The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, January 15, 2006

"She Must Be Teething"

Having helped (?) raise four children, and now having Hanimtzah Kazeh dropped in our laps, I have an observation to make about raising babies.

When you have absolutely no idea why your baby is cranky, and you've exhausted all other possibilities, you will, in all likelihood, default to the time tested, "the baby is probably teething".

The upside is that there is no one to refute you. Since the baby can't tell you what's really bothering her, teething is as good a guess as any.

Last night was a good example. MHW had to run out to do some errands. Our daughters were also out. It was me and the Baby. She started getting cranky almost immediately. I tried giving her a bottle. She wasn't interested. I tried playing with her. Nope. I tried feeding her some cheese. She ate it but as soon as she was done she reverted to her crankiness. I assumed she was tired and tried to put her to bed. She got insulted. I was out of options. Even holding her didn't work. I started thinking, "maybe we are too old to be doing this. What the heck were we thinking?"

Just then, our older daughter came back, and fortuitously, had brought back a bagel with cream cheese. I ripped a small piece off, put the Baby in the high chair and gave it to her. A mechaya.

The Baby gummed the bagel into submission with the kind of kavanah I wish I had for my own davening. Besides the fact that the gumming process took a long time, when she was done all the crankiness was gone. For the rest of the evening, until we put her to bed, she was in a good mood.

Clearly, she had been teething, right? What else could it have been?



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