Did you read Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing as a kid? I remember reading it, but it’s seared into my head mostly because I usually start out the school year reading this book (or one of the other Judy Blume books in the series) to my class. The theme of a pesky younger sibling is pretty timeless–and good for many laughs.
Well, now I have my own personal Fudge Drexel. Just like the troublesome toddler, Owen had his two front teeth knocked out at school yesterday. At least he wasn’t trying to fly!
It’s never a good sign when you get a call from school halfway through the day. Just as Amelia and I were finishing up lunch, my phone rang. Owen’s teacher called to report the incident. Apparently, a kid playing tag tripped and slammed into Owen, whose face was only inches from the wooden rock climbing wall. After the gore was mopped up and inspection could be done, he gashed his bottom lip, scraped up his chin, and had two VERY loose top teeth. I picked him up and off to the emergency room we went.
Luckily, we have a fantastic Children’s Hospital and they have a dental clinic right on site. He was transported there after the other injuries were checked out. On the x-ray, you could clearly see where his right tooth was broken almost clear across just above the gum line. The left was broken about halfway. Out they must come.
We have never had a negative experience with anyone, from reception desks to physicians, at this hospital, but I wasn’t thrilled with the dental resident we had. She was obviously annoyed with my questions about the laughing gas and the risk of damage to his permanent teeth. She showed Owen all the tools she would use (calling them goofy names, which irritated me), but NEVER ONCE told him she would have to take his teeth out…or that it would take a year or more for the permanent teeth to descend. And then she just started working. I stopped her and insisted that she explain what was about to happen. She was visibly irritated, but I don’t care. He’s FIVE for crying out loud, not a little baby. Even before he told her, Owen was upset and crying. His mouth hurt from being poked and prodded all afternoon and he hadn’t had any lunch (it was now 4:15). That boy without food at regular intervals is like a time bomb waiting to blow. He was crying and screaming while she tried to work. I was trying to calm him (not to mention hold his hands because he kept trying to rip the tools from her hands). She turns to me and says, “It’s easier if the parents leave the room.” To which I replied, “For you or for him? I’m not about to leave my hysterical kid here alone.”
He was asking for Dawn, who’d just arrived in the waiting area, so we stopped the procedure and switched. They ended up getting it done, but not before the dentist pissed Dawn off, too.
As soon as got home and ate a dinner of oatmeal, yogurt, and a pudding cup, he was fine. He wrote a letter to the tooth fairy, tucked it into (his yet undecorated) tooth box, and went to bed.
Needless to say, the tooth fairy (Wendell, in case you were curious) was very good to the newly toothless boy!