I have a small thug living in my house now. He’s six years old, and looks like he’s just survived a run-in with a rival gang.
The short version of the story is that one of his teeth came loose and had to be pulled.
The long version however…
I have long had a qualifier that I apply to the little peoples' requests for attention. It is: “Are you bleeding?” For those of you without children who are horrified at my lack of care and compassion, I should point out that for the better part of a decade now I’ve been unable to take a shower or use the toilet without hearing “Mu-um!” They’re like a pack of hyenas circling their prey but only attacking when the animal is injured (or has shampoo in its eyes). So the “Are you bleeding?” response is a quick way to draw their attention to the fact that it’s possibly not the best time for a lengthy chat. It works well, up to a point. Although I did have one occasion when Laura wandered away, picked at a scab and came back saying “Mummy, I’m bleeding now.”
For a change this morning I was not in the shower when the noise erupted. However, the qualifier – if I’d had time to say it – could have been answered with a resounding “Yes!” There was so much blood in Oliver's little mouth that it was hard to see where it was all coming from. And there were tears of course. Naturally no one seemed to know what had happened. Oli kept pointing at the plastic toggle on the end of the blind cord, but that made no sense at all. A hasty inspection revealed that one of his top, front teeth was now hanging slightly longer than the one next to it. So, short of an outbreak of ‘were-rabbit-itis’ it seemed pretty clear that something dental was going on.
Naturally I kept a calm head. Pah! My main concern was that I wasn’t sure if the loose tooth was a baby tooth or an adult tooth. I knew that he’d already lost some baby teeth, but I couldn’t remember which ones. ‘And the Worst Mother of the Year Award goes to…’
A hasty (and expensive – Fifty-five bucks!) trip to the dentist later and Oli was minus one baby tooth and plus a novelty pair of glasses. Phew! Well, you never know when you’re going to need a pair of novelty glasses. And at this point I should thank our pastor, Ryan, for his calm and efficient help in our mini-crisis.
Of course, none of this answers the ’what happened’ question. He finally confessed that at the time of the injury he was attempting to open and close the horizontal blinds with his mouth. The cord had caught on his tooth and pulled it loose - but not completely out - when the blind went down. Feel free to laugh now - that's been the general reaction. You know, I strongly feel that the window-covering manufacturers should add ‘possible cause of dental injuries’ to the little warning label on these things!
You’ll be reassured to hear that the child has since been banned from touching any blind or window covering until he is seven. So he’ll have to come up with some new inventive ways to injure himself in future. Just hopefully not while I’m in the shower.