Juffin gets home from work and the shitith hittith the fan. There is screaming. Inconsolable screaming. Will not eat his dinner, delicious roasted pumpkin with thyme and garlic, and he LOVES his damn dinner. We try some yoghurt, nope not interested. Fine. Juffin takes him out of the highchair and tries to talk him down jiggling and being silly, nothing, murderous gut wrenching screams continue. I take him off Juffin and give him a cuddle, getting pumpkin and yoghurt all over myself in the process, but still no change to mega screaming. I'm starting to get concerned that the neighbours will call the police thinking we're trying to murder our child.
We strip him off and try to have a bath. He is a quiet for a minute or two then the screaming revs up again. Oh dear. It's been five hours since last paracetamol dose so we tag team and try to get him dressed for bed as soon as possible. I'm not sure what his vocal chords are made of but they've got the stuff, I can tell you. I'm thinking we may have a metal singer in the making. Look out Burton C. Bell! At this point I'm trying not to panic. He's only been out of sorts for an afternoon. I manage to feed him and get him into bed at the usual time around 6.45.
What followed can only best be described as a descent into hell. I thought I'd had tough days/nights before but they were just a test, a trial, a glimmer of what was really hiding beneath the surface. It's like the hellmouth actually opened and replaced my son with a screaming, tortured, tiny demon. That night he woke every hour. EVERY HOUR. I could even deal with hourly waking if it didn't go hand in hand with inconsolable screaming. At one point I just bought him into bed with us and I think we all got about 2 hours sleep in total....
And I hope my neighbours got no sleep either cos all their f-ing dogs bark all g-damn night and I'm sick to death of it! Apologies for the rant but seriously dudes. Tell your dogs to be quiet. I can understand if there are people walking by, but there isn't. There are bats flying by, or I'm going to the toilet. Stop barking at me going to the damn toilet! I'm just doing a damn wee! I should be able to wee in bloody peace!!!
Tuesday dawns grey and miserable, which, coincidentally, matches the mood in our household perfectly. Not sure if any one of us could have dealt with beautiful sunshine when we all feel like we've been beaten about the head with a tonne of bricks. However, it's a new day and it's only 7am but the screaming has started already. I can't administer any more drugs as we're out of paracetamol but should really wait for an hour or two before giving any more. Still has a slight temperature but nothing like the night before. I have tried homeopathic teething liquid, cold washers, cold water in a bottle... I am spent. He won't even feed properly so the screaming is probably because he's hungry as well.
Being the bad mother that I am I stick the screaming, drooling, Mushroom demon in front of Sesame Street so I can go and have a shower. Because TV is miraculous he shuts up for a minute and turns into a square eyed zombie as I dash to the bathroom to revive my flagging spirit. I feel so awful that I'm actually envious as I watch Juffin drag his sleepy ass out the door because at least he gets to get away from the screaming hell beast for the day. Don't ever underestimate the power of a hot shower. Something happens as I douse myself liberally in strawberry shower gel and hot water pours over my scratchy eyes and weary joints, I feel as though I can face the day. I pull myself out of the shower when I can hear that the vocalisation in the living room is no longer 'hah, cookie monster funny' to 'urrggggh, where is my damn mother so I can yell at her some more?!'
I slap some clothes on, pull the pram out and put the drooling Mushroom demon in it. I plug the tunes in and turn them up as loud as they will go, at least it will semi drown out the crying child, and I plough out the door. Halfway down the road I have a lightning bolt moment and race back home to grab something. As we trundle back down the road I use my secret weapon and shove the dummy in his face as we're walking along. It works. And I don't care that it's come to this. Dummy usage in the day time, to shut him up. At least the people who don't have to be awake at 8.15am can keep sleeping and not look out their windows at me with hate in their eyes.
At the chemist my Mushroom looks at me forlornly sucking furiously on his dummy, eyes red raw, drool seeping out from behind the plastic stuck on his face and I am the chemist lady's easiest sell ever. Have you tried this? Nup, give it to me, I will literally try whatever you have. Purse considerably lighter we leave the chemist and head to the cafe for the biggest coffee known to man. Unfortunately Mushroom demon spits the dummy, literally, and we have to make a hasty exit. It's enough to make a girl cry. I'm pushing the pram home accompanied by the soundtrack of my life, Mushroom crying, and I'm thinking to myself, good ganesha, when will he finally give up and go the f to sleep?! He is exhausted, I am exhausted, difference is he gets to be pushed around in a comfy ass pram and waited on hand and foot. At some point on the home stretch, literally, he falls asleep. I say a little prayer to myself. The MIL is on her way and I just know that he won't sleep for long but hopefully it'll be enough to stop him from screaming for another hour or two.
It's a long day. Damn. It's a long life. We alternate from crying to screaming and back again only letting up for about 3 hours in the afternoon when my friend comes to rescue me but probably more to stop me from throwing him out on the lawn for the crows to peck over. By some beautiful miracle, the combination of teething tablets, teething liquid, cold water and a lunchtime dose of paracetamol finally kick in and we're able to get some peace. I eat some food, drink a coffee, go to the loo and lament motherhood, all necessary tasks to get through the evening ahead.
It's not pretty. Dinner time is a shambles, we don't even try a bath and just pop him in the shower with Dad where he gets so relaxed he nearly falls asleep on Juffin's shoulder. As soon as he exits the shower, it's on again for young and old and the edges are starting to fray. He won't feed, he won't drink water, he won't eat anything. He won't sit, he won't lay down, he won't settle for me, his Dad, no-one and the screaming. He just won't stop screaming.
After trying everything all evening I'm starting to question whether there is really something else wrong with him because surely teeth cannot be causing this much trouble and the tears that have been threatening for the last 12 hours finally come. The screaming is rocketing around my skull now and I'm just so tired and frustrated at how useless I am in this situation that I just can't stop them from falling. I am literally begging my child to go to sleep with tears streaming down my face. The Juffin watches on silently, unable to do anything to help as he's done his fair share of rocking over the last few hours as well. We've all just had enough. I don't know if he can sense my utter desperation but at 11.24 on Tuesday night the Mushroom finally stops crying. I tentatively try to feed him and he latches straight away and starts to drink like a man who's been stranded in the desert. He sleeps until 5.30am, has another feed, then back down again for 1.5 hours. When Juffin brings him into our bed for the morning cuddle he is smiling.
The demon has been expunged.
And guess what?! STILL NO F-ING TEETH!!!