A Tale of Two Teethers

Both Ben and Anthony are teething. Ben is getting his two-year molars. I’m not sure what Anthony is working on exactly but he’s biting me and anything else he can get in his mouth. The past few nights it has become our routine to dose them with ibuprofen at bedtime. Even the long-lasting stuff seems to wear off after about six hours so we have early wake-ups and re-dosing in the middle of the night; but at least with the painkillers they will go to sleep in the first place.

Well, last night’s bedtime was a bit crazy. Poor Anthony chomped down and bit me while nursing to sleep. When I protested he clamped down more. Harder than I think I’ve been bitten before. I was afraid he’d drawn blood. The fussy baby actually forestalled part of Ben’s bedtime temper tantrum. Ben got tired of trying to compete for attention and went to sleep. However, he made up for it in the middle of the night.

The first wake up was shortly after midnight. Both Ben and Sophie were fussing. Who knows which of them woke the other. Sophie allowed herself to be tucked right back in. I had to remove Ben to the living room for a much longer struggle. It took quite some time before he’d agree to take more medicine. But finally once he’d done so he snuggled in my arms and drifted off to sleep. I drifted for a while too and then slid out from under him, leaving him on the futon.

In the past this has worked beautifully and he’s stayed there the rest of the night. Ben actually likes sleeping in the living room. Maybe it was the rain that disturbed his sleep last night; but he woke up again sometime later and when I came to the sound of his fussing he asked me to carry his blankies back to his room for him. I tucked him back in and went back to bed.

Then at 4 am I heard more crying. Ben was standing outside my door complaining that we hadn’t brushed his teeth or got him a sippy cup of ice water last night. I know better than to try to argue with a two year-old so I took him into the bathroom to brush his teeth while trying to hush him so he wouldn’t wake up Anthony. I grabbed either Sophie or Bella’s toothbrush and he screamed again because it was the wrong one. It was dark but I guess he could tell it was the wrong shape from the way it felt in his mouth. He doesn’t miss much. After I’d made a couple of perfunctory passes with the correct brush and he’d “rinsed” his mouth, we went to the kitchen where I got him a cup of ice water. Then back to bed where he meekly let me tuck him in. I don’t think he actually took a sip of the ice water. It was just a part of the ritual. I know two-year olds are very wedded to routine and each of the girls did go through similar phases but I think Ben is more particular than either of them were. Though this is not the first time we’ve had to complete the routine in the middle of the night, I think, it’s definitely a first for midnight teeth brushing.

Meanwhile Anthony did sleep till right before I was headed back to bed after Ben’s first wakeup. I went ahead and smeared orajel on his gums and dosed him with ibuprofen again. But then he fussed and fretted and was up and down the rest of the night. Though at least he was taking pains to nurse gently most of the time.

I might have hoped that they would sleep in but Ben and Sophie were up by 6:20 and Anthony by 7:30. Oh well.

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