the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The teeth years

Those two teeth we thought were poking through Marlo’s gums turned out to be SIX. That’s one, two, three, four, YOU GET THE IDEA. We were sitting at lunch when Jon goes, DUDE. Do you see what’s going on in there? And I was adamant that it was just a cracker she had been chewing on, so I stuck my finger in her mouth and now I’m typing this with a nub.

That trip to the ER is coming out of her allowance. Thank god they found the tip of my finger in her poop.

Four molars poked through one night and woke her up, HOW IMPOLITE OF THEM. And then she was up for the next four hours screaming and flailing, and had it not been two o’clock in the morning I might have been a tiny bit more understanding. Instead, the part of my brain that hadn’t slept in two days took over and there I was trying to explain to her that some people don’t even have teeth let alone a numbing agent that you can buy at any drugstore. In fact, in some parts of the world? There are no drugstores. And where do you think those people get their tampons? They don’t. Do you see, Marlo, how fast I’m getting away from the initial point of this rant? I am going to bring this up at your wedding!

What if you’re gay and they haven’t yet legalized marriage for homosexuals? Then I’m going to protest on the steps of the Capitol with a sign that says, “CIVIL RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE SO THAT PARENTS CAN EMBARRASS ALL THEIR CHILDREN EQUALLY AT THE REHEARSAL DINNER.”

That’s why I haven’t slept in three days. Because human beings grow teeth. Not because of finals or a deadline, but because of someone else’s molars. Hey kids in college! Put that in your condom and smoke it.

  • bevskid1

    2010/08/24 at 10:51 am

    And here I am whining about veneers…what a trouper you are, Heather.

  • eleanorstrousers

    2010/08/24 at 11:08 am

    But just think- one day when you’re old and your teeth start to fall out, you can stay over at Marlo’s and insist she pre-chew your dinner with her chompers WHICH KEPT YOU UP ALL NIGHT.

    ( and Happy Anniversary!)

  • ninesandquines

    2010/08/24 at 11:09 am

    i hope jon is as tired as you…it’s only fair. and i think tyrant should just move in so HE can deal with her in the middle of the night 🙂

  • writtendad

    2010/08/24 at 11:09 am

    I still shudder a bit when I think back to teething. But dealing with the losing of teeth hasn’t been fun either. First they just wiggle, then they flop, then they twist, then your child won’t eat or drink all day, leading to them throwing up at bedtime. Maybe it wasn’t like that with Leta. but with our son, it’s been almost as hellacious as teething itself.

  • imaynotremember

    2010/08/24 at 11:10 am

    Awwe poor baby Marlo. 🙁 I bet a toothache hurts way less than a cluster of teeth cutting through tissue in your mouth.

    My niece, Sophia is going to be cutting her first teeth pretty soon. She is four months now and she chews, and drools, and screams a lot.

  • Midnight

    2010/08/24 at 11:11 am

    The only positive I can think of is that they all came through in three days, rather than one tooth at a time over three weeks.

    It is another great reason to legalize same sex marriage, though!

    Hope you get some sleep soon.

  • aslapintheface

    2010/08/24 at 11:11 am

    Ah … I remember the teething phase … it was quickly replaced by the “I am going to bite anything that doesn’t run faster than I can phase”. Oh the joys of parenthood! I still say that the best birth control in the world is forcing every teenager to take a toddler full of milk and cotton candy to an amusement park or a Chuck E Cheese.

  • Eleven

    2010/08/24 at 11:15 am


    Love it. Should send this off the HRC (Human Rights Campaign)!

  • tejo14

    2010/08/24 at 11:15 am

    Hylands Teething tablets are readily available at Walmart and are the greatest invention known to man.

    My son has 4 molars coming in at the same time. He didn’t have teeth forever, but proceeds to get them all at the same time. Nice.

  • ChickWhitt

    2010/08/24 at 11:16 am

    Great, that’s just what the child who chews on electrical cords needed, MORE TEETH

  • imaynotremember

    2010/08/24 at 11:16 am

    @Midnight Even if same sex marriage gets legalized, they’ll still get babies the same way and their babies will be getting teeth too.

  • Kristen from MA

    2010/08/24 at 11:47 am

    Aww, six teeth at ONCE? I’d be screaming, too. 🙁

    p.s. So, so relieved that the pooches are home and safe.

  • kcbelles

    2010/08/24 at 11:49 am

    Never ceases to amaze me; I have no children – don’t follow any other blog that contains content about children, but you are so hilarious, Heather. You make the most ordinary, every-day thing funny (although, not having slept for 3 days isn’t really funny, I suppose).

    And Happy Anniversary to you both! Many, many, many more!

  • The Dalai Mama

    2010/08/24 at 11:52 am

    Just think…the teething is almost over. Then it will be some other “amazing” milestone what will keep you up next. The joys of parenting.

  • Greta Koenigin

    2010/08/24 at 12:04 pm

    If you think teething is bad, wait until they become college-aged and start condom smoking. Oh, the toxins.

  • nathliea

    2010/08/24 at 12:24 pm

    Should the condom be smoked before or after use?

    Nevermind, don’t answer that.

  • verbalicon

    2010/08/24 at 12:45 pm

    Whoever said HYLAND’s TEETHING TABLETS first wins, of course. But I’m saying it second or third because they saved our sanity in many a night with Little Miss Kickboxer’s molars coming through.

    Highly recommended.

  • Truthful Mommy

    2010/08/24 at 12:47 pm

    You poor baby! Apparently we share the same randomization of thought process when we are sleep deprived. I like to think that it makes me think in a six degrees of separation type of way.You know like…Freak on a LEash… corn…baby poop!See its a gift..and maybe a little scary.I’m gonna call it a gift. First week of school, I need a nap.Kiddies and condoms now that’s an issue… LOL! Happy Mothering of a teething angel.Now, go get some rest!

  • cory212

    2010/08/24 at 12:48 pm

    I used to say that each one of my son’s teeth was like he was giving birth. The pain! The screaming! The drooling! The lack of sleep! Meanwhile, his best friend, Haley, NEVER MADE A PEEP! Her mother would happen to glance in her mouth and go, “Whoa, dude – where did those 7 teeth come from?” Still hate her a little. Here’s wishing you more sleepful nights, Heather.

  • Mari

    2010/08/24 at 1:32 pm

    Aww, I forgot all about those teething days & nights. I loved having anbesol in the house. Came in handy for plucking my eyebrows.

  • tallnoe

    2010/08/24 at 1:40 pm

    Ohhhh… Eleanorstrousers made me almost spit out my water. Thanks for that.

    And sorry that you’re having to deal with teef, Dooce family, I’m not jealous.

  • Mama to Henry

    2010/08/24 at 1:57 pm

    Henry just turned 14 months and I think he is on the verge of a couple of molars as well. Anything he can get his hands on, he tries to chomp on. But, when he does, he makes this vampire-ish hissing sound as he opens his mouth before he does. It’s kinda weird. It doesn’t matter if it’s his fingers, my fingers, a teething toy, or my toes. I am thinking of investing in some steel-toed shoes.

  • addtova

    2010/08/24 at 2:42 pm

    Oh Heather you make it all sound so funny!
    The best thing about sleep deprivation though is that it is all funny. Last time I was multiple days sleep deprived, I was throwing a bridal shower and a guy rode by on a horse. I almost died laughing at the time, and I wrote about it on my blog, thinking it was hilarious. It was however, not as hilarious the next day. I wish I could write as well as you do and be as funny as sleep deprived me thinks I am!

  • MustangSally

    2010/08/24 at 3:31 pm

    silver lining – 6 out of 20 total teeth means You are ONE THIRD of the way to being done!! Really when you think about it it’s very considerate of her to get it all over with in batches. So instead of 20 sleepless nights, one coming in at a time you can be done in 3 or 4. Nice.

  • TamaraMedia

    2010/08/24 at 3:59 pm

    Aaah I feel your pain, literally.

    Our Finn had his first two teeth come in at once, while he had bronchiolitis and pneumonia! Second teeth started coming in when he was dealing with the fever that precedes roseola. Sheesh – what’s next? Poor bubs, and poor mom and dad.

    I do not think non-parents can understand this sort of exhaustion.

  • I Had Ice

    2010/08/24 at 4:29 pm

    I’ll second HYLAND’s TEETHING TABLETS!!! But do not give right before bed!!!

    Yes I feel your pain. I’ve got a 2 yo getting 4 molars at once and a 5 month old getting his first two teeth.

    Nights are fun, aren’t they?

  • tracy

    2010/08/24 at 4:43 pm

    Ellis is getting her 2 year old molars, which means GOOD TIMES. Feverish, clingy, cranky, up half the night, so I’m up half the night. But, lots of snuggling, so I guess that’s something.

  • Ray1987

    2010/08/24 at 4:47 pm

    “Hey kids in college! Put that in your condom and smoke it.”

    ^^LOL! Loved that! =D

    Here’s hoping you get some sleep. SOON! And that Marlo’s molars start behaving! =P

  • Damaris Santos-Palmer

    2010/08/24 at 8:00 pm

    Did you see Eat, Pray, Love ? Don’t it sucked but there was this one redeeming scene when a mom takes her baby to the medicine man and he’s rubbing the baby’s gums and says that it’s a demon. Julia Roberts, being all smart assed, says “I don’t think it’s a demon I think It’s teething” and the Medicine man says “same thing.”

  • Dani

    2010/08/24 at 11:10 pm

    Six at once yikes! My baby girl started teething at 4 mos and was horrible for the next two years. Actually she’s still kinda awful but she can no longer use the teeth as an excuse. My sympathies.

    BTW evil or not I love her more than anything and think we’re trying for number two soon.

  • edenland

    2010/08/24 at 11:17 pm

    “I’m typing this with a nub.”

    Please can you put that as next month’s header? Made me laugh out loud.

    Also: if adults teethed, we would be in hospital on a drip with pain medication.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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