Well, our little one finally sprouted his first tooth. We’ve been blessed to have a little one who is quite even tempered and sunny. Born a little before time and being the first child born to his parents and first grandchild to his grandparents, everything about him was watched, anticipated and welcomed with six sets of anxious eyes.
The first time he opened his eyes was wonderful, the first time he smiled was even more wonderful, the first time he clenched his fist and I can go on and on and on as he achieved each milestone.
Somehow his pearly whites took their own time in erupting or at least the first tooth didn’t erupt as per our expectations. I’ve quite forgotten when children get their first teeth but I do know that they have some kind of problems hence the term “teething problems”. Any time the little one acted cranky – oh don’t worry it’s his tooth – was the pacifier we adults used to soothe our frazzled nerves. We also used this placebo to placate ourselves when he sneezed, coughed, stayed up all night, cried in his sleep and tossed and turned and acted up.
Last week he had a bit of a cold which gradually turned out to be more than just a bit of a cold. It was indeed a nasty bug that was transmitted to one and all to have us sneeze and cough with him. To double our trouble was the fact that this time his tooth was finally erupting – we could see his hardened gums with a distinct white bump threatening to come through. So after a reasonable time spent observing things and listening to all kinds of advice right from rubbing rum on his gums at night (because strangely teeth choose to erupt at night) to giving him some homeopathic stuff called Dentona till ultimately we decided to pay a visit to the doctor who told us that children don’t get a cold or a runny tummy while teething and a cold is a cold and a runny tummy is a runny tummy.
This time round little P was the model patient – bawled loud and clear so that she could see how hoarse his voice was, coughed frantically with all the spit that he had produced thereby showing her how congested his chest was and of course had streams of coloured discharge pouring out of his little nose, demonstrating quite volubly how miserable he was. She peered down his ears, nose and throat, auscultated his chest and gave us a prescription of a mild antibiotic.
When we went to the chemist, my daughter looked at the dry powder suspension and asked me if she knew how to reconstitute it. I of course gave her a frosty stare which said it all. However, when we got home I found that the antibiotic came with its own bottle of distilled water. What a far cry it was from the days when we had to boil and cool water to reconstitute the medicine. It has really made life easy for caregivers these days.
But then when I looked at the instructions on the box of formula and cereal, I was astonished to make it sound most ominous. And the warning on it was enough to scare the most reluctant of mothers to grab her child to her breast and feed him exclusively for six months if not more! Doctors these days have put the fear of God into young mothers with what they can and what they can’t give their babies.
For instance – babies should be exclusively breast fed with not even a drop of water but he can have six drops of Tonoferon and 2.5 ml of Calcimax P.
You should give your child khichdi with different vegetables but with no salt or ghee.
You can give your child egg yolks almost raw but no cake or biscuits.
You can give your child cerelac but no sugar or milk or honey.
You can give your child papaya and chikoo but absolutely no citrus fruit.
Of course these rules are age specific and after the magic age of one, most of these foods can be added to his diet but till then it’s plain khichdi+veg and some fruits in season. The poor little fellow is fast approaching his first birthday and looks longingly at the forbidden fruit that is beyond his little reach.
But with one tooth out and nineteen more to go, I wonder how the others will be? Will they all come out at night? Will they all be accompanied by runny noses? Or will they be painless and unnoticed like a dreamless sleep?
As a mother of two thirty-year old daughters and a grandmother of a nineteen week old grandson, Sunita Rajwade has been there and done that. A hands on mom, she has seen two girls grow successfully through baby hood, toddler hood, adolescence and adult hood; solving their maths problems and contributing to their angst of growing up with a mom “who doesn’t understand”. But now as a grandmother, she’s being appreciated for her “wisdom” and “understanding” and would like to share my experiences of this wonderful journey from motherhood to grandmotherhood