It's been a magical special kind of week around here.
After two long, LONG nights of fussy James and cough-y, fever-y Wes and manic, crazy man Charlie, we were both completely wrecked last night. As usual, James woke to eat around three and I went to get him. How I manage to stumble to his room every night without falling down the stairs, which are right outside my bedroom door, I will never know. It's not my most coherent moment of the day. Especially on nights when I've already been awakened four times by various children and didn't fall into bed fully clothed until midnight after finishing my lecture. But somehow I made it to his room and was surprised that he started crying even louder after I had scooped him up. I was confused until I held him close to me and he kicked me in the face. Because he was upside down. I was holding him head down like some kind of terrifying infant amusement park ride.
I fed him until he was calm (also: right side up) then laid him carefully in the crib, which made him wake up angrily and begin kicking the mattress with his heels. Beyond exhausted, I went back to bed and played dumb. "I think James might be crying. I just fed him... would you mind?" Ryan stumbled down the hall to room with James and I fell back to sleep until 6:30 when James woke up A-N-G-R-Y. He fussed and cried through our entire morning "routine". He wouldn't be put down. He wouldn't take a paci. He was MAD. We had no idea why, but given the lack of sleep and the fact that I can't operate the coffeemaker one-handed, it was a bad scene.
I got a text from the babysitter after class "James is weirdly fussy today!" And when I got home she looked very harried and ran out of my house like it was on fire. Sure enough, I couldn't calm James down either and he cried until it was time to go get Charlie.
He pretty much cried until I put all the pieces together--the recent hand-mouthing, the drool soaked shirts, the sleep disruption, the terrible attitude, the nipple biting (OMG)--and thought to try giving him a little nip of Motrin. After that he ate contentedly for over an hour and fell soundly asleep. When he woke up he was back to his normal happy self.
I'm sure my HMO will be glad to learn I no longer take children to the doctor because they are teething. It only took me three kids to figure it out.