All week, Little Mister has been about as pleasant as a porcupine. He whines about everything, refuses to eat his food but begs for snacks, mopes around... He also had a bit of a runny nose and some diarrhea.
In my sleep-deprived semi-incoherent state, I didn't worry too much about it other than to scold him when his whining became unbearable. I figured he had a slight cold and was acting out because of the new baby or cabin fever.
Then Wednesday night it was my turn to brush his teeth. (Usually Hubby does it.) Mister took his turn first as usual then opened his little mouth for me to do my more thorough brushing. As I swept the toothbrush around, I suddenly noticed TWO molars on each side when he previously had only one. The second one, just showing from beneath red, sore skin was joining its mate in his growing mouth.
Suddenly, I felt such remorse as only a Mommy can feel who has missed the fact that her darling son has been teething for an entire week. Cutting two-year molars is an excruciating process and instead of cuddles and sympathy and soft food, he got scolded for whining and impatient complaining from me that he wouldn't eat.
If only I had a rewind button to go back and pay more attention. I would fix him oatmeal; I would go buy some yogurt. He would get hugs and sympathy and Tylenol. He would not have to be hungry because his mouth was too sore to eat the crunchy food I had fixed for him.
The first thing I did when I finally figured out what was wrong was to give him some Tylenol and check the status of the other three molars. Then I fixed him a big bowl of warm oatmeal. My poor, hungry son downed it like he hadn't eaten for a week.
I made a mental note to remember that my sweet son rarely acts out and when he does, he generally has a very good reason. Now that he's a middle child, I need to work extra hard to not let him slip through the cracks in my attention-giving because he is so pleasant and quiet, it's easy to completely overlook him. But I love him so much the thought of ignoring him makes me sick to my stomach. God, give me the strength to give each one of my children exactly what they need!