mom. i am doing online traffic school and using toy story on DVD to keep my toddler entertained...on loop.

  18. I think a "29 pound bipolar monster" about covers our last year. Fun times.

  19. You poor baby! And your poor baby!! I'm so sorry, Nanette. If I was in CA, I'd come over and relieve your duties for a while. I don't think I've ever read you so frustrated.

    Just remember: this is awful, but this too shall pass. hugs to you.