The baby is cutting his first tooth. To be more exact, the baby is cutting everything he can get into his mouth with his first tooth. It’s funny how popular culture phrases it as though something destructive is happening to the tooth itself when, in fact, it is the tooth that is tearing up the world as we know it.
I’ll concede that the sensation of that first little nub coming in may be inspiring the baby to bite down on things for pain relief. It would be helpful to know how much trouble this developing tooth is causing him, but we are largely in the dark. The baby can’t tell us because he doesn’t speak English, although I could swear I’ve heard him sigh, “Oh, yeah!” a couple of times, right after he’s belted a grand slam into the upper deck of his diaper.
If teething is indeed causing him pain, he is doing a good job of sharing the joy. That little diamond-tipped blade he has poking out of his lower gum is hell on naked flesh. The fact that it lies hidden behind a baby-soft pair of lips makes it doubly dangerous.
This young man has always enjoyed rolling a parent’s fingers between his gums, but the advent of the tooth has turned him into an adorable little piranha. It’s as if the tooth has taken charge of him, commanding him to snap at any fleshy target in its insatiable lust for blood.
Fingers should always tread lightly around a teething baby’s mouth, but this boy bites shoulders now. Of course, it’s not his fault; it’s that demon tooth that rules him. That sociopathic shard of enamel smiles at you from within that happy little mouth, lulling you, endearing itself to you through your gullible weakness for developmental milestones. It sucks you in, toys with you, until you are so deceived that you actually feel betrayed when the shark bites.
From my recollections of the first child’s teething time, it seems that there is an unspoken understanding between baby’s teeth and mother when it comes to breastfeeding. Smart babies know not to bite the boob that feeds them. That’s one spigot that no youngster should do anything to turn off at such a tender age. It could lead to the gnashing of teeth, as soon as he gets another tooth to gnash against the first one.
Meanwhile, the baby is always looking for something or someone to try his new tooth on. I feel like I should be pushing raw steak at him with a long stick. Does anybody know where I can get a pair of rawhide gloves and shoulder pads?