This tooth shall pass

It was about 3 a.m. the other night when I came up with the perfect birth control method: We’ll round up any couple out there thinking about engaging in unsafe sex and we’ll make them take care of my teething, screaming baby for 10 minutes. Not only will this prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies, it may even end world overpopulation as we know it. The eventual extinction of the human race shouldn’t be ruled out either.

Such is the power of a teething baby. You wouldn’t think a 14-month-old could scare the hell out of you, but she can. Remember that demonic-possessed little girl from “The Exorcist?” She used to frighten me and haunt my dreams. Now I live with her.

Teething is the emergence of a baby’s first set of teeth through their gums. Although painful, all human beings have to go through it in order to produce healthy and white straight molars. The only alternative is to apply for U.K. citizenship.

This teething process usually begins around six months of age and continues all the way up until either age three, or until the parents check themselves into rehab, whichever comes first.

I however, am not going to rehab. I’m too tired, which is unfortunate, because solid, restorative sleep is a necessity for productive, hard-working members of society. And me too, for that matter.

The sleepless nights have gotten to the point where I’m beyond the help of mere cups of coffee. Instead, each morning I just dump out coffee grounds on a flat mirror, cut them into lines and snort them. It’s sort of like doing cocaine, only it’s Starbucks, so it’s more expensive.

Although the screaming is stressful, there are many other symptoms associated with teething, including fussiness, irritability, drooling, and biting. But enough about the parents, the baby will also show symptoms.

He or she may have a high temperature. The Web site babycenter.com says that while a fever may be normal, you should be concerned when the baby has “a rectal temperature of 101 degrees F or higher.” This leads us to:

STEVE’S PARENTING TIP OF THE DAY BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:  Make sure you keep your baby’s rectal thermometer far away from the regular adult oral thermometers. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Back to the screaming, because I want to apologize to anyone who happened to be within a 10-block radius of us last Thursday night. Marie tried comforting the baby, but she just kept screaming for hours, (The baby that is. Marie quit screaming after a half-hour). For my part, I did what any supportive husband and loving father would do. I grabbed a bottle of vodka and left to go get a hotel room while instructing Marie to call me when the baby finally shut up.

Or at least, that’s what I wanted to do. In reality I sat there in bed, listening to screaming all night while silently praying that a soundproof pillow would miraculously fall from the sky. Or the roof could collapse on me too, bringing with it the sweet release of death. I wasn’t picky.

In fact, I’ll tell you what the screaming sounds like, just in case you’re interested — which you’re not — but I’m tired so I don’t care. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a small room with 75 pregnant possums all simultaneously going through a painful labor. Repeat this scenario for the next four nights.

That, my friends, is life at my house right now. An overreaction? Maybe. A buddy of mine — who happens to have three kids — reminds me that my daughter has to go through this painful experience, otherwise she’ll never have any teeth.  I’m perfectly fine with that scenario. Sure, she’d be subject to a lifetime diet consisting of nothing but soup and Jell-O, but at least I’d get some sleep. Plus we’d save a ton on dental bills.

In the end I know this stage will pass. Hopefully soon.  Because I have her application for U.K. citizenship sitting here, just ready to be mailed.

E-mail Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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