By: Amber Clouthier
All too often as a new parent I find that I get caught up in a web of negativity. Why ISN’T my son sleeping through the night? Why WON’T he eat this unappetizing but apparently nutritious baby food? Why CAN’T my ten month old conjugate Latin verbs with his right hand while composing Elizabethan sonnets in perfect iambic pentameter with his left yet?
This year, in an attempt to improve myself and the world around me I set some goals. The hardest one to date has been: Stop complaining and find the good in everything. Sounds noble doesn’t it? I thought so too. It turns out though that some things just suck. Take mastitis for example. It feels like having the worst flu ever while being repeatedly crushed by one of those acme anvils. And while my little guy has never been much for spitting up, I fail to see how it’s good while it’s in my hair and down my shirt.
My son did however, decided to hit me again recently with another bout of teething and while I know it’s rough on our little ones, I have done my best to find some good in the parenting side of it.
So here you have it: the top 5 benefits of teething.
- The Return of Sleep Deprivation: If your little one is anything like mine (because all babies are alike right?) they will have just settled into a nice sleep routine when the teething monster hits. Suddenly you’re waking up every two hours again, just like you were when they were a newborn. Let the feeling of nostalgia wash over you as you reminisce about how small and helpless they were. Feels good, right?
- Drool: Ah, nature’s way of helping with those troublesome stains. Everyone knows that a good pre-soak always helps. As an added bonus, if your child is a super salivator like mine, it will also assist with mopping beneath their high chair
- Added Flavouring: A few weeks before he started teething my son became obsessed with sticking his hands in my mouth. Now that he’s teething, he is also spending a lot of time chewing on his own fingers. Not only do I get the added flavour of whatever he was eating but now that he’s getting the occasional dose of pain reliever I get to experience that wonderful fake grape or banana of my childhood all over again. Delicious.
- Biting: My son will bite whatever he can get into his mouth lately. Thankfully his toys take the brunt of this but mommy is often an easy target, especially while nursing. While I was pretty sure (about 500%) I didn’t want any body piercings this more than solidified it. If you’ve got questions, your little one can help you find answers.
- Teeth: Of course the best benefit of teething is the cute factor. Those little pearly whites make their smiles even cuter as far as I’m concerned. They also help your baby to chew their food (minor detail…) and as an added bonus they can now help defend themselves against nosey check-out line neighbours; not that you want to encourage that behaviour. So next time you find yourself despairing about the millionth diaper that day or fretting that they will never come to appreciate Mozart when you yourself would rather listen to 70’s disco, try to find the bright side. After all, they could be teenagers.
Amber Clouthier is a new mom to a boy born in December 2012. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband who is a self proclaimed geek and she knows more about Dungeons and Dragons than she would like to admit. In her spare moments she used to love to bake, read and take long baths. Now she is happy to get a five minute shower and take a nap. Please don’t take her too seriously because she sure doesn’t.