We have had a ridiculous summer. Everything in perspective, I know, we are mostly healthy and happy, have food on the table and clothes on our backs. I get it. Now allow me to whine, please.
Like any young family, we try hard to be frugal. That means we cut some vacation plans this summer, and instead decided to borrow our friend’s pop-up camper for a little trip to Yankton. She had to show us how to use it, so we went over on Sunday to get a lesson.
I decided to bring the kids, because it would be an adventure for them. (Cue ominous music.)
Christine showed us how to set it up, level it, where the battery and propane are. Once it was popped up, I let the kids inside to look around. They loved rolling around on the beds, and I let them.
As I sat at the little table visiting, I noticed Viv was on the edge of the bed, the outside edge. And then … she wasn’t.
Yes, my daughter fell out the window of a pop-up camper. Onto a concrete driveway.
A fall she broke with her face.
It was a slow-motion horror movie, where I grunted, “Oh, oh, oh!” As I watched her slide through, and Philip said, “Ohhhh, Chriiiist.”
She scraped her knee up pretty badly and the inside of her mouth was a Hannibal Lector, bloody, horrifying mess. Now, Jack has hit his mouth before, and I know that mouths bleed a LOT. Even with minor injury. So I didn’t freak out too badly, and she didn’t hit her head really, which, to me, would have been more terrifying.
She cried pretty hard, though, as I rocked her and tried to stop the bleeding in my friend’s kitchen. Friends, it was a lot of blood. But it stopped, she seemed better, and we were on our way home.
The next morning, she ate a good breakfast, though she did say her teeth hurt. Judge all you want, but I took her to school because what can you do? She ate, was fine, slept great the night before, and her teeth weren’t loose on Sunday.
But when I picked her up from school, they seemed wiggly.
I called our pediatrician on call. She said to call our dentist. I called my dentist, who said he would meet us, free of charge, after hours to just take a peek. I’m forever grateful for his kindness. He took one look at her mouth and said we need a pediatric dentist, which he would help us get into the next morning. (Aside: Jack was SO GOOD at the dentist with us. I was so proud of him.)
So on Tuesday, I walked into work and called the pediatric dentist. Who said, “How soon can you be here?” Turned around, walked back out, picked up Viv and raced over.
They took some X-rays. They poked around. And then they gently advised pulling her front teeth.
I wasn’t really prepared for this. Who is? She’s not even 2.
But her teeth were pushed so far back, with the roots so far forward, they weren’t ever going to settle back into place. My choices were dope her up on ibuprofen until they wiggle out on their own, in a week or a month, or wait until they abscess and then deal with it, or pull them. Now.
It seemed the lesser of many evils. I’ve dealt with 2 a.m. ear infections and that was bad enough. A 2 a.m. abscessed tooth sounded horrible. And cruel.
I made my decision, and asked the hygienist to take one last picture of her with her sweet teeth:So, they took my sweet girl back, numbed her up, and plucked out her two front teeth. Which they presented to me in a tiny velvet bag (and that is when I officially lost it — I have no tooth fairy experience, and thought I had several years before I had to figure that out).
I will say that the folks at the dentist were wonderful and sweet, and Viv charmed them. And they all shared their own stories of their own kids’ crazy tooth issues. And they reminded me, hey, these are baby teeth.
And Viv? She didn’t skip a beat. She had a nap, some yogurt, applesauce and ice cream, and then truly is her old self. She makes this funny face and sound, probably wondering where her teeth went.
But she really doesn’t even seem to care or be in pain. I can’t believe it. She is eating normal food again (no popcorn!) and is mastering an open cup, since she can’t use a sippy.
She does look a LITTLE silly (and check out the horrible job I did cutting her bangs):We are going to get her baby dentures. I am not kidding. I worry about how not having front teeth will affect her speech. But we can’t get those fitted for 7 weeks, and then it takes 3 weeks more before we can get them in.
So I’m sure we will have some lovely Christmas cards this year. I guess it’s good to have an accurate picture of how absurd family life is, right? Rather than make it some wackadoo ideal. I mean, life is messy.
Our life is messy.
Especially this summer. We still are waiting on some information about Jack. And now our inexpensive camping trip costs us $1,000 with unexpected dental work.
But as my mom used to sing, “We ain’t got a barrel of money, we may be ragged and funny … side by side.”
That’s us. I’ll take it.