Saturday, October 21, 2006

Why toddlerspit?

This is a picture of Addie when she was 15 months old; see how cute she is?  Waving and smiling in her little summer dress and sandals?  See that huge wet spot on her front?  That's drool.  That wet spot is a constant in our lives.

Addie is two and a half now, which she indicates by holding her pinky and ring finger up.  You can be having a conversation about whatever and she'll suddenly interrupt you, urgent and intense, and yell "That's two!", holding those fingers in your face.  Yes, it is two, indeed. 

That drool spot hasn't gone away.  Addie's Dad and I are often asking Addie to "wipe her chin" or "close her mouth."  We have to put neosporin on her face a lot of the time because it gets so incredibly dry and red from being wet all the time.  She can't eat any food that is overly acidic, like oranges or tomatoes, because it aggravates her chin so much that she breaks out in hives.

We have no idea what causes the drooling.  For a long time we thought it was teething, of course.  But all the teeth are in, and the drool continues.  It triples in intensity when Addie has a runny nose, maybe because she has to breathe through her mouth.  Being a preschooler and an inveterate mouther of everything in her path, she constantly has a runny nose, so the drool is constantly tripled.  But we don't know if there's something else going on.  At this point, our best guess is that it's behavioral.

For example:  Addie's old enough now to have irrational fears.  Last night, our normally excellent sleeper screamed and screamed in her bed because her "door was making noises."  Both her Dad and I sat in there and listened; we were stymied until we figured out it was the clicking of the portable oil-run heater we have in her room.  As the oil in the coils heats up, it sometimes bubbles and pops--a pretty mellow sound, but probably spooky sounding to a toddler.  Once we figured it out, I vowed to turn her heater off, and she made me promise no less than five times that I would not turn it back on (which promise, by the way, I had to break later; if you leave our central heating on all night, we get a $400 utility bill, so space heaters are our saving grace in the wintertime.  But I waited until she was well asleep).

All this by way of saying that I had to rock her in the rocking chair for a good long time to get her to calm down enough to go back to bed.  Which is another way of saying that I was covered in toddlerspit and a quart of snot by the time I got up.  To my credit, I think, I didn't wipe it off--at least not immediately.  I was too busy marveling at this big kid who has fears now.  Who, when I asked her to stop crying so that I could understand what she was saying, lowered her voice and spoke very slowly, trying very hard not to cry, about her door making sounds, even though tears were still pouring out of her eyes.  My big, big girl.  With a big, big droolspot.

So, this blog is about my two girls--Addie (2 1/2) and Nolie (11 weeks) and their Dad and me.  And our dog Burley and cats Sadie (Say-Say) and Prudence (Pru-Pru).  But mostly about how I'm trying to deal with this life of mine as a borderline obsessive-compulsive, constantly covered in toddler goo.  Enjoy.


  1. here we go........wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

    so happy to be along for the ride.


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