Teething sucks balls. I'm afraid I have nothing better to offer than that. You came for honesty so let me tell you, everyone is winging it - counting the seconds between Calpol doses, dancing to the Cherokee gods, whatever it takes. When it comes to baby teeth the only reliable apparatus is one wing and one prayer. So here's my list of 5 things that might make enduring teething a little more palatable... at least for as long as it takes to read them:
One of the scariest parts of motherhood is not knowing why anything is happening - Why are they crying? What's that rash? What's that smell? Teething is a one size fits all explanation for all those questions. Not sleeping, it's teeth. Not eating, it's teeth. Poop funny, gotta be the teeth. Babies are often a maddening mystery and every once in a while it's nice to have something to pin their unpredictable beahviours on.
Teeth are a wonderful lesson in the inevitable variety of life. Some babies are born with steak-ready gnashers; others remain toothless for months and months and then several sprout overnight like mushroom. If you're one of those parents with a tendancy to compare and have convinced yourself that the whilst you're waiting for your tot to roll her peers are reading Tolstoy, just check out their mouths. Babies grow at their own rate and in their own way - teeth are the proof.
Teething also provides you with some preparation for coexisting with a teenager. You know - snarling, crying and kicking off at the drop of hat and with very little provocation. If you can't find a way to manage the unfiltered emotion of your child when they're small enough to shove under one arm, you will have no chance when they're towering above you and fuelled by supermarket vodka - just sayin'.
If your little one is taking a while to cut them gums at least you're spared the pressure of tooth brushing twice a day. That, my friend, is another ridiculous state of affairs but we'll save that for another day shall we...