The Tooth Story

The Tooth Story

I dream of teeth falling out of my head. Crumbling into my hands, my gaping mouth a dark hole. Dreams about teeth falling out apparently have to do with change or fear over losing something important or, ahem, sexual repression.

In these dreams there is no blood, which is how I know that they are, in fact, dreams and not real life. When teeth fall out of real, live, non-dreaming human heads, there’s so much blood.

I suppose I’m ready to tell the story of how my oldest son lost a permanent tooth here on the blog. I told it on Instagram and Facebook, but recording it here makes it mine and permanent. In order to make it mine and permanent, I had to stop gagging every time I thought of what happened.

I succeeded in reaching that point tonight when my lovely oldest son yelled from the living room, “Mom! I LOST A TOOTH!”

And I yelled back, “IS IT ONE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LOSE?!”

And he replied, “I THINK SO!”

I met him in the bathroom and did a quick scan of his mouth. Yes, a baby tooth. One that should come out. One that can come out and not need replaced. One that still results in a lot of blood. Like, too much blood.

“Buddy, were you messing with it? Like trying to pick it out?”
“Yeah, it was loose and bothering me.”

We like to force teeth out around these parts.

A few weeks ago, I told BigBrother he could go play at the neighbor’s house. This happened way back before winter returned to the area, so kids actually got to do things like play outside without getting frostbite. LittleBrother stayed at the house because he was burying money. No, really. He had a giant shovel and was digging holes to bury money to find again later with the metal detector.

We know how to have a good time here.

I was in my office with the window open, because again, spring seemed all but arrived. My husband had just walked outside to see how much damage LittleBrother was causing with the shovel when a group of children ran into our back yard.

“Your brother lost an adult tooth!”

I should say right here that I did not panic. I did not think the child lost an “adult” tooth. Any time he feels a loose tooth, he panics and asks, “Is this a permanent tooth?” And I watch him wiggle it, gag, and inform him that no, it’s a baby tooth, and all will be well. So, right at that moment, I’m figuring my oldest son is living up to his dramatic tendencies and that the Tooth Fairy will make a visit some time that night.

My husband, arriving in the back yard, says he’ll walk over.

The kids reply, “Oh, there’s a lot of blood.”

So my husband gets in the car and drives over. I continue working, again thinking nothing at all could possibly be wrong. Maybe he’ll have a bruise if he bonked heads. Life will go on.

I hear the car come into the garage and I meet them at the door in the mudroom.

“Is it a permanent tooth,” I stage-whisper ask.

My husband, holding his arm around our son’s shoulders to keep a bloody rag in his mouth, nods yes. I immediately grab my phone and call the dentist’s office where my mother-in-law works.

“It’s an emergency.”
“He lost a permanent tooth.”
“Put it in milk. Hold on.”

And I hold, standing on the front porch, glad that I took the time to get dressed and make myself presentable as it seems we’ll be leaving the house shortly. LittleBrother walked by with a shovel.

“Yes, put it in milk and get here now.”

As my husband took the bloody tooth, WHICH BY THE WAY WAS GIGANTIC, and put it in a Tupperware container that seems made specifically for milk and teeth, I worked to calm down my oldest son. First I had to assure him that we weren’t mad. I knew that’s what he was most upset about; he doesn’t like to disappoint anyone. Ever. Then I had to reassure him that his Nina would work with the dentist to fix it. I didn’t know what that meant at the time. I just figured they could and would fix it. He finally stopped crying.

I zoned out on the ride to the dentist’s office because my husband was speeding as time is of the essence in tooth-replacement. Once it starts to clot, you have less of a chance of the tooth “taking.” So I gagged on Twitter and read social media report emails and turned to check on the gap-toothed boy every now and then. LittleBrother sat very quietly.

Once at the dentist’s office, they got him set up in the chair. The thing to mention here is that because of my mother-in-law, my children have no fear of the dentist. He just laid back in that chair like he was going to get his hair done and that was that.

Do you want to know how they replace a tooth? After numbing the gums, they just SHOVE IT BACK IN THE GAPING HOLE.

How I didn’t pass out, I don’t have a clue.

They then installed a set of four temporary braces on his bottom front teeth to keep it stationary while it adheres back into his mouth. He’ll need a root canal at some point. He didn’t flinch at any of this, didn’t whine or cry at any of the pain. Meanwhile, I’m woozy writing this just now.

My mother-in-law went out to check on LittleBrother who had stayed in the lobby to watch TV. She brought him into the room and the kid was as white as a ghost. He was scared for his brother. He then crawled up into the chair with him and said, “I love you.”

Listen. I’ll take a little lot of mouth blood, gigantic missing teeth, Tupperware containers of milk, and shoving teeth back where they go just to see a little bit of brotherly love up in this piece. But I’d really rather not do that one again. So maybe if they could just work on the brotherly love without the blood, that’d be swell.

And yeah, we’re done with trampolines.


Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

Anxious Parenting Thoughts on a Saturday

Sometimes your whole family gets the flu shot and your youngest ends up with Influenza B anyway.

Sometimes you drop your phone on the ground and nothing happens. Sometimes you drop your phone on the garage floor the day before you leave on a trip and the screen shatters into a million pieces. Sometimes you’re thankful for insurance, and you simply place a replacement order. Sometimes you drop your replacement phone on the corner of the sidewalk on a rainy night during which you just made a lot of money selling clothes to amazing women… and the screen shatters into a million pieces. Again. And you make the claim again. But it’s the weekend, so you rock a shattered screen all weekend long hoping shards of glass don’t end up in your fingertips or face.

Sometimes you get really behind on laundry so you work really hard to catch up on laundry. But then there’s just more laundry. There’s. Just. More. Laundry. You probably even took a curtain rod down today and realized, “Shit! I haven’t washed these since I purchased them.” So now you’re washing curtains.

Sometimes you stop at the store for more Ibuprofen for your sick kid and he says, “Mommy, we need more tissues,” so you buy a three pack because the kid goes through tissues like sick kids are supposed to go through tissues. On the way home, you stop at the fire department to say hello to your husband who is working and he says, “Why’d you buy more tissues? I bought a three pack. They’re in the laundry room.” So now you have six boxes of tissues. It won’t matter; there are never enough tissues. And you feel pissy with your husband because he gets to go away and it feels like you’re the one who is always home, covered in bloody, flu snot. But then you remember he runs into burning buildings and takes the boys to baseball practice on 30-degree afternoons while you go sell clothes and drink gin. You work together; you work together.

Sometimes you make a roller bottle of lavender and peppermint and fractionated coconut oil to help with the fever issue. And you lose it. In your own house. Where did it go? Did you throw it away? Did the aliens come and take it? Where do things go when they disappear? Do they go the same place as your patience?

Sometimes your mother calls and lets you know that your great-grandmother has the flu, too. And you feel kind of nervous about that because while an eight-year-old with a healthy immune system can fight off the flu in a normal amount of time, a 94-year-old woman seems a different story. You feel something in the pit of your stomach. You realize you’ve fed the children dinner, but not yourself. You hope it’s just that. But you still don’t get up to get yourself food.

Sometimes you make bigger messes while cleaning smaller messes.

Sometimes the sun comes out on a snowy April day (what the ever loving…) and you realize that yes, Mulder, maybe there’s hope. Even on the trying weeks, the ones that test your patience and faith in humanity and belief in self. And then sometimes the app on your phone dings. You look and it reads, “Precipitation detected within ten miles,” and it’s just more snow. In April. And you’re thinking, “It’s my damn birthday month. What the hell is this nonsense? Maybe I should ask for a new freaking snow suit.” But then it would never, ever snow again.

Sometimes you text friends about how you feel like a bad mother because your sick child’s cough grates your last nerve. They laugh with you, offer suggestions to soothe the coughing. Sometimes you text friends about dresses to wear on stage and they give you honest advice and you miss them so much your heart physically aches. Sometimes your thoughts run away with people who have come and gone and you wonder what you were meant to learn.

Sometimes you wear bright leggings on gray days because what else can you do?

Anxious Parenting Thoughts on a Saturday

Sometimes you sit down and write the things you think, the things that run around your head on busy but not actually busy Saturdays. You write out the anxiety, get it all out through the tippy-top of your fingers. You push it out onto the keyboard which makes the letters and spaces and punctuation marks skim across the screen until you find yourself staring at the flashing cursor and realize that yes, you’ve done what you set out to do.

Sometimes it takes fifteen minutes and 792 words to calm the voices in your head and heart. But there will always be more laundry.


[You can listen to/watch me read this post on Facebook. Or you can watch it below.]

Anxious Parenting Thoughts on a Saturday

I decided to record the post I wrote today because I really liked the flow of it. The video isn't perfect; I say watching when I meant washing. But this was a one shot deal. No makeup. No edits. Just me reading what I wrote how I would read it to you if you were sitting here with me and I was spouting off all my anxious thoughts at once. (Link to post:

Posted by Stop, Drop & Blog on Saturday, April 9, 2016