However, the last 24 hours have put paid to this myth – this time, his teething is a lot more than that. Over the last 14 months of my darling's life, he has exhibited these symptoms on a couple of occasions, usually only lasting a matter of days, ending with the big reveal of a tiny pearly nub or two that then takes several painless weeks, if not months, to fully form in the mouth.
It's no accident that the term "teething problems" is a phrase in the common lexicon. The term can mean an array of different, niggly issues, and in this particular case that Oscar, P and I are enduring, it has meant any and all of the following (look away now please, if you are delicate of constitution):
Smelly, sticky diarrheoa.
Nose "candles" (as my mum calls them) – which are basically twin yellow streams from each nostril.
Dribbling, like that of a tap that has not been properly switched off, soaking the front of whatever he is wearing entirely, within minutes.
Red cheeks and fever.
Incessant miserable whining.
Waking in the middle of the night.
Poor mite, he must be going through hell, his jaws all ache-y, the tantalizing feeling of bone about to break through the gum, yet receding and then advancing as the hours of the night and then day wear on.
I dose him with baby iboprofen, then, 30 minutes later, with baby panadol (having been advised by my GP that you can administer these two side by side). Then the Bonjela is brought out, and Oscar bites my finger, hard, with his existing teeth.
He's lost his appetite, and is constantly thirsty, what with all the nose candles and dribbling. His newly formed and developing toddler temper is being flexed, the smallest issue can have him bawling tears of ire and frustration – an instance of maternal rapid-strike nose wipe with a tissue, for example. Or the confiscation of the medicine syringe that I'd relented and given to him to suck, after administering some blessed, short-lived sweet relief. Except his enthusiastic chomping and gnawing was in danger of completely obliterating the measurement marks on the outside of the tube, and I had to remove it from his possession in order to be able to use it again.
Today, he had no sleep. This may be a familiar occurrence for some families with toddlers (and I'm really sorry about that), but to our little unit, no daytime sleep is shattering. He normally has two naps a day (of various lengths and success) and has recently been trying out the idea of dropping one of them.
Now that's something enough for us all to be getting used to, but the total lack of zzz's today was hideous for him, and for me, too.
He woke at 5am, moaning, and essentially didn't stop this sound all day, despite tender ministrations, until I finally managed to get him to go to sleep at his usual bedtime of 6:30pm.
Before he finally fell to slumber, exhausted, I managed to spot inside his little gob the very tips of two bottom eye teeth, a top eye tooth and two back top molars on either side. That's enough simultaneous chopper sprouting for anyone. No wonder he's reacting! Let's just hope that in the morning the worst will be over and the tips of his little icebergs will be poking firmly out of his little gums.
Did your toddler have trouble with teething?
Did they experience any surprising symptoms?
Do you have any remedies to share that helped?