I have heard people say that life is a permanent teacher but I think it needs to be rephrased because if anything, raising a child is like being permanently in class. While the teacher may come and teach something that you know a little about, he or she will on very many occasions make you realise that you really don’t know much.
I just started my leave on Monday and for the next 20 days, I am lucky that I will be spending so much time with Kwezi. I cherish these rare occasions where we wake up together, have breakfast, watch a movie of her choice (my choices are always rejected), sleep again, wake up and eat and do it all over again. To cut the long story short, I cherish spending a lot of time with her doing absolutely nothing.
However, this is also an opportunity for me to observe how things are done when I am away from home, and also to do research about some of the matters that I can’t readily find answers for. For instance, for the last two or so months, I have been bringing Kwezi to my bed because I enjoy her company. Obviously, she sleeps before me and I discovered something that baffled me. My child grinds her teeth in her sleep. For those who don’t know what this means, I will attempt to explain. Do you ever see people who you can tell are angry from the way their jaws tighten and move like they are chewing on something? Well, imagine that coming from a child. In this case, their teeth are all grinding against each other making a sound that is as irritating as someone dragging a soda bottle-top with their foot. What I even find disturbing is that the sound makes you feel like the teeth are going to break anytime.
Like every dotcom era parent, I sought the help of Google. Yes, it happens, yes children outgrow it. I was relieved.
I was, however, stopped in my tracks when I tried to find out about the causes. The different trusted sites went on to tell me that the issue is caused by stress. What? What stress does a three-and-a-half-year-old have? She does not go to school so no one is bullying her. She does not pay rent, which in my books is the most stressful thing in this world. She does not have a job to be stressed about. Her only role in life is to eat, play, poop and sleep. How is that stressful? That is generally my dream life.
Anyway, just before I could stress any further, my mother informed me that I too used to grind my teeth and thankfully, I outgrew it. What a relief! This, after all, is just another irritating but temporary phase.