More than a year ago I wrote about teething and its weird history, fairly certain that by this time – with Elsa now two and nearly four months – it would be all over.
It is not.
I have just had one of the least relaxing weeks off work in history thanks to nature’s inability to do its flaming job properly without causing abject agony to my daughter. The Saturday before the holiday was spent battling an intense teething-related fever with the combined powers of Calpol and endless Peter Rabbit on the iPlayer.
Unfortunately, there are only so many episodes of the Beatrix Potter-inspired animation available online and Elsa demands only to watch the ones that feature Mr Todd, the villainous fox. Needless to say Jill and I tagteamed cuddling the poor mite so we didn’t have to watch the same story more than five times each.
She did seem to perk up in the following days but it was short-lived. We spent the rest of the week tiptoeing around our fractious offspring whose emotions were on a hair trigger thanks to the throbbing pain in her jaw. We stayed at my brother’s flat in Manchester and, far from being able to leisurely explore the cafes and shops of the Northern Quarter, we were reduced to stealthy ninja missions to pick up necessities before the next dentally-induced meltdown developed. It was like a live action toddler version of Buckaroo.
We even drove the 40-odd miles to Blackpool so she could ride on a donkey, hoping that would produce a glimmer of joy. The five minute expedition did actually manage to bring a smile to her face, although over a celebratory coffee it became blindingly obvious the exuberance was to be short lived and we headed back to base less than an hour after having parked the car.
It’s heartbreaking watching your child suffering as much as Elsa has been and knowing that there’s only so much you can do with medication, cuddles and CBeebies shows. It’s also infuriating when people tell you that their child has a full mouth of teeth and they never noticed any of them coming through. It’s not infuriating in the way that you wish their kids ill – although if they would like to pretend that they had weeks on end of sleepless nights, that may provide some comfort – it’s just how unfair the whole system is. Why can they slip through the gums of some infants like a knife through hot butter but turn others into Damien from Omen‘s slightly more wayward sibling?
The kicker to this is that I am writing this on the last evening of my holiday and we have just had the loveliest day out as a family. Of course she is getting better as I head back to work, of course she is. You couldn’t have scripted it better.
Oh yes, I should also mention that although the pain has obviously subsided, the back teeth are still not actually through. Round two will be on its way in the near future – probably next time I book some annual leave.