Should I continue this letter?
When you someday have a baby of your own, I pray that teeth may never enter her mouth. Sure, it might mean forgoing a few luxuries along the way (and I fear my future granddaughter may never be asked to prom, but then again, is that such a bad thing? Pro tip: Prom is overrated.) and she’ll likely never earn the opportunity to eat corn on the cob at a gingham-covered picnic table, but I think we can both agree those are small sacrifices in relative comparison to the intense despair that teeth bring. And on the bright side, she’ll never need braces. You’re welcome. My master plan has now saved you $7,000. Feel free to pay it forward (or back, in the form of a new sofa you’ll undoubtedly color on when you’re 2 1/2).
As I type this, you’re wailing in your baby swing that was sent from the Lord and your father is bashing his head against the wall repeatedly. There’s a dent forming (both in his head and the wall), and we’ll keep that dent until our future granddaughter attends the aforementioned prom (or doesn’t, if our no-teeth plan works accordingly) as a reminder of these dark, dark baby days.
To be clear, they’re not nearly as dark as the newborn days. If we’re talking in nail polish shades, I’d say the newborn phase was “Kiss Me at Midnight Black” and teething is more like “Chunky Knit Sweater Gray.” But they’re dark, nonetheless, and I believe that this is a reasonably sure sign that you’re going to be a very dramatic person when you become of age.
You’ve refused all forms of feeding for the past 18 hours, throwing your body backwards as if you were a 1940’s leading lady fainting into the arms of the man who has just declared his love for another. It’s semi-cute, but also unbearably annoying considering you have been playing this role all day long and I have yet a chance to deliver my line, which is “Eat your food, child.”
We’re also in the throes of a vicious cycle: you’re too tired to eat, so you refuse food. Yet you’re too hungry to fall asleep, so you refuse naps. Which makes you too tired to eat. Which makes you too hungry to sleep. The result is one long cycle of endless whining (I was not aware 4.5 month olds could whine, but alas, they can and it is a most treacherous noise in my ears) that loops repeatedly until you fall asleep, a sour look on your face. The same look you can expect from your future toothess child when you tell her she can’t ingest toffee because it made her gums bleed last time.
But, as in most things, the lows are low and the highs are high. You can stand on your own feet now, for a few minutes at a time, and you like to balance yourself by holding on to the sofa in our office. It’s alarming how quickly you’re growing and how strong you’ve become and I’m quite sure it will be time to introduce you to big people things soon: high chairs and outlet plugs and stuffed animals. You’re a growing woman, one with wants and needs and incredible vocal chords to back up each.
We finally caught your laugh on video. It’s taken a whole lot of weeks to do so, mainly because the case on your father’s phone holds a picture of Barney Fife and I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t wish to laugh in front of this man’s face. It’s inevitable – we’ll be in the thick of a rousing fit of tickles and laughter and your father will bring his phone out to document the fun. Suddenly, you’ll spot Mr. Fife out of the corner of your eye and your brain forces itself to stop sending any happy signals anywhere throughout your body. Your face becomes deadpanned and it takes roughly three minutes to reboot. It’s an odd phenomenon we like to call the Barney Fife Factor, and I’m placing bets that ten years from now, a slew of researchers in white coats will diagnose exactly which elements in his face have created such a fun-sucking effect.
Until then, we’re documenting you with my phone, whose cover is free of any 1960 deputy mugshots. Indeed, there will be no shortage of Bee Files of which to share. We’ll leave them under the pillow for the tooth fairy with our fingers crossed that next time your teeth come in we’ll all be older, wiser and much more heavily medicated. Deal?