A fresh box of No. 2 pencils and a diaper full of TMI

I posted a status on Facebook earlier this week that drew quite a bit of attention:

“Next person who chirps at me “he’s teething” or “rice cereal will help him sleep better” is getting a No. 2 pencil in the eye. Even if you’re family. Rice cereal makes him go on a 3-day poop strike and yes, I know he’s teething.”

Rice cereal? Sleep? Lies, all lies!! Not to sound psychotic, hormonal, and sleep-deprived (though I am at least two of those things), but that really is how I’ve felt at several moments in the past week or so. But especially during these past 2-3 days, when Russ has been a poopless, sleepless, inconsolable, crazy, scream machine. This is not the baby I know. And given that growth spurts tend to fall on the “3s and 6s” (Watch, I’ll have QOTSA’s “3s and 7s” stuck in my head all day now), that means it’s about time – and it must’ve been far too long since the last spurt because I’m stumped. So, basically…growth spurt + constipated baby adjusting to some solids + teething = RIP my circadian rhythm. And his, apparently (since he’s decided that naps are for newborns and he’s over that, also…sheesh).

And did I mention that yes, he is teething? Because I just wanted to point that out before anyone told me he was teething. Refer to the Facebook status for further instructions. Yes, he’s teething. In fact, I noticed what looks like a FREAKIN’ MOLAR popping up. He doesn’t have any other teeth, is the molar really going to lead the pack? REALLY? These are all things of concern to me, the fuzzy-haired, droopy-eyed, hormonal, psychotic, worried mom. Yeah, like I said earlier. I’m that lady.

Oh, and this is going to be our fun post for the month. Because this is the one where we talk about my colon. Oh yes, friends…we’re going there. So, check out now if you don’t want to feel like you know me better. Way better. It would appear that Russ has inherited my anal retentive tendencies, and I’m speaking in literal terms here. I’m practically legend in my family for “the grunts,” the maneuver I was routinely doing from birth until at least four years of age. I would get so ridiculously constipated as a little one, my poor mother tried everything. Whereas most normal kids were raised on strawberry Juice Juice, I was raised on a steady diet of castor oil, warm prune juice (the kind with the pulp. yum.), whole wheat, and fervent prayer. Fast forward to Russ Wilhoit, the spitting image of his father in every way except for the sphinctoral kind.

Having started Russ on rice cereal and then sweet potatoes 4-5 weeks ago, we thought he was just taking to it like a duck in water. Seems that may have been a bit premature. I guess we just introduced new foods a little too quickly or something, because something stopped him up. It’s most likely the rice cereal and the bananas, so we’ll be steering clear of that for quite awhile. But I needed Dr. B’s perspective on how to back up (no pun intended) and regroup, and also on how to handle all the other things that are coming together on us right now. Not to mention, Russ has been running a low-grade fever for about 24 hours – and he’s never had a fever before, not once. It was time to just have a pro check things out and instruct us on what to do next.

So today was actually the first time I’ve had to take him to the doctor for anything other than a regularly scheduled well-child appointment. I guess I should be thankful for that (and I am). After what seemed like a ridiculously long wait (an hour) and questions from the office administrative staff about why I was still waiting (to which I replied “Uh…you tell me?”), Dr. B came in to check little man out. She said a few things, some of which surprised, some of which didn’t.

1) Yeah, he’s teething. Just wanted to clear that up for anyone else in my immediate or marital family who wondered. He’s teething. He’s been teething. He’ll continue to be teething. Honestly, I’d rather talk about the process of recovering from a childbirth “push hemorrhoid” at this point. Are we clear on that? So let’s consider the hemorroids, the stitches, the first post-baby poop (mine, not his), and exactly how much my bra size has gone up (and how far the girls have dropped after nearly six months of breastfeeding) to all be more readily accessible topics to broach with me at this point than “Oh, he’s teething!” I got the memo on the teething.

2) The “molar” is not really a molar – at least, Dr. B didn’t think so. She said it could be a little inclusion cyst that has popped up and should go away soon. She also said that the inclusion cyst wouldn’t be what is hurting him, it would be the pain from the front teeth that are starting to move up. So we’re at the beginning of what will probably be a lengthy and sometime trying process, but for now, we’re still at the beginning.

3) We’re ditching the rice cereal and sticking with sweet potatoes and maybe some oatmeal cereal from here on. Then we’ll start gradually and very slowly introducing more veggies and fruits. I’ll probably put off all fruits except for prunes for awhile though, because Russ’s tummy seems a bit sensitive. I know if he’s anything like me (and I think we’ve already confirmed that he does have my “ugly cry face” and my lower intestine, if nothing else), some fruits will really upset his delicate balance.

4) Russ’s sleep schedule may be thrown for a few days with the growth spurt and all the other stuff going on. His naps may be shorter. It will level off eventually, and once we know he’s feeling better, we can try the old cry-it-out approach. He is entering that clingy, I-want-mommy stage where he screams bloody murder if I leave the room for more than 6 seconds and I’m realizing that he’s just going to have to learn – over time, I’m sure – that I am not leaving him and that me being in a different room for two minutes while he’s in his pack n’ play does not equate to abandonment. At least, I hope it doesn’t seem that way to him or he’s gonna have one heckuva therapy bill in his 30s. I really just want my kid to be happy and healthy, at the end of the day.

Well…and for him to not go three days without a poop. Frankly, I think most of the world’s problems could be made significantly better if every one evacuated the ol’ colon at least once a day. Just sayin’.

2 thoughts on “A fresh box of No. 2 pencils and a diaper full of TMI

  1. Mason had the same issues when we introduced baby food. It was awful and I felt terrible every time he got constipated – I mixed prune juice with the oatmeal cereal instead of formula. You've probably figured that out by now, but it did seem to help. He hasn't grown out of it, though…once he was able to eat yogurt, that helped TONS!! You and he will like it when that time comes, for sure! 🙂 Once he turned 2, I started him on gummy fiber vitamins (which he thinks is candy!! hehe)and that has been a life saver! That and whole wheat bread! 😉 You're a good mommy, and you both will figure out what works best for you two!


  2. Oh, I look so very forward to when yogurt can be introduced…I really do. Is that about one year, or what's the recommendation on that? Prune juice has been a regular staple in our fridge since my first trimester (more TMI! I'm a creature of habit, aren't I?), so I will be using that for his cereal for sure. It's so much more convenient than having to pump or thaw breastmilk for cereal, anyways.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, that means a TON. He's pooped twice today, that's been quite the cause for celebration at our house. I'm sure you know how that is, haha… 🙂


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