Monday, October 20, 2008

I believe in "hands off" parenting, but wonder if I use it to excuse neglecting my children sometimes.

Today, I arrived to pick up Louie from pre-k just as the kindergarten classes marched outside for recess. I lurked in the van and spied on my twins. CeCee skipped and happily bumped into her girlfriends, but Doodle was the last one, walking with her head downturned. I decided to surprise her with a hug and went out to "bump into" her on my way to the building. As I approached, I heard sobs and saw the playground monitor send her back inside.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"My tooth is bleeding," Doodle sobbed.

Unprepared me had left my purse in the van. Doodle didn't want to wait for a tissue and went back to her teacher for comfort. The monitor told me she had been bothered by the tooth all day. I vaguely remembered that she had been complaining that a tooth hurt last night and this morning when she brushed her teeth. I'd told her I couldn't do anything for hurt teeth (I didn't even pause to look at her mouth--I was more concerned about catching the bus). As loose as the tooth was, I probably could've extracted it last night and saved her from a miserable day, and she wanted her teacher to help her instead of me :-(

I have memories of the techniques my own dad used to remove our teeth. He was proud of his extraction skills. One time he pinned me down and used pliers on me, despite my worries of germs. Another time, he tied a string around the tooth and slammed a door to pull it out. He even reached in with his own fingers and yanked out a tooth before I could protest (and despite all this, I was never wise enough to keep my loose teeth a secret from him). I worried whether I would be able to even get my hands into her sore mouth, or if it was overkill to make a dentist appointment.

While waiting for the bus to bring Doodle and CeCee home, I Googled the best way to extract loose tooth, and found a handy home dentist kit. Unfortunately, I didn't find any method to easily remove the tooth myself--the best advice I found was the neglectful approach I'd already taken.

The bus brought home a very happy Doodle, minus one tooth. Her teacher (no doubt very experienced with loose teeth), looked in Doodle's mouth and asked her to wiggle it. Then, the teacher gave it a quick tug with a tissue and out it came.

As Doodle proudly showed me her mouth, the new tooth was already well on its way into the space--it's a wonder it hadn't pushed out the baby tooth sooner.

Guess the tooth fairy will be making her debut to our house tonight.


Lori Ann said...

Poor Doodle! Congratulations on the first tooth coming out. I can't believe she's old enough to be losing teeth. Their Halloween costumes are gorgeous! What is Louie going to be?

Tamara said...

Louie is a Halloween cat--in the picture, we had forgotten to draw on her nose and whiskers, but she reminded me and we used eyeliner to finish her up :-)

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