All I Want for Labor Day is My Two Front Teeth

Who knew that a 3 1/2 month old could already be teething? I was fully prepared to face this parenting challenge when Alex is 5 or 6 months old. But my son, living up to the over-achieving nature of his parents and extended family, has begun teething at 3 1/2 months old.

He has the cutest little teeth buds in the center of his lower jaw. I'm amazed how quickly things happen. I'm sure the buds have been growing for some time, but overnight they seemed to pop up in Alex's little mouth. Step One in the dreaded teething process is the discovery that chewing makes the little mouth feel better. Suddenly, everything he can get his hands on (including his hands) goes into the mouth. Shirts and overalls are made for sucking on and stuffed dogs are great chew toys. And the drooling has begun. I have to admit, I was never a big fan of drool. In fact it was the one thing that really repulsed me about other people's kids (and the smell of warm apple juice when parents give their kids juice in a bottle -- that makes me feel pretty nauseous, but that's another story.)

All of my worst fears have come true. My child is now one of those gross little droolers. It doesn't seem to bother me when he drools. I guess when your own child does something, it's cute or at least bearable, not repulsive. But, boy is it a mess. This morning I was reading that it can take up to four months for a tooth to cut through after a bud appears. And it can take 3-4 years until all of the teeth have come in. So get out the buckets. We could be collecting drool for the next four years.

Meanwhile, he continues to be one of the happiest babies on the face of the earth. At least teething hasn't made him grumpy - yet, anyway. We've had some disturbed sleep patterns. But aside from waking up 3-4 times a night instead of 1-2, teething (as with most everything else so far - my god, we're lucky) has been a breeze. Let's hope it stays that way.

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