The Replacement Baby.

Some of you may think from my glowing emails full of praise and love for Helen, that we’re escaping any of the really hard work involved in raising a baby. You know, how she eats so well and sleeps through the night and exudes love and happiness to her parents and her daycare teachers and everyone she meets. And for the most part, you’re right. We’ve thanked our lucky stars over and over.

Then came last weekend.

There is a baby named Helen that I gave birth to last June, and nurtured and fed and clothed and kissed for over 10 months, and then there is a baby that replaced her on Saturday night around 11:15 pm. The Replacement Baby woke up screaming bloody murder. I think I woke up running up the stairs to her room. When I got her out of her crib, she clung to me, sobbing but quieted. I rocked her for a minute and tried to put her back down, but she got right back up, screaming. I thought to myself, “Who are you and what have you done with Helen?” Really, I’ve never seen her like this. I couldn’t get her to stay in the crib, so I held her until she fell asleep, whimpering. She proceeded to thrash around all night like a wild thing, and awoke at 5 am, hungry and cranky. Holding her was a necessity or the screaming started again. This continued through most of Sunday, with The Replacement Baby waking us overnight again.

So, still in zombie mode on Monday from the lack of sleep, I manage to string together a sentence or two when I got to work to see if anyone knew about this. It turns out that’s not The Replacement Baby – instead, Helen is really teething.

The first two teeth were a breeze. This time, we’re not getting off so lucky. There’s the runny nose, the sweating, the fussing and the sleepless nights. There’s the simply impossible task of changing a diaper or putting on her clothes. There’s a nap to be had, somewhere, somehow, but she’s not taking it. And food? “Mama, you’re taking too long to mix the cereal! Make it snappy, right after I finish this giant meltdown in my highchair.”

I’m happy to report that she was finally back to her usual self yesterday, having slept 10 hours solid Tuesday night (thank you lord!). And she charmed the socks off all the waiters at the Mexican restaurant last night. But the bad news is that the teeth have yet to actually break through the gums. You can see them, just hanging there.

I think I need to give her that big car bolt again. That should punch ‘em right through, don’t you think?

On Sunday, Brian & I head to Canada for a week. While I attend lots of sessions with my colleagues on how to put up with lawyers, Brian is going to figure out where they put the Biodome, and also how to say, “I don’t speak French, eh?” It should be a lot of fun.

Her Nana B. is going to watch her for the week, so if you’re in town, try to catch The Helen Show, and give her plenty of hugs and kisses. Nana B. might need it, too.

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