Thora still has no teeth. But this kid has been teething for ages! Or pre-teething, whatever. It is the world's most convenient excuse for a fussy kid to fuss all she wants without the parent (or at least, this parent) feeling like she's doing something wrong. Thora is a drool machine who chews and gnaws on everything including tabletops in front of her and chair backs behind her. She sometimes gets inexplicably cranky or wakeful and we cluck sympathetically, "oh, she's teething!" She grabs cold things and crams them in her mouth, chews on washcloths and gnaws on my wrist, my knuckle, my fingers and we smile and say "oh, she's teething!" And because she's teething, she gobbles her teething biscuits, stuffing them into her mouth with both hands, getting biscuit sludge all over her face, in her hair, all over her clothes and in between her toes, in her ears and on every surface within a three foot radius of her mouth, all the while babbling "nomnomnomnom." It's messy but cute! She likes to play with spoons and cups. This is what happened when she tried to drink a bit of water out of a cup after finishing a teething biscuit but missed and splashed it all over her face instead:
I was SO sure I felt one sharp little nub weeks ago when we had one particularly wakeful night, and I hurried to post it on Facebook and then let her stay up half the night watching Johnny play Mario Galaxy 2. (She loved that part!) But it was obviously wishful thinking. It helped me because it served as a reason for her strange behavior. But two days later I was sure I'd made it up. Every day I would stick a finger in her mouth and run it along her bottom gum wondering if I'd feel that sharp ridge again, and every day I would feel nothing. People told me sometimes the gums swell so you can't feel the new tooth for a few days but that it would eventually merge. Not this tooth!
Waiting for this tooth reminded me of when I was 10 or 11 and so sure I was about to get my period. I had read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret a thousand times and my little training bra and I were ready. I checked myself every day for cramps and other symptoms but my poor prepubescent body just wasn't cooperating. Ironically, I did get my period right on time (if early). It came for the first time a few months after my twelfth birthday, but that felt like forever to wait since I was a year younger than most of the kids in my grade and in my bunk at camp and they were getting theirs a year or more before me. Kind of like when I'm twenty minutes early to meet a friend and by the time they're three minutes late I am furious and pacing and impatient, ready to take off. Same with my tween body. And this tooth. The tooth that isn't there. Every day for weeks we'd declare: "I totally feel it! There it is!" But there's no tooth there. Nothing but soft pink gums.
Johnny's mother remembers that he got his first tooth at three months. Unlikely, but possible. My mother, on the other hand, remembers that I got my first tooth at a year. However unlikely this sounds, I remember being seven and a half when I lost my first tooth and almost twenty-three when I lost my last one. Both early and late teething are hereditary so if our mothers are right then Thora should get her teeth right on time, that is to say, any day now. But after waiting and waiting like we have, we've given up on waiting, looking in her mouth, running a finger along her gums only to find nothing. So they'll come in when they come in.
Which is fine really, since now that the teeth aren't in a hurry to get here I have decided I am in no hurry for them either and will instead delay introducing food as long as possible. I am looking into baby nutrition and all signs point to Thora being exclusively breastfed for at least a few more months since there is no way food can match the good nutrition she gets from me. Being toothless will only make this easier.
While we await the appearance of a tooth, we have been very busy. Thora has been all over New York state in the past two weeks.
She has been up and down the New York Thruway in a variety of Zipcars and rental cars, in a car seat she mostly hates but sometimes likes:
and a folding stroller that she has eaten in, slept in, sunbathed in (not really!) and seen the sights in:
She's been to the beach:
a hidden swimming hole:
and a sunny deck overlooking a lake. She has seen rest stops, service area Starbuckses, a vegan bed & breakfast, a food co-op and half a dozen veg or veg friendly restaurants between here and halfway to Canada. She's been to Jillian's Drawers in person and swung on baby swings in four different New York cities.
Also, she inherited a jumperoo:
She went to Farm Sanctuary, where she met a turkey (and slept through it):
and a cow (and wasn't sure):
and a goat:
She napped on her Nana:
(note that her "leggings" are really my dad's tube socks)
studied trees with her Poppa:
and relaxed with Mama and Daddy:
In two weeks, we're flying with her for the first time. We're going to spend a week in Asheville, North Carolina relaxing more, swimming more, smiling more. So if that tooth comes looking for Thora, that's where she'll be.