I have no pictures for this post. When you read, you'll understand why. I won't apologize. Pictures or no pictures, this episode should be typed out and maybe I'll learn somthing. So here goes…
If you've read this blog for a while or if you know me personally, this won't come as a surprise. But I'll repeat for newbies or for those that skim. I have an odd fear of other people's teeth. It's more the act of brushing or falling out. Brushing your teeth is a private bathroom duty. It's actually the only thing I respect as a private bathroom duty. You don't brush your teeth in the family room. You don't talk with a toothbrush hanging out of your mouth. You don't eat toothpaste. You do all of this in the bathroom without me looking. I can't even watch people do it on TV. If you choose to poke the bear and ignore those rules, you will get a very angry Erika. Mark knows this and it was a small part of the "Do we want kids?" conversation. I wish I was joking. I'm not. He said he'd handle all toothbrushing/pulling duties and I said "Yes" to kids. He has always brushed the kids teeth and cleaned up the toothpaste streaks/splatters/dollops. He agreed and I adamantly hold him to it. I'm not proud, but we've all got limitations and I know mine.
You'd think I've spent the last seven years preparing myself for the inevitable. "Hello, unborn child. One day your teeth will fall out. And I'll work to be good with it" is something I should have said as I rubbed my pregnant belly. Nope. I've been living blissfully ignorant. But I just can't any longer. I know that it's time. I pick Coop up at school and see a ton of gaping holes in his friends' mouths. The day is coming. We even got a warning from the dentist at his last visit. The day is looming. And we got a sign on Sunday.
He wanted an apple before bed. He took a small bite and said, "Ouch. My teeth hurt." Surprisingly, I said "That's probably because a tooth is loose." After I said it, I even gave myself a pat on the back for being mature. He nodded and took a huge bite from the apple. He followed that with a huge scream.
A good Mom would have recognized her child's pain. She would have dropped her book and wrapped her arm around her son's shoulders. She would have calmly ushered him to the bathroom for a better look. And when it was nothing but a tooth getting looser and looser by the moment, she would have sweetly explained that soon it will fall out. Hugged him and told him, "It will be ok. I promise." Took the apple and gave him a softer snack. That's a good Mom's response. Not mine. Here's what I did.
Let's start with his scream. "OWWW!" a very upset Cooper rang out. I dropped my book and turned away from him. I covered my eyes and screamed "AAACK!! Get to the bathroom! MARK! Cooper's TOOTH!!" I repeated those words with more intensity until I heard Mark run to the bathroom. We have a small house so it only took two rounds. But I sat there frozen while Mark handled it. Coop was obviously and fairly upset. You read my reaction, right? What else was he supposed to think? Mark assessed the situation and calmed him down. When he came back into the room, we snuggled on the couch. I apologized for my reaction and told him "Everything will be ok. You've got your Daddy."
The tooth is still there, but not for long. The tooth is coming out. I won't be in the bathroom. I won't look at it. I won't pretend the Tooth Fairy came. I'll sit anywhere else in the house as my husband deals with it. It's his part of the Kid Having bargain and he's living up to it. And that's exactly why I love him.
Happy Valentine's Day, honey.