Survival of the fittest

My long holiday weekend had a lot of ups and downs. There were definitely awesome points: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in pjs as a family, having Thanksgiving dinner with good friends (who also happen to be great cooks!), the town tree-lighting, actually cleaning out some of the junk-traps that every home hosts (surprisingly therapeutic), hosting neighbors for pot-pie and commiseration on Sunday night.

Thane LOVED our friend's wagon.     Sadly, Adam hated it.
Thane LOVED our friend's wagon. Sadly, Adam hated it.

But oh. It was not restful. And the cause of my unrest and stress has a five digit name. Thane.

Good thing he has glorious curls.

But this phase is killing me. I think I’ve already complained about it once. But hey, my blog. I get to whine. I’ve taken him to the doctor twice in two weeks because anyone this whiny MUST have like a double ear infection, right? Twice in two weeks he’s been sent home. Patient, long-suffering abuela actually told me the other day that he “had a tough day” and that she was very glad she only had two kids that day because Thane was taking 100% of her attention. This is the woman who took care of about 12 kids through knee replacement surgery, gallbladder attacks and breast cancer with not a word of complaint. And my one year old actually got her to admit weariness. (This is entirely one-sided. Thane has lately taken to trying to shut the door in my face as I say goodbye at daycare. Today he was flinging himself from my arms in an attempt to get to abuela faster. Thanks, kid!)

Some days he just screamed and screamed and screamed. You’d pick him up. He’d scream and writhe. You put him down. His face turns blue with the world’s longest build up to ear-splitting shrieks. He’s momentarily distracted by a toy and you move (you know, get milk from the ‘fridge, open a door, anything). SHRIEK!!!!!!

Thane, screaming.
Thane, screaming.

I have little idea what’s wrong. I know two things. First, it gets better when he has Tylenol. This points to pain. And certainly he had a new tooth poke through this weekend. I have a hunch there are another one or two coming, as well. Now, my pediatrician claims that teething doesn’t hurt. I, for one, am going with anecdotal data on this one, thanks.

Second, he’s eating an amazing amount. For breakfast yesterday, my turkey-sized son (seriously) ate:
-1 cup Cheerios
-1 packet instant oatmeal
-1 cup applesauce
-1 cup yogurt mixed with one cup applesauce
-1 sippy cup milk (~1 cup)

He stopped eating because it was time to go to church, not because he slowed down in any way. He definitely seemed more cheerful after that.

Want some pizza, mom? I'm full after the donut you gave me.
Want some pizza, mom? I'm full after the donut you gave me.

So we have teething and starving.

The starving is actually harder than you think, because it’s REALLY HARD to feed a one year old. They throw food, even when they’re hungry and even when they like it. A distracting texture (hello clementines!) must be thoroughly experimented with. Does it go splat on the ground? Does it make daddy’s eyebrows turn red? How does it feel when I rub it in my eyes? This distracts the child from EATING the FOOD you are giving him even though he is STARVING TO DEATH!

Also, Thane believes it is his God-given right to have the spoon and that your facist ideas about which end goes in the mouth are impinging on his civil liberties.

So actually, knowing he might be hungry is less helpful than you might think.

There was this moment Saturday when Adam and I were looking at each other thinking…. just another day and a half. We just have to make it a day and a half…. This is not a typical reaction to a four day weekend.

I think the golden curls may be an evolutionary tactic. I’m trying to figure out how the recreational screaming was selected for. Maybe it scared off or annoyed to death predators? Oh well. We survived. He survived. And hey! Christmas time! Let’s see how much fun we’re going to have keeping him from eating the tree!

What are you talking about mom? I'm perfect!
What are you talking about mom? I'm perfect!

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

5 thoughts on “Survival of the fittest”

  1. Teething doesn’t hurt? I distinctly remember getting my wisdom teeth when I was in college. It hurt! I took tylenol every 4 hours, I had headaches every day, and I could only eat on one side of my mouth. If I could have gotten away with a teething ring and some screaming, I would have.


    1. Yeah, I’m skeptical on his claim too. I think he mumbled something about scientific evidence. I’m usually all about scientific evidence, but this time I’m going with centuries of wisdom.


    2. Oh, yes, getting in wisdom teeth really hurt. Except I remember us getting wisdom teeth in high school. It sucked.
      But not as much as ear infections. If kids get ear infections and they scream constantly, they have good reason. I’ve had ear infections as an adult, and they are hellishly painful. The last ones I had rivalled my worst menstrual cramps.


  2. Growing pains. When your kid eats that much, it’s because he’s fantastically hungry, and he’s fantastically hungry because hormones are routing that carbon and micronutrients to building new tissue instead of the pooper.

    Not so bad with Kasper, but Thomas gets them fiercely sometimes — and he’s usually an inch taller after such a spurt. Heather Dinsmore says that her kids went through spurts that were punctuated with lots of eating, spiking a fever, throwing up, and then suddenly they’re in a new clothing size (or two). Kasper typically has a spat where he’s not interested in food, then he eats like it’s going out of style, he grows, and then he sleeps great for 2 nights or so. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    As far as teething goes… I’m sure it varies and depends on what they’ve been putting in their mouth and how hard they have biting to make the teeth break through. The gum tissue will slowly separate on its own painlessly, but if he’s gnawing on lag bolts to cut teeth faster, then it’s going to hurt a bit.


  3. Yeah, I’m gonna go with anecdotal evidence on the teething pain as well. Otherwise, why would teething babies and toddlers be so fussy?

    I’m also with the above commenter on the growing thing. My kids both have what we call “eating days” when they will eat anything and everything that is not nailed down, and then gnaw on the things that are, while wailing piteously about how HUUUUNGRYYYYY they are, and why can’t we EVER feeeeeeeed them? I have watched my three year old eat an entire turkey leg by herself, and then ask for another one. And the eight year old? This is a kid who will have six lambchops, a cup of broccoli and a large helping of rice for dinner at her friend’s house and then come home and eat dinner again with us half an hour later, and then have dessert and at bedtime an hour later complain that she’s soooooo hungry. And still, she’s only 59 lbs, so it’s clearly not giving her a winter layer.


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