TBDL #44 – Teething sucks



The Thursday Baby Daddy Lesson for 3/25/2010

It’s fairly universally accepted that teeth are pretty darn neat things. What isn’t so neat, though, is the big bunch of nasty processes we humans are required to suffer through in order to achieve full toothiness. Is teething equally horrible for all babies, though? To find out, let’s investigate the three types of baby I’ve brainily identified for you.

Some babies, and specifically those belonging to the group I’ve scientifically classified Group A, are wonderful little critters. They’re tolerant to all kinds of crappy conditions and come highly recommended for young, first-time and otherwise ignorant parents. Given the choice, and especially in situations where brains and personality don’t occupy dominant slots on the Stuff My Kid Must Have ‘Cause I Couldn’t or Wouldn’t chart, there’s no going wrong with a Group A babe. Composed of tykes, squirts, urchins and other hoodlums too blissfully ignorant to be bothered by the scenery zipping past (eating, sleeping, falling on their heads, getting picked up by the wrong folks from that place with all the other babies, whatever), Group A truly represents the best-of-breed in terms of easy, no-fuss parenting bliss.

Then there are other babies, those Group B trend-setters who sort of phase in and out of the reality enjoyed by most adults, selectively freaking and chilling, watching and ignoring, gettin’ it and poochin’ it. In my mind–and therefore in near absolute fact–Group B babies are a pretty good representation of the human race in general, accounting for at least 80-90% of that population not already claimed by the ever-growing Group A. These fellows have much to offer, including a rich variety of challenges and worries not typically provided by the miniature denizens of the group previously discussed. In all, while Group B babes aren’t always easy to raise, they’re the ones discussed in all those parenting books you’re sure to have stashed all about the place. Literate parents, then, should have no trouble gleaning  big, meaty nuggets of truth from the roughly 200 million baby daddy books in print.

Finally come the wonderfully terrible remainders of the bunch, those little ones who wear the mark of the Group C stamp and notice everything of the world around them with super-human sensitivity. Much can be said of this group, but lots and lots of time can be saved through a little simplification: as parents dealing with C-bebes, you can’t get away with any crap. It’s a good thing these babies are in the absolute minority because, while they tend to grow up marvelously gifted in some way, not a ding-dang thing on the road to adolescence is easy (and we shan’t even discuss the hurdles that can appear at that stage).  Group C can yield marvelous rewards, but should you find yourself with a little one belonging to that class you will be paying for those rewards on the front end.

Hang on.

Perhaps I should have mentioned earlier that today’s lesson isn’t actually for Group A baby daddies. Sorry about that… teething won’t be an issue for you. Perhaps you’ll accept a toast of apology in honor of your children? Here’s to them, those blessed little fellows, those happy-go-lucky little bags of sunshine and goodness who don’t notice when Bad Things fall from the sky and squish all those about: God love ya, and good luck with everything, hear? Those giant spikes drilling bloody tunnels through your faces? Yeah, don’t you worry a thing about that.

And, really, I don’t have anything for you Group B baby daddies either. Teething will sort of suck for your little clan, but advice for you is best gotten from the mainsteam-just-give-‘im-some-Tylenol-and-every-little-thing-will-be-peaches forums. Because, honestly, other than a few sleepless nights here and there, everything will be peaches.

This, my three friends, is a lesson about Group C babies who, when they are first children, are typically also known as only children. It’s also a very short lesson, and one that didn’t really need all the lead-in I supplied. Again, my bad, but here it is: nice Group C babies become something else entirely whenever new teeth are screwing themselves in. It’s horrible and terrible, and it’ll last for freaking months and months and months. Just remember the little fellows don’t mean to be bastards (unless they actually are… in which case it still wouldn’t be their fault) and that however bad it is for you it’s absolute hell for them. An interesting characteristic of Group C babies is that no two are really all-so-much alike, so you’re pretty much on your own figuring out what to do. Figure it out and do what it takes, though, because if your child isn’t in foster care by the time his teeth are all in, you two are going to have one hell of a good relationship. Well, if you get through potty-training too, that is…

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