Poor Ivan is getting more teeth. My suspicion is that he is working on his 24 month molars and I only thought he was working on them a few months ago when in fact he was working on his 20 month molars. Forget the fact that he is 31 months…my kids are slow about their teeth.

The poor guy kept having a runny snotty nose and drooling. I thought maybe he was getting a cold but he acted just fine. Then there was the habit he was forming that is still driving me crazy but I trust it will pass with the completion of his teething. He’s been holding food in his mouth. He used to do this now and then and I never tied it in with teething but now I wonder if that’s what it’s been all along. Recently it has been very consistent. Almost every meal, no matter what we’re having, no matter if he likes it or dislikes it he will hold a mouthful of food in his mouth for hours if we let him. I tried ignoring it, giving him drinks, offering him something tasty if he would swallow, even spanking him, but nothing made a dent. He didn’t seem to have an answer for his behavior and would just shrug his shoulders and look worried when we asked why he did this. I could see the earnest concern on his face. He was upset by it himself but didn’t seem to have the capacity to fix the problem. I would swing from infuriated with him to compassion and mercy and back to infuriated on a regular basis.

Finally, on Monday night after the second mouth full of food debacle of the day, I decided to google “holds food in mouth”. I found that most kids do this as a form of a power struggle. I knew this wasn’t the case with Ivan. Not that he’s incapable of a power struggle, believe me he and I have had a few. However, his expressions and attitude are different in such cases and he doesn’t look at me with concern, he looks at me with defiance when it’s a power struggle. I did see one blogger that spoke of their child doing this when their five year molars were coming in. Blink! The light came on. The drooling, the snotty nose…the poor kid’s in pain. Kris was holding him when I read this so I called to Ivan in the next room.

“Ivan, does your mouth hurt?” He nodded. I explained to Kris what I had read and he asked Ivan to point to where it hurts. Sure enough little white spots were poking through the gum on each side of the top of his mouth. Argh! Poor baby!

So, we are dealing with the whole food thing a little differently now and hopefully we can encourage him to take it slow and not fill his mouth to capacity before realizing that he doesn’t want to chew. This too shall pass.