By Rachel, on January 26, 2010

NOLA


As of last night, Sir has four molars coming in. This in addition to two bottom lateral incisors. This makes six teeth bursting through those tender pinks gums all at the same time.

I will indulge in the information every mother  must give at this point. Sir is horribly cranky and understandably so. I feel helpless to soothe what must be maddening pain. His sleep cycle has been thrown off. He becomes irritated with food. He becomes irritated with everything fairly quickly. He throws teething rings on the floor as if to say, “what the hell is this supposed to do for me?!”

Sir suffers and I suffer along with him.

And for a person, a very small person, that is experiencing so much upheaval, I must say, he is being most accomodating.

Which brings me to my musings on growing. Most of the day I am a domestic automaton. While my mind frets over finances and futures, my hands do not cease to move. There are diapers, breakfasts, dishes, laundries, dust, garbages, vacuums, snacks, wipes, lunches, playgrounds, pets, naps (not mine), floors, dinners, spills, stains, meltdowns (and not all are Sir’s) so on and so forth.  But at some point during the day, even if it is only for some minutes, I stop and think about this business of growing. More specifically I think about growing and how it pertains to Sir.

So often I hear people remark: “Ah, that’s the life huh?” This is usually directed at Sir. It might be that we are on our way to the store or the playground and there he is in his stroller- relaxing and taking in the air as I push him along. Well, it does seem like the life but is it? Let’s take a closer look….

Sir is 15 months old with minimal experience in this career we call “life”. Pain is new. Joy is new. The playground is new. Pasta is new.

He can speak but no one understands him. His limbs are constantly expanding. His feet are elongating daily making him tumble and stumble over every type of terrain. Everyday he wakes to find or encounter something he has never encountered before.

What if you or I were dropped off in ________ (insert name of country whose language you don’t speak. I’ll use India.) No one understands a word you say. You struggle to make sense of what tumbles from people’s mouths. The foods are strange, the tastes are strange, the smells are strange. The customs are complicated and alien. And on top of that you seem to be in the midst of one or another physical malady ALL the time!

Maybe, just maybe, Sir’s life, though not an unhappy one by any means, is not the “life” that it seems to be when he is lounging in his stroller on the way to the playground.

And these teeth…these teeth so basic to survival, these teeth that will make food a joy to experience, to rip and chew and tear through all sorts of delicious things, these teeth that facilitate speech itself, these calcium deposits that will for the rest of his life cause problems or worry; pain and trips to the dentist; self-esteem doubts regarding their whiteness or straightness; these teeth are right now plowing through soft flesh to make their presence known.

And so Sir’s life experience grows…



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