First Draft Father: A New Kind of Insanity

I heard the grinding, clicking sound come from the vicinity of Ethan. When I picked him up, there was no mistaking it. He was grinding his teeth and clicking them together—loudly.

It was like finger nails on a chalk board.

I told my wife about it, and she didn’t really get it until she heard him do it an hour later.

“What is he doing?”

Our little Ethan is nine months old now, and he is sprouting teeth like weeds. I counted about six new teeth that have broken through since his first tooth popped through a little over a week ago. Our pediatrician exclaimed, “They’re all coming in at once!”

Yes they are. And now he’s grinding them like a pro. Ethan’s motto has been “Go big or take a nap.”

And speaking of naps, the revotootion has significantly cut into everyone’s vertical time. At first Ibuprofen had no effect on him. Then it started to help him sleep through the pain.

At this point he needs Tylenol or Ibuprofen to keep his sanity and our sanity during a typical day. Otherwise he whines and clings to me like a desperate little puppy. Once we pump the medicine into his mouth and squeeze his cheeks to help it go down, we usually see him return to his happy self in a half hour.

Despite the lost sleep, we’re excited about Ethan’s new teeth. He certainly enjoys all of his neglected teethers now. In addition, we’re excited to watch him eventually figure out eating solid food like Cheerios and fruit.

He still thinks that bananas and anything else we put in his bowl are just ruining a perfectly good toy. He is almost methodical about the way he removes each piece of banana, staring at the pieces that stick to his open palm.

Life changes slowly over here. My easy days of setting Ethan up on the floor with a few toys and leaving him be while I work will soon be over. He is rolling around freely and starting to army crawl when a toy truck presents a strong enough incentive.

More teeth are on their way. Meal time is about to get a whole lot more rowdy and messy.

Sometimes it feels like life is always on this trajectory toward bigger messes. I used to live in this fantasy land where I thought that someday just over the horizon things would calm down or get easier, only to be “blind-sided” by something else unexpected.

Nowadays, I just expect to step from one mess to another, but each mess is part of something wonderful. There is joy in that mess, and each mess means a new step forward, another beautiful phase of life. A phase where Ethan will finally stop clicking and grinding his teeth.

One thought on “First Draft Father: A New Kind of Insanity

  1. Melinda Viergever Inman

    You’re right! He has only just begun to make messes—deshelving books, taking a grab into the toilet, unsheathing the toilet paper, potty training, and on and on it goes. It’s glorious! My six are all grown to adulthood now. The messes are of now of larger proportion and even more exciting!

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