The Little Lady woke up Monday morning with a snotty nose (which she has thoroughly enjoyed playing with all week), diaper rash, and a cranky personality. That trifecta could only mean one thing: a new tooth was about to make an appearance.
I understand, Biblically, why child-bearing is supposed to be difficult and painful for women, but I’ve missed the passage that explains why mamas also get the raw end of the deal when it comes to teething.
From the diapers, drool, snot, screaming, whining, temper tantrums, and the constant need to be held, the Little Lady has made sure that everyone in our house suffers as much as she does. Even the simplest activities have turned into dramatic, Oscar-worthy performances.
Ever hour this week, I managed to upset her in one way or another. Sometimes her temper flared because I dared to insinuate a diaper change was necessary. The next time she cried it might be because I gave her the wrong sippy cup. Heaven forbid I try to change her clothes! Needless to say, the constant sound of hurt feelings became very wearing on my own emotional state!
There was, however, one moment where all seemed right with the world. Thursday, after a morning spent online researching “How To Become A Crafty Mama,” I decided to purchase various art supplies and make play-doh for the Little Lady. Part of my intention, with the distracting array of glue sticks, markers and clay, was to postpone one or two chaotic meltdowns.
It didn’t work.
Without fail, each item — when handed to the Little Lady — went right into her mouth. My attempts to stop the ingestion of possibly toxic substances were a direct assault on the Little Lady’s sensibilities. No amount of calm, logical reasoning seemed to make things better for my one year old diva.
I didn’t know what to do. I was getting frustrated and angry at my incompetence and inability to distract my daughter from her teething pain. Finally, at a complete loss, I grabbed her and headed to the kitchen. I sat her little body on the floor and then proceeded to clean. There was nothing else I could do and, I’m ashamed to admit, my “mommy patience” had worn thin.
Tick tock . . .tick tock. . . tick tock.
A few moments had passed before I realized the room was silent.
Not a sniffle. Not a snort. Not a sob.
It was completely quiet.
Looking down, I found my Little Lady in the same sunny spot where, in frustration, I had left her. The tears had ceased but not because of anything I had done. The sunlight streaming through the kitchen window had completely captured her attention.
I watched as she raised her little hands above her head, watching the sun bounce off her fingers. She laughed as the invisible warmth, softer and lighter than any soothing blanket I had tried, covered her. She lifted her head to smile at this new friend, pausing long enough to smile at me too.
Life was beautiful again.