Something rather awkward happened at the weekend. My wife and I were completely shown-up by Helen, our five year old daughter.
If you picture the scene, it was breakfast time and Elizabeth (also known as Toddler Adams) was being very lively. She wouldn’t sit in her booster seat and demanded to sit in my lap. She then wanted to get down.
As soon as her feet touched the ground she wanted to be picked up. She demanded more breakfast cereal and then wouldn’t eat it. She demanded toast but wouldn’t eat. The cereal, still in a bowl in front her, then got shoved across the table.
It’s fair to say Toddler Adams is something of a live wire. She’s considerably more vocal than her older sister was at a similar age and certainly lets you know when she’s unhappy. She was, as you may have gathered, making a lot of noise.
I eventually told my wife I was going to take her upstairs to our bedroom. I planned to sit on the bed with her, sing some nursery rhymes, read books, give cuddles etc. I was basically going to do whatever it took to calm her down because something was bothering her.
After a couple of minutes of being upstairs my wife sheepishly called up from down below; “John, erm, Helen’s just said she might be teething.”
Elizabeth usually has a very distinctive cry when she’s teething. On this occasion she wasn’t using it. She also wasn’t chewing anything, her cheeks were not red, there was no obvious temperature or any other signs she might be teething. Even so, something told me big sister might just be right.
I gently put my finger in her mouth and, sure enough, I could feel molars breaking through in the back right and back left of her mouth. As if to prove the point, she pulled away when I touched one of the teeth.
We administered cuddles and some Calpol. Within a few minutes she was in a much happier mood and eating toast.
The experience made me feel daft for not thinking teething could be the source of the problem. If Toddler Adams had used that distinctive cry of hers we’d have known straight away.
I also felt very proud of Helen. I thought it was incredibly astute of her to figure out what the problem was.
Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen. Published Under Creative Commons license 4. See disclosure page for more info about this license and link to it.