Monday, April 8, 2013

In your face

We had a very exciting weekend of the not-in-a-good-way variety. The lovely husband isn't looking quite as lovely as usual right now. He plays rugby hockey squash softball most Sundays, and on this fine occasion he caught a ball with his mouth.

He lost one tooth on impact, had two more line up in a diagonal rather than horizontal formation across the front of his smile, and fractured another one above the gum line. So far, he's seen two dentists, his general practitioner and a radiologist (his jaw isn't broken, huzzah!). Tomorrow he sees a periodontist who will likely pull the fractured tooth, and on Wednesday he sees an orthodontist who will determine how to handle the diagonal guys. They might get pulled, too. So he'll be looking a little jack-o-lantern-y for a while.

The swelling has gone down considerably in the 36 hours since his face changed forever impact, and poor guy is going to have a lot more time in the dental chair this year before his new bionic smile is implanted completely, but he will ultimately be just fine, and reaching that determination (thank goodness for good health insurance) is quite a relief. Even while we were awaiting that determination to be reached, though, we had to manage the fears of our highly visual and visceral children, as well as keep their rambunctiousness away from their daddy's tender head.

So never mind that he came home from softball looking like a bloody pulp. We focused on the contexts that they understand, and in their world, only one thing happens when you lose a tooth: you count your copays eagerly anticipate a visit from the Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy pulled each of the girls' tooth pillows into the hallway. She left them a note that thanked them for taking care of their daddy. She asked for their help: since their daddy doesn't have a tooth pillow, could they deliver these books for him to enjoy while he recuperates on her behalf? (The Tooth Fairy's minion hit up a book store between birthday party drop-offs yesterday.)  To thank them for their trouble, they each had a dollar waiting in their pillows to keep for themselves. And the note said that the Tooth Fairy had taken the time to sprinkle lots of fairy dust at their daddy's dentist's office, so he'd be well cared for as he faces demolition and reconstruction heals.

Normal, right? Lose a tooth, get a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Even if you're 38 years old. And then the girls were much less fearful about this experience. It has not, however, helped their brother to be any less rambunctious. Magic has its limits, you know.

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