Monday, July 7, 2008


L loves to stick her little fingers in your mouth. Or in my mouth, and if strangers would open wide, she’d go in there, too. Is it just the joy of seeing a hole form, and plugging it? There! says baby brain, triumphantly, problem solved! Or is she studying the mechanical components? What are those lil sugar cubes, and why don’t I have any? There is a woman I know by acquaintance. Actually I barely know her at all though I will be seeing her very soon. The first (and only) time I met her, E was about exactly L’s age now, and was going through her own teething rituals. This woman said, with the casualness of a line oft-spoken, a line whose speaker is quite pleased with its composition and ability to do some boasting even without the subject of boasting being the main point of the line, a line tossed out a-fresh each time: My son, when he was an infant, he had his hands in my mouth SO MUCH! I always say it’s no wonder he became a dentist! While I doubt my girls will be dentists, I always remember the surety in her voice. If A, then B! And I wonder what other possible conclusions are left to draw from L’s hands in my mouth. Does this theorem have loopholes?

Yesterday we had our first biting. L stuck her fingers in E’s mouth. E had demanded to hold L, so it was no surprise when L’s digits went spelunking. And E bit her HARD. L started screeching, her thumb indented by her attacker’s incisors. And then E wanted to shush L, like why is she crying? I just bit her… I don’t want her to be sad! I will shush her! It took (me) a second to figure out why L was so suddenly upset and when I asked E if she had bitten her little sister she responded, yeah! Like hey! She stuck HER hand in MY mouth! HELL-OOO??

Also yesterday, we noticed. There is, we think, a staccato line visible on L’s gum. If I had to guess based on her restlessness this weekend, she’s one good scream from pushing out her first tooth. It’s hard to know for sure because she won’t hold still to let anyone see exactly what’s in there. We think, also, that the line has a trail, a shadow, meaning its partner across the meridian of her face is not far behind. It’s so hard to know for sure, though, if we’re really seeing what we think we’re seeing, because if you pull her lip down she sticks her tongue out looking to suck something. So maybe we’re just hoping, looking to assign an explanation to this sanity- and rationality-wrecking bout of mother-daughter insomnia. Methodical gum studies will not be undertaken forthwith but if, a week from now, we can confirm a solitary white monolith standing sentry on her gumline, or maybe even two stone tablets, we’ll backdate the official news: First tooth cut here. 7-6-08. Pin It