Sunday, April 6, 2008

Just wait

My son got his first tooth! Unfortunately I can only see it for a microsecond because instead of letting me hold his tongue to the side he tries to lick my finger. From what I can see it's the size of half a match head. If that.

If I hadn’t been feeding him mushed banana with my finger I wouldn’t have even known he had it. Which is quite a pleasant surprise. People swore that teething was one of the most miserable experiences known to man. Our friends snickered and said knowingly, “Just wait.” There may as well have been thunderbolts and pelting rain in the background for dramatic effect.

The longer I am a parent, the more see that other parents, while feigning concern and a commitment to the exchange of helpful information, really get off trying to scare the bejesus out of you. First there were the breastfeeding horror stories. Then the labor horror stories. Now this: teething, which was supposed to rival passing a forty-pound kidney stone in terms of enjoyment.

I suppose if I had had a bad teething experience I would want to forewarn unsuspecting parents, much in the same way I recently told an expectant mother that labor made me understand how excruciating bodily pain can make you long for death.

But still. Does every parenting experience have to be hyped in such a dire manner? Is it because the nature of parenting is, itself, so intense?

I’ve already been forewarned about the next ghoulish milestone, crawling. But I have a great solution for Junior’s curious, wandering hands and feet: a nice cardboard box in which he can play and a lovely Rioja for dear old mom.

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