I had a huge “duh!” parenting moment yesterday. Cate’s been super-fussy this week, just a lot crankier than normal. Normally she takes two naps a day that are about 1-2 hours long, but she was taking several 20-30 minute naps instead, and waking up still tired and even grumpier than when she went to sleep. We assumed that it was the daycare transition, and that we were just going to have to suffer through it.

Yesterday afternoon, Dave took her outside to calm her down – since simply walking her outside almost always makes her stop crying instantly – and when he came back in, he said, “Hey, did you notice that she has a tooth now?”

Um, what? No, I hadn’t noticed that! She hasn’t been showing any of the typical signs for teething (excessive drool, etc.), so it never occurred to me that was the source of her crankiness. I knew from my mom that I got my teeth on the late side of normal (around 10 months, I think), and I just figured Cate would do likewise. But I felt in her mouth, and sure enough, there’s one corner of one little tooth poking up through the gums, and the other one feels like it’s just about to break through.

[For the record, Dave only discovered the tooth because she bit his hand and he noticed something a lot sharper than usual. So I’m not a totally neglectful parent, I just normally try to not let my child bite me. She already tries to pull my hair out, I don’t need the extra pain.]

Of course, this explains why she woke up at 1 a.m. shrieking the other night, which is highly unusual for her. And when I got her, there was a tiny bit of blood on her lip and some on the sheet of her crib. Dave and I thought maybe she was trying to stand up in her crib and banged her face on the bars, which didn’t really make sense because the spot of blood was exactly where her head would be when she’s sleeping. Now I realize that must’ve been when the tooth first broke through, and that must’ve been why she was so distressed.

Last night she got extra screamy right around bedtime, so I gave her a tiny bit of baby Tylenol before her last bottle. Girlfriend slept like a log for 10 straight hours. Poor baby must’ve been exhausted, and we had no idea what she was going through.

I’ll try to get pictures of the tooth (or teeth, but I’m not sure when that second one is going to show up) as soon as she lets me see them.