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Down In The Mouth

Remember that moment, twenty minutes into The Phantom Menace, when you got that sickening feeling as you realized that the rest of this story was not only going to suck, but it was going to be so bad that it would retroactively ruin all the enjoyable stuff that had come before it?

I think that's pretty much how The Squirrelly is feeling about life these days.

Up until now the world has treated him pretty well: he played with toys all day, took naps whenever he chose, saw breasts on a regular basis, and had the freedom to poop in his pants without any fear of social stigma. Livin' the dream, that kid. But the last couple weeks have been rough. First there was the aforementioned Avery Flu, although, of all the Baldwins, he was the most unscathed. (I, for instance, was both throwing up and thrown up upon.) But right after that he got a runny nose, and then a cough, and last night he had a fever of 102. And through it all he's been teething, which has really been making him unhappy. Question: what's the point of feeling pain when you're teething? To discourage you from growing more teeth? Four million years of evolution and this is the best you can come up with, Darwin?

Anyhow, every once in a while The Squirrelly gives his mother and I the hairy eyeball, clearly resentful of the massive bait-and-switch the world has pulled on him. And all I can do is shrug and say "at least you don't have to pay fucking' taxes."

Fortunately, we're able to keep his teething discomfort at bay through the miracle of Infant's Advil, which we administer to him through a small plastic syringe. It's sugary, fruit-favored goop, and The Squirrelly loves the taste of it -- when he sees us pick up the box his eyes totally light up. Ah yes, I'm so glad we're teaching our child that sweet, numbing relief from the pain of the world comes from a drug in a syringe.

Posted on April 01, 2005 to The Queen


Hey, don't forget to feed him candy while he's complaining, so he learns to soothe his emotions with food! It's The American Way!

Posted by: Elle Wiz on April 3, 2005 6:07 PM

No, no, the American way is doing cocaine lines straight to the white house on a platform of moral superiority. God Bless!

Posted by: Sonic Death Monkey on April 3, 2005 8:48 PM

Browsing the archives of dad's blog will be the equivalent of the dusty embrassing pictures in the old family album for the squirelly's generation...

Do you plan to stop calling him like that some time before his 18th birthday ?

Posted by: Somebaudy on April 4, 2005 2:43 AM

I have a 10 month old son in the same boat. Teething, a cold, plus massive separation anxiety. Besides lots of infant Tylenol what works for us when he's really having a screaming fit is Teletubbies. And we were a family that was never going to let him watch TV, ha.

Posted by: Candace on April 4, 2005 6:11 AM

Don't all good things come in syringes? Seriosuly, that kid will go into college being like, "Heroin.. pffffft. Childrens advil BEEOTCH'

Posted by: wedge on April 4, 2005 6:16 AM

Children's motrin is yummy too. My daughter loves the Emeril show, and the other day when she was "cooking" something it went like this, "Milk and eggs and flour and sugar" and I say "How about some vanilla." and she says "Yeah, vanilla and Motrin."
I guess, from her "almost three" perspective, if you think it has a yummy flavor, you can add it to whatever you're cooking - just like vanilla.

Posted by: elsimom on April 4, 2005 6:52 AM

The teething pain causes your baby to cry and scream and keep you up all night, thereby reminding you not to have another baby any time soon. That way you conserve your scarce resources. Darwin's got your back, man.

Posted by: Duane on April 4, 2005 8:01 AM

Poor lil fella. Hope he feels better soon.

Posted by: Her Ladyship on April 4, 2005 8:50 AM

It's great once the teething episode is over. He gets a new set of chompers to bite you with!

If your wife is still breastfeeding tell her to watch out, the wee ones can clamp down unexpectedly from time to time on a nipple, which is pretty painful. The fasted way to make them let go short of dousing them with boiling water is to hold their cute little button nose closed.

Posted by: Don R on April 4, 2005 9:02 AM

I wonder how we know that teething is painful? Think about it. It's not like the kid can articulate what's buggin' him.

And we continue to cut teeth for years right up to the wisdom teeth in our late teens and I don't remember it being some terribly painful experience...

But I am an old fart who only had one wisdom tooth cut through so maybe my memory is slack in this regard...thekeez

Posted by: Jeff Keezel on April 4, 2005 9:02 AM

That whole "liking the medicine" thing eventually goes away.

Posted by: Byzington French on April 4, 2005 9:32 AM

The Motrin lasts longer than the Advil (6-8 hours). Thus, it is good to give before bedtime!! Don't worry, by the time they're six or seven they can learn to swallow pills, thus decreasing both sugar intake and mess (how many times has your kid turned his head just as you're pushing the plunger? My son of the chronic ear infections' neck tasted like grape-flavored Motrin for an entire year).

Posted by: AF on April 4, 2005 10:06 AM

My sympathies, Matt and The Queen.

Re AF's comment --
Motrin and Advil are just different brand names for the same drug, whose generic name is ibuprofen. They work the same. Neither one is sustained-release, so they work the same for the same length of time.

Repeat after me:

Ibuprofen's brand doesn't matter
Ibuprofen is our friend

Posted by: Dr. Beads on April 4, 2005 1:59 PM

You and the queen might want to try a nice homeopathic teething medicine. We've used it for humans and canines, and it works great! See some here.
It should be readily available at any whole foods store, and maybe even some pharmacies.
Don't get me wrong, I love me some Advils, but it's nice to use something natural, too.

Posted by: jon on April 5, 2005 5:49 AM

Thanks, Dr. Beads. I guess I could have read the labels (now I'm wondering if I was thinking Tylenol--or is it ibuprofen as well?--can't check the label as I'm at the coffee shop). Love the rhyme as well.

By the way, I learned last night that the children's medicine syringes work great with dogs as well.

Posted by: AF on April 5, 2005 2:14 PM

Yeah, homeopathy's good, but what I find works is good ol' fashioned voodoo. A little cigar smoke. a little (or a lot of) rum, some graveyard dirt and the blood of your enemies and you're set!! Plus, when you use rum, the "loving the medicine thing" never goes away!!

Posted by: Phill on April 6, 2005 2:49 AM

Our 2-year-old, S., loves him the Motrin something fierce. He'll pretend that something hurts and then ask for it by name: "Motrin? Motrin?"
When we actually give it to him, he grabs the little cup, knocks it back like a shot of tequila, and goes "ahhhh." I feel like I should offer him a shot of Motrin and non-fat milk back.

Posted by: Dave on April 6, 2005 7:44 AM

AF - You were probably thinking Tylenol, my doc said Motrin and Advil last longer so are better for bedtime. And take it from a breastfeeding mom, the nips get so numb and like taffy that the biting doesn't matter that much and they bite down just as hard long before they get teeth. But you're right about squeezing their nose shut to get them to let go. Poor Squirrely

Posted by: Sarah on April 6, 2005 11:56 AM

I swear to god.... frozen soy sauce packets are great for teething. And they're everywhere!

Posted by: Matt on April 6, 2005 2:46 PM

when I was little, we loved dimetapp. mmm... it almost made having a runny nose worth it.

Posted by: margaret on April 7, 2005 4:22 PM

for my little friend it's been frozen sugar snap peas. He loved the frozen and the bumpy and he enjoyed getting the peas out. We're just entering molar land and it's not pretty. Good luck with Squirrely.

I'm going to run out and get some soy sauce packets

Posted by: LRM on April 7, 2005 6:38 PM