I remember when Spring Break week meant something. Only thing it means to me is less traffic to work. And that’s pretty stupid given the fact that my commute is only three and a half minutes. Because I’m not an educator, Spring Break is just another week except that, of course, it marks the commencement of March Madness. Insert my lovely wife’s unenthusiastic and sardonic, “Oh. Yea.”
This last week I finally found my razor and chopped off my beard. When all was said and done, it looked like I shot a squirrel in our toilet. It took two flushes to get all that mess down the drain. Now that’s a beard, buck. Not quite Danny status, but really, who’s to coming close to this beard. This beard is it’s own ecosystem. When he chops it off, Greenpeace is gonna host a protest.
That reminds me of this week last year when I was down at SXSW, I was cornered by some tree-hugging idiot in Austin who wanted me to save a whale or sponsor a redwood or something. I’m not sure what he was selling, but he had these pamphlets that he was wagging at me and I nervously put my hands in my pockets as to not engage him. I never have my hands in my pockets, but here I am walking away from him with my hands buried deep in my khakis and he takes one of those pamphlets and wedges it in between my forearm and my hip. Atta boy. Dude should’ve paid attention in school. Always love how those beautiful four-color Greenpeace brochures always end up getting thrown on the ground. Save the earth, ya’ll.
I chopped off my beard which my lovely wife said I was going to regret from the moment that my beautiful daughter doesn’t recognize me, rejects me and then resents me. Turned out that it didn’t take long to sell Ellison on the new look. I just had to dance around like a freaking monkey make stupid noises. She bought it. Daddy’s back. I chopped it off for a number of reasons. First, I went for a five miler on Saturday and the sun turned my beard into a wool sweater on my face. It was 38°, but the sun was out and that sun absolutely roasted my face. Secondly, Ellison was beginning to use it against me. Her hands kept grabbing clumps of my beard and, honestly, a couple of handfuls almost brought me to tears. Ever since she discovered her hands and her mouth, her hands have become instruments of retrieving items to put into her mouth.
I thought, when it first happened, that she was just trying to do pull-ups with my beard, but turns out she was probably trying to eat it. And, if you’re on the unfortunate end of Ellison’s mouth, her jaws are no jokes. We’ve determined that we’re now entering the early stages of teething. We’ve been thinking this for a while, but seems we were improperly diagnosing simple mouthing…when she just wants to put everything in her mouth.
I can tell you, though, from the bite she put on my finger the other day that the girl is starting to teeth. Teething is the process by which the teeth push through the gums like some freakish sequence from The Fly. It can bring intense discomfort to the baby. The baby has the propensity to soothe this sensation by mouthing on anything she can find. If she can’t find anything, she mouths on herself.
The other day, I had her in my lap and I put out my pinky to her right hand side and she lunged for it and proceeded to clamp down on it. Had she some teeth, I would’ve lost my finger. I then wag my thumb out to her left hand side and she tosses my pinky aside and lunges for my thumb. She’s tried to eat Tucker’s ear. She’s eaten her own feet. The other day, when we were walking through supermarket the other day, I handed her the shopping list and she almost ate it. Photo sessions are marked by a period where she begins to devour any prop you hand her.
Teething is marked by intense drooling. Increased fussiness. We’ve seen both. The drooling not yet intense, but check out the little pool the “Six Month Birthday” post…the first picture. Girl’s turning into a slobber factory. It comes and goes. The fussiness rose yesterday with an epic battle between mother and daughter. Ellison gave it a pretty good fight right around mid-afternoon. Hadn’t seen that kinda flare up since colic held us captive. It was explosive. And it lasted about twenty minutes. Being that she calmed down and later recovered, it might or might not have been teething related, but I have noticed a slight increase in the fussiness. No rest for new parents. One days she’s conquering colic. The next day her teeth and slicing her gums and she’s screaming bloody murder. Next thing you know, she’s gonna be walking and sticking forks in power outlets. Second semester begins now.
I’m not sure why teething freaks me out so much, but it does. It just seems like such an incredibly painful and excruciating stage. It gives me the eebee-geebies (so does losing teeth too). Probably in the same way it got to Clint when he found out that Jude was growing fingernails and toenails in the womb like some sort of wolverine that was gonna start clawing his way out. Sheesh. The human body’s a pretty remarkable thing. The growing human body is like some sort of weird science experiment. I wish I could just wake up walk into the nursery and Ellison smiles at me baring a full set of pearlies. I’ve probably watched too many movies. I think of the sequence in American Werewolf in London where broham turns into a freaking werewolf. I think teething is on par with this kinda transformation. Let’s take a gander at werewolfian teething and thank God it doesn’t look and sound like this. Not safe for work. Mom, you might not wanna watch this.
Actually, try playing that same clip in your cube at work. See what kinda reaction you get from your co-workers. “Hey, Jim. You hiding a werewolf over here?”
It’s Monday. And this is just another Daily Operation.