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I Forgot You Have Teeth, Now!

The other day I was driving to go shopping for baby clothes – my daughter is in the 98th percentile for weight and height; she grows like a freaking weed. I love having her run around in her little diaper. But, it’s “winter” here in California, and I would like her to be a little warm. So, there I was, driving up the coast to BuyBuy Baby, with my baby teething in the back seat. It’s been a long process, and we are just starting to see teeth. Now, usually, I don’t go to BuyBuy Baby because it’s pricey, and I get tunnel vision because of how much stuff there is! Instead, I go to Burlington Coat Factory.

If you haven’t gone yet – go. Their baby section varies by store, but they have an online site too. Here’s an example price comparison between the two stores: This dress was bought at BuyBuy Baby and was my daughter’s “Coming Home Outfit.” I saw it almost a year later in Burlington for a third of the price! BuyBuy Baby: $35 Burlington: $10

Like I said, it’s a must-visit! I’ve gotten name brand clothes: Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Jessica Simpson, and so many others for under $12 an outfit. For kids, constantly growing, paying less is always a plus.

Soothing Her New Teeth

Like I was saying, Vienna is ten months old and her first tooth finally showed up – only to have the one next to it show up two days later. Her pediatrician said she’s been teething since four months old. We just never got any teeth. She’s a trooper, but I’m not used to it. I’m used to her having no teeth and gumming everything. I never worried about her “biting through” anything. So, on our way to the store, Vienna starts crying. I’m telling you, this little nugget only cries if she’s hungry, needs a new diaper, or her teeth hurt. A diaper was unlikely, and she had a bottle sitting with her, so she wasn’t hungry. Common sense kicked in, and I figured her teeth hurt.

What could I do? We’re driving up the freeway; my options are limited. Well, I have a bunch of teething toys/rings/etc. To be honest with you, very few worked for us. Because of this, a couple of months ago I started using frozen face masks. You know, the ones with the little jelly balls inside of them. They don’t freeze hard, they’re easy to squish, and the plastic around them is thick. Plus, babies like to play with these types of sensory items, and so, I always take one with me. Even if it’s not frozen by the time she needs one, it’s cold. Worst case scenario, it’s something she can squish in her mouth without me having to worry.

Teeth Are Sharp, Who Knew?

This time I give her the mask, and she’s happy as a lark. Then, she makes the craziest noise. The type of noise you would make if you put something disgusting in your mouth. I reach back and feel something gooey. It takes a few seconds, then I remember


To my surprise, she bit through the thick plastic and the jelly balls were everywhere (including her mouth). Luckily, I was already at the store. Quickly I parked, jumped out of the car, and started looking for the number for poison control. My initial response was to completely over-react. Pretty much the way any and every new mom does over new setbacks. I opened up the trunk to see if she was okay. Yep, the trunk. I have a Fiat. The easiest way to access her is through the trunk. I get a lot of strange looks, but it’s pretty fun. Thank God! Looking around, it didn’t appear that she had swallowed any jelly beads. Also, she loves to eat – everything – but the look she was giving me was pure disgust. That made me feel a lot more confident.

Your Teeth Are Barely In!

But, what happened? Her teeth were barely in! How could she have managed to suck out all the beads and turn the back seat into a miniature ball pit?

There it was, a hole in the mask. I checked her mouth and didn’t see any jelly bits in there. Once again, I thought about calling poison control or taking her to the hospital. But, then I thought about all the times I tell people they’re being ridiculous!!! Of course, I kept a close eye on her while we shopped, and nothing happened! Maybe she did eat one or two, but here we were continuing on our day. My saying is normally,

Better safe than sorry.

There has to be a line we draw as moms. Was freaking her out and rushing to the ER worth a jelly ball? If I had seen pink jelly bits in her mouth, heard her coughing, or even smacking her lips together, then it would have been different and I would have called Poison Control. Her life is worth more than taking the extra time, but I knew this wasn’t the case. I’m so glad I took a few deep breaths before making any decisions. As moms, it’s difficult to step back and assess the whole situation because we want to immediately fix any situation. Don’t be like that! Please.

Keep Your Head On Straight, Mamma!

Mistakes happen, even to the most diligent moms. Yes, you should always be safer than sorry, but before you go asking a million questions on Facebook Mom Groups, calling every triage in the county, desperately dialing your pediatrician, or internally hyperventilating, stop and look at the situation. I will never be able to guarantee Vienna didn’t eat any gel balls. But, based on her reaction, and the amount of them spilled around her, I can make a strong deduction. I felt confident in my abilities as a mother to know my daughter. You need to trust your instincts. Don’t forget to research, though. Every time you research something, you learn. So, before asking strangers on the internet and before going off the rails, do a quick search. You’ll save yourself a lot of energy, mental stress, and time!

New moms are always scared because we don’t know what the hell we’re doing! But, honestly, motherhood fears have gotten out of hand. We are women. We’re strong, knowledgeable, and we are capable! We do not need to act like crazy people every time something happens, because something WILL happen. They’re children – upsets come with the territory. Don’t buy into the fear. Buy into yourself. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Know your capabilities, be open to experiencing new ideas, fix the mistakes, and move on with your lives. You’re doing great! So, be confident and own it.

Margaret Greco

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