Teething Pain

The first week of May was mostly associated with the pain of teething, it is also my first month on my “special” work schedule, where I don’t have to drop Robert off at his dad’s.

I almost wanted to miss my first full working Saturday, because Robert had a fever in the morning. I suspected it was an ailment associated with his inflamed gums, but I was still worried as I went to work. I phoned Lucy several times during the day to inquire about Robert, especially since I have been having problems feeding him. He didn’t have great appetite for cereal or solids, and did not take much of his bottle either. When I returned home Lucy reported that he ate well, and I was relieved. She says that he eats very well with her, which makes me somewhat jealous. This time she cooked him some vegetables with little pieces of chicken. The chicken -more specifically granny Jocelyn’s roast chicken- was a great hit with Robert. He enjoyed gumming it and was ready to open his mouth for the next big juicy sliver, while he was still busy chewing on the previous bite.

On Sunday morning we had company. Friends came for tea and cake, and we had an enjoyable morning. Our friend Monz came with her little daughter Olivia, who is a sweet little baby of six weeks. I would have enjoyed the visit even more if Robert wasn’t acting up because of fever. On Sunday afternoon he had a runny tummy as well, and I needed to change his sheets and sponge the mattress. I suspect that Robert’s first tooth finally cut through on Saturday (May 3rd). The fever however did not completely break, and he was still in pain. While previously he used to gum and bite everything in site, during these few days he couldn’t tolerate anything to near his swollen gums. He would stiffen and cry and not even allow me to rub them with soothing gel. During this trying time I kept him on a routine of pain drops, and tried in vain to give him some food, but he just accepted breast milk.

I did not expect to continue breastfeeding this long, but I still enjoy it. It is also much easier to give Robert his nightly feed from the breast rather than fiddle with bottles and formula at dawn. I always thought that once his sharp teeth start causing damage I will have to stop, but Robert seems to give mom some consideration in this respect, and there weren’t any biting accidents so far. My nanny said that she breastfed her older children until three years of age, I cannot see myself doing that, but as long as we both enjoy it I won’t stop. It is not an inconvenience for me at all, it is rather a special pleasure.

Today Robert had a specially bad day, he was tired and cranky. In the morning I had to deal -again- with a huge mess. Robert’s nappy had leaked and soiled his clothes, his sheets, and his mattress. I had to put him in the bath, and wash all the bedding and the mattress. During the afternoon I had to put him to bed on a make-shift mattress of blankets and towels. He finally went to sleep after a long crying session, with Canuck as his pillow. Later, when I put Robert down for the night did I noticed that something was not quite right with Canuck. At first, and in the dim light, I thought that Jackie has given him a new ribbon, but then I discovered that the pattern on the ribbon was dried up nappy mess from this morning. Disgusting to think that I allowed Robert to sleep with his face next to that filthy toy. Canuck had to be washed ! In fact he remained outside for a few days taking in rain and very little sun, until he finally dried a week later. Due to these washing disasters I had to enlist my ex’s help with laundry, he wasn’t too impressed. It is really hard for me to ask him for help and endure his sour reaction.

Robert is showing steady development with his motor skills. He tries to stand independently for a few seconds or lifts his butt of the floor from a sitting position trying to stand. I am starting to notice more emotional and social development. I think he is at the stage where he observes stuff closely and tries to learn how things fit and relate to each other. One day this week I was amazed at his interested reaction when I put my large hand next to his small one on the side of the bathtub; he examined them intently for a short period of time and then proceeded to examine the large hand with his tiny one. Most of the time I try to give him free reign as he discovers things; even when his journeys of discovery mean rearranging our room into a total mess. Sometimes the simplest object catches his attention; he might spend a few minutes examining the waste paper basket, a pamphlet, or the all time favourites: cell phone and keys. Sometimes he just spends time scrutinizing the tiny letters on a the label of his baby oil bottle, but to my disappointment he still hasn’t found great interest in books. I read to him often, but the colorful pages often end up in his mouth. At the end of Moms and Tots Class, the teacher always reads a story, and he shows some interest but he is rarely captivated long enough by the pictures in the book. The text of the story is only a mimic of animal sound to accompany their pictures. In addition to songs and story, there are many activities that we get to do with the little ones during Moms and Tots class. I get a lot of ideas for games and exercises to do with Robert. He also gets a chance to interact with other moms and babies, which is very important especially in our current circumstances.The pictures shows Robert in one of the moms and tots activities.

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