All I Want For My Birthday Are Riley’s Two Front Teeth

Did I say this week was going swimmingly?  I spoke prematurely.

Riley fell after school yesterday.  On his face.  On his front teeth, to be specific.  Before I continue, you should know that he’s okay.  But, he has cuts inside and outside of his mouth, and his two front teeth are mobile.  That’s dentist talk for loose.  It’s a waiting game now.  Either the teeth will tighten up when the soft tissue in his mouth heals or they won’t.  If they do, they could still “die” in his mouth and turn a dusty, gray color.  If they don’t, they will pull one or both of his front teeth.

Reality check:  No head injury.  No broken bones.  These are his baby teeth. In a few years, his permanent teeth will come in and I’ll laugh about all of this.  

Mama check:  There was a lot of blood!  He might lose his front teeth!  Which would require sedation!  They can give him temporary “fake” teeth, but not until his 2nd year molars come in…and they haven’t yet!  I know a gazillion kids have lost their teeth, but this is my perfect little boy and I don’t want to give up any of them!

I read a blog recently where a woman wrote about how motherhood magnified her best qualities but also revealed her worst flaws.  It’s true that motherhood forces you to look at yourself in the mirror every day, and I didn’t like a lot of what I saw yesterday. 

Most of it is a blur, and I’m sure I did a lot of things right, but what I woke up with today are crystal clear memories of everything I did wrong – how frazzled and panicked I felt, how unsure I was about what to do and where to take Riley, how frustrated I was at Dylan for perpetually misbehaving, whining and interrupting me throughout the whole ordeal, how guilty I felt afterwards (and still now) for being so angry at him and how sad I feel that any of it happened at all.

A family friend just lost her young daughter, Abby, to a long battle with cancer.  I think of Abby often when I’m in a difficult situation.  She had an incredible spirit and more strength and patience than any human being I’ve ever met…besides her mother who endured it, too.  I can’t help thinking about both of them as I sprout gray hairs over baby teeth today and agonize about how I coped (or didn’t) yesterday.

I’ve been in a few tough medical situations myself, but when it’s your child (and when there is a lot of blood), it’s different.  I have to move forward, though, so I’m doing my best to follow Riley’s lead.  It took him some practice, but within a half hour of getting home last night (and after a healthy dose of ibuprofen), he started drinking water from a straw through the side of his mouth and chewing food in the back of his mouth instead of the front.  We put him on a soft food diet like the doctor suggested, but Riley insisted that animal cookies – broken up in small pieces – made him feel better.  Not surprisingly, my magic medicine was a tall, cold glass of wine.  His positive attitude is inspiring, and today he is home from school resting, playing, painting and periodically driving me crazy.  All good signs.

My birthday is in a few weeks.  Until yesterday, my gift wish list included an iPad, iPod (I accidentally washed and dried mine a few months ago…oops), laptop computer and new camera.  Now all I want for my birthday are Riley’s two front teeth.

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Filed under anxiety, birthday, emergency, guilt

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