Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Benjamin's First Tooth!

These past few weeks, Benjamin has shoved anything within his grasp into his mouth. His selection of teething items seems arbitrary - toys, designer handbags, handrails in public elevators, and even a stranger's shirt sleeve haven't been safe from his gums. He's especially fond of chewing on my fingers. At his four-month checkup, the pediatrician assured me he wasn't teething, but my mother had a different opinion. "He's definitely teething," she proclaimed. "Doctors think they know everything even when they don't have kids of their own, and don't they realize that mothers - not doctors - know best, and..." I tuned the rest out.

So we were at my inlaws' a week ago today when Benjamin started fussing. My knee jerk reaction was to plug his mouth with my finger when-- Holy Moly, what the $#%@ was that?! I felt something sharp sink into my knuckle. A tooth! I tell ya, I've never been so happy to be bitten. Well, I have, but I can't talk about that, because this is a family-oriented blog, hear?

I tried to take a picture of Benjamin's first teeth for you, but everytime I got close to his mouth with the camera, he tried to eat it.

After the appearance of those two tooth nubbins (on the bottom in the center, in case you're wondering), we bought Benjamin some special teething rings. Of course, he didn't enjoy chewing on those as much as he enjoyed chewing on other, non-teething items, so they were added to a growing list I'll refer to as the "Things We Bought for Benjamin Which Benjamin Isn't Interested In" List. Other items on the list include a mobile, stuffed animals, a fancy bassinet, and his crib.

Speaking of which, Vince and I are determined that the crib won't remain on the T.W.B.F.B.W.B.I.I.I. List. On the urging of Benjamin's pediatrician, we're going to attempt to sleep train him. Don't get me wrong - I have enjoyed every moment snuggling up with my beautiful baby. I do realize, however, that if we don't make the switch now, we may not be able to until Benjamin is ready to, which could be years down the road. As such, I've been educating myself on the different sleep-training methods out there and have found that they run the gamut. Some experts insist that letting a baby cry is tantamount to child abuse and will result in the creation of a future serial killer. On the other end of the spectrum are the experts who believe that kids are hardy creatures, and letting them cry to the point of vomiting is perfectly acceptable. Vince and I were hoping to find a happy middle road.

So I was sitting at our dining room table performing my due diligence when Benjamin reached for my stack of sleep-training books. I figured he was just searching for something on which to soothe his sore gums, but then he began to rummage through the pile. First he chucked the most moderate of the three books. Next, he separated the remaining two books, both of which espouse a more rigid approach to sleep-training. One of the books in particular goes so far as to say that childhood sleep problems are linked to psychiatric issues later in life. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled to have yet another thing to obsess over as a new mom. Well, wouldn't you know, Benjamin chose that book as his chew toy! I watched in shock as he attempted to eat it like corn on the cob.

After a minute, he decided that the book wasn't to his liking either, and it was summarily discarded. I guess that maybe his choice of teethers isn't as arbitrary as I had thought!

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