Yesterday, Miss Lily had her 4 month check-up. And, she had been very fussy. I had felt the sharp edge of a budding tooth last week. So, I was pretty sure she was having some discomfort from teething.
Enter the nurses . . . giggling at my girl; making sweet faces; talking in excited voices - all in vain. Miss Lily was in no mood for socialization. She was interested in one of three things: chewing on her fists, chewing on her mom, or closing her eyes tightly and screaming repeatedly. The doctor enters - sweetly cuddles Miss Lily (while being harshly chided in babyscream) - and begins the examination.
Here's where it gets interesting . . . . we open her tiny mouth. And we began to count. There were five teeth. Two front top teeth, two big bottom molars, and one bottom side tooth. There were also four bottom front teeth visible, but way beneath the gum surface. Seriously!?
Back when Lily was eight weeks old, my older sister (registered nurse and mother of three) told me she thought my kid was teething. I quickly told my sister (as if she were just hatched) that all the books say teething would begin around six months. The next week, my mom was over (mother of five), and said that she also suspected some teeth to come soon. A couple of weeks later, I mentioned the issue to some other mothers and they actually laughed at me; one mother even rolled her eyes - as if I were bragging. So - Adam & I decided to keep a bib on our girl, to catch the prevailing drool - and to keep relatively quiet about the issue. Neither of us are interested in making Miss Lily our "show pony." I certainly had no intention to brag about the alleged teeth.
Nevertheless, Grandma & Aunt Jen were correct. And there are now five giant teeth in her little bitty mouth. She isn't even sitting up without assistance yet and she's got a mouthful of pain. I may have mistaken teething pains for whining and fussiness for weeks now. How humbling.
I do hope to learn a lesson from the experience. I guess, mostly, I should always remember that every baby is different, every grown-up is different, every parent is different and every situation is different. I'm often full of assumptions and prejudices that rule my words. And many times, I have been the eye rolling mother. Maybe not in the same setting - or even in the same manner. But I've definitely discounted the thoughts and/or concerns of others for the social benefit of myself. Not once, but many times over the past three decades. And if there are ever words I would like to take back - they are the words that I've spoken in that closed-minded, self-righteous, eye rolling spirit. More and more, I'm learning to "set a guard over my lips." But it seems I have to re-learn this particular virtue quite often.
And without further introspective blather - here is the official family update :)
- Lily is teething and "talking" to her feet a lot, Adam is somehow even more handsome (and doing an absolute stellar job as new daddy), and I am working on the weekends and one evening a week (still as an artist for the same company), I'm also loving this season of marriage and new beginning with our Lily. We are all very thankful for God's everpresent grace in our lives.