Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Week Of Teeth

When LE was the appropriate age for growing teeth, he grew some. I don't remember the exact age because I'm such a bad mom.

He used to make this face on command.
The first few came without much fanfare. Another bullet dodged, I thought, couched as the new teeth were with so many other milestones it was nigh on impossible to tell which milestones were making him cry and not sleep. I think of the early teeth as one of many dodged bullets because LE never had colic or gas, he weaned without hardly a peep at 2 years and 3 months, and potty training him was way easier than it is for us now to get up at 6am for work and school.

The top front teeth were kind of a bitch, I admit. One of them kept coming out and going back in and bleeding and it made us both insane. But those teeth also coincided with a lot of other bad marriage crap and a trip to the US, so it's hard to say which thing, exactly, was making us insane. I gave him some homeopathic teeth medicine because what the fuck else are you gonna do? Nothing works, believe me. It's just that you have to do something to make up for all the other crap, and loading the kid up on Nyquil is frowned upon these days.

Anyway, he grew a bunch of other teeth until he had a mouthful of them.

And then the cavities started. The first one I let go for a long time, because he had reached the age of Bitching About Stuff Overly Much. Also he'd started bitching about it when we were in the States and I figured it would be better if he could hold out till we got back to Turkey where dental care is relatively way cheaper. But it was not to be. My dad took him to the dentist and the dentist was all, "You mean all this kid did was bitch a little?" because apparently he needed like a baby root canal. After a huge scream about the needle, he fell asleep for the rest of the ordeal.

Oh shit. I'm having and old fart moment where I'm telling a story I've already told. At least I used different words this time. Humor me and pretend I told it way better this time. Apologies to Lori for bringing up the tumble again, via linking. I really had totally forgotten about it.

Only little baby bitches cry, bitch!
Subsequent cavities went by unblogged because I was all busy getting divorced and shit. One cavity involved this sadist at the dentist office down the street, where she drilled the fuck out of my kid's head without anesthetic and he screamed and squirmed and I had to hold him down on the chair by lying under him and pinning his arms and feel the drill through his skull in my shoulder. Also that cow talked too much and didn't listen to me at all and thank goodness she went on holiday for the follow-ups, so we were able to visit a nicer dentist upstairs who was less interested in testing a 4-year old's fortitude.

Two cavities later, the boy seemed fine. I'm a demon about morning and bedtime teeth brushing and he brushes his teeth at school, too, after lunch.

I call him Clarence and he likes meat.
But here's the rub. There's fuck-all I can do about the poor kid's teeth. When I was a kid, I had this Christian Scientist dentist who I guess believed the Grace of God doesn't apply to teeth. In one of my earliest dental records, he wrote, "This child has the Devil in her mouth." BE's teeth are worse than mine. For all the gorgeousness our kid somehow got from the two of us, the boy was cursed with our teeth.

I noticed another cavity on the plane to the States this last time, because there's not much else to do on the plane than find things to freak out about. I once again hoped this one would hold out till we got back to Turkey because I've been nothing but broke since I kicked BE's sorry ass out.

So I took him to the dentist, another one this time that came with good recommendations from some friends. Turns out the cavity was preparing to be an abscess and the tooth needed to come out, from a filling that wasn't so good the first time around. Plus there were four other cavities that needed seeing to.

That's right, four. I started bargaining with LE right away-- did he want a small, crappy toy for every cavity, or one big super great toy when all the cavities were filled? That's the deal, where he gets a toy for every visit the dentist. I'd learned from the last round of cavities that the trips to the toy store are nearly as bankrupting as the trips to the dentist. He opted for the first choice. I was kind of bummed he hasn't yet learned to delay immediate small pleasures for big ones later.

Your advice is worth jack-shit, Mr. Tooth!
To add to the major teeth-related fun that's been going on around here, the other night LE accidentally bit an olive pit and started whimpering. One of his front lower teeth looked a bit bloody and I touched it and of all the goddamned things, it wiggled.

Fucking milestone alert! Kid has his first loose tooth!

He was extremely upset. Between all the dentist visits and the upcoming tooth-pulling, he got all mixed up and I'm pretty sure he thinks all his teeth are gonna come out of his head. Which they are, but not in the way he thinks.

It's fair to say the kid and I will share the same recurrent nightmare, the one where your teeth keep breaking and falling out. It's a common nightmare, I hear. But closer to home for some than others.

I tried to offset all this with a tremendous and non-feigned display of amazement and pride and cuddles LE didn't understand. We Skyped with my mom and she confirmed that this whole loose-tooth thing is tremendous and great. LE is suspicious, but a little bit into the whole losing his teeth and getting Big Boy teeth now.

I remember, Little Man. It's the one on the left.
And I'm a little bit sad because the tooth that's loose is also the first tooth he ever grew.

Still, the tooth pulling went way more smoothly than I imagined because the tooth didn't have any roots. LE didn't care for the Novocaine needle and screeched a lot about that, but the dentist was great and had him giggling in no time. He snuck in the fourth filling and whipped out the tooth lickety-split. LE mostly only bitched about the wodge of cotton in his mouth on the way home.

Super cool! And gross!
And when we got home, he was ready to play with the kids in the street. He settled for a picture of his tooth hole, rather than a good look in the mirror. "It's cool," he said, when I showed him the picture.


Apparently, they don't have the Tooth Fairy in Turkey so that's something we're spreading the word about. Apparently, it's hilarious. But we packaged up the tooth in a paper towel and plastic bag and some stickers. Then we un-packaged it so LE could look at it again. Then we re-packaged it and put it under the pillow and LE kind of froze up, looking around in terror in case the Tooth Fairy was going to suddenly appear and start flying around the room.

The Tooth Fairy gave him 5 lira. Also she took the tooth and packed it away in a box. She plans to take each and every tooth from his head and stash it somewhere, like serial killer trophies piling up, because she is a bit creepy and trolls her kid every freaking moment of his sweet skinny arm squeaky voice smelly little boy life.

Mama loves Precious.


Ayak said...

Good grief! I never realised all this could happen to baby teeth. I thought they just grew, then fell out to make way for the proper teeth. Poor little chap. It's enough to produce a huge phobia of dentists for life.
...and repeat after me "I am not a bad mother". You are doing your best..don't ever forget that!

Stranger said...

Thanks, Ayak.

Unfortunately, it can happen to baby teeth. I had cavities in my permanent teeth before they even grew out. WTF?