The Fallen Soldier
(Let’s just get this out of the way. No one has guessed the name. Yet.)
Last December, Whoorlito’s top teeth had a particularly shudder-inducing run-in with the bottom shelf of a steel baker’s rack. It was directly following one of his dramatic exits, usually involving my request to do something highly undesirable (such as finish eating his lunch or cleaning up his cars…I know, I am a TYRANT…) where he flails his arms, screams and runs full speed into his bedroom. I have no idea where he inherited these kind of ardent entrances and exits. This time, however, he tripped over his feet and made direct oral contact with a massive shelf.
I knew the minute he starting crying that this wasn’t any ordinary bump and bruise situation. That assumption was quickly verified when he looked up at me with blood spewing out of his mouth all over our kitchen floor. That’s the thing about mouth injuries in toddlers. Lots of blood + Lots of screaming = Bonafide Blood Sprinkler That Shall Not Cease.
Additionally, his two front teeth were not in their normal place.
I freaked the hell out.
I tried to stop the bleeding, called the dentist and hauled ass to her office.
I had all sorts of thoughts running through my head while driving to the office. Mainly, MY CHILD WILL HAVE NO FRONT TEETH. We might as well take up residence at a trailer park while donning matching mullets!
Now, a tooth being knocked out at any age is traumatic, but the thought is a little easier to swallow when the child is let’s say 5 or 6 and is expecting their permanent teeth to arrive within a year or two. Let me remind you, my child is three years old. We would be waiting for 3-4 years for his front permanent teeth to arrive. 3-4 YEARS IS A LONG TIME TO HAVE NO FRONT TEETH, PEOPLE.
I tweeted about it and received so many super helpful emails about pediatric partials, fake teeth and generalized “Oh girl, I’ve been there” responses. (Thank you, by the way.) When we met with Wito’s dentist, she made the executive decision not to pull the teeth. She explained that, although Wito’s roots had been 100% severed, toddler gums were extremely resilient and could tighten around the tooth and keep it in place indefinitely. It would be an uphill battle for us because Wito was a thumbsucker which couldn’t possibly help with the gums firming up, though. It would be a wait and see situation.
Well, I am happy to report that those (quite loose) teeth held on for 6 months. 6 months of thumb-sucking, 6 months of apple-biting, 6 months of crazed preschooler antics.
Pearly whites intact!
Until yesterday. Yesterday, one tooth tossed up the white flag. The Dangler, as we liked to call it. A quick trip to the dentist, some high-potency topical anesthetic and The Dangler was no longer.
Au Revior, Dangler.
Wito seems to be taking it well. Actually, I am too. What’s three years, really? (Uh, A REALLY LONG TIME, that’s what. Whatevs.)
Luckily for Wito, he had a very special visitor deliver a very special dollar bill while he snoozed last night.
Wito would like you all to know that he hopes to purchase a “toy and a drink” with his “one money.”
Rest in peace, Dangler.