It’s not often as a parent that you experience a feeling of monumental dread or fear.
I’ve already been there twice in Owen’s lifetime.
To expound: last night Owen lost a tooth, his first.
In and of itself, a child loosing a tooth isn’t much of a story. It’s of an order of magnitude akin to “dog bites man” or “water: still wet”.
The major difference in this case being Owen is only newly Two years old this month and he lost the tooth by falling and striking his mouth on an Adirondack chair in our living room.
It was one of those moments when all the air seemed to suck right out of the room and the silence took on a character all its own. After the initial shock and awe, blood rushed out of his head like a faucet and he screamed (bloody, obviously) murder.
We found the tooth next to the chair and consulted with no less than 4 nurses (two in the family and two over the phone) only to discover that so-called “baby teeth” are irreplaceable. Let that double entendre sink in for just a minute; it hurts.
Jenn set about weeping that we’d have nothing but gap-toothed pictures of our son for the next 4 – 6 years, Raelyn kept a very cool head, my father-in-law Marty applied pressure and consoled the wounded (both physically and emotionally) while I got the Advil ready.
A groggy (and sanguine) good-night, a mid-night wake-up to ensure no head injuries and a morning trip to the pediatric dentist all confirm: the tooth exited cleanly and won’t be going back in today or any other day. We’re now on the anxious countdown to somewhere shy of age 8 when, they tell us, we cannot expect Owen to generate a replacement (adult) tooth.
I saw it on the x-ray, but they assure me it’s nowhere near ready to make a public appearance.
So I’m typing this while Jenn, Rae and Owen rest. It’s been a busy 18 – 20 hours and they were all quite tired. Owen earned rave reviews for his demeanor getting x-rayed, poked, prodded and weighed. He even got a compliment on his diction/vocabulary, all despite a man down, dentally speaking.
Some day we’ll get Owen a bridge or something to mask the wholeness of the hole, but right now he looks like he lost a fight with a toddler bully.
I’m just happy everyone is safe and sound. So much worse could have come from that very innocent fall – he was just jumping around and hitting a beach ball after all.
Hug your kids.
Love your kids.
Take pictures of kids while they (and you) still have all your teeth.
Oh, and the first time I got that horrible feeling of dread: when Owen was delivered and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times.
This was so much easier than that, if potentially longer lasting.
Until tomorrow, stay safe kids.