this actually happened (a dental nightmare)

So let me break down the last week.

a)    NaBloPoMo ended unceremoniously, since I skipped out on the last few days. I didn’t mean to, but being out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, coupled with my lack of planning and a dash of laziness, made finishing the month out less than desirable. I’m always up for a challenge, but if it starts to interfere with my stress level or my bedtime, I’m out. See also: Why I haven’t posted since.

b)   Zoe had major* dental surgery.

c)    *10-minute procedure, but very traumatic for all of us who had to look at her.

Unbeknownst to me, the last photo I would take of her with her normal, 5-year-old smile.
Unbeknownst to me, the last photo I would take of her with her normal, 5-year-old smile.

Last Tuesday, a freak scooter accident sent Zoe sailing into the concrete, face first. I was trailing several feet behind her, so like any other fall, I jogged until I caught up with her in front of our neighbor’s house, assuming she had maybe scraped a knee or something minor. My kids tend to scream bloody murder at paper cuts, so I wasn’t too concerned.

When I got up to her, she sat up, hand covering her face, and screamed, “MAH MOUF!” Her hand moved to the side, and I saw blood everywhere.

I may have freaked out and yelled something along the lines of, “Oh, Jesus!” as I scooped her up and ran her back to our house. We’d been gone a matter of minutes, Christian was still lingering around in a sleepy stupor when I opened the door, handed a bloody-faced daughter to him and said, “DEAL WITH THIS PLEASE I’LL BE RIGHT BACK.” And then I walked Rachel and Claire to school while Claire accused me of only loving Zoe and only taking care of her when she’s hurt. Kids are fun.

When I got back, Zoe was laying on the couch, teary and whimpery. I looked at Christian, like, “Well? How is she?” Up until this point, I hadn’t really taken a good look at her, and I’d hoped that at the worst, she’d split a lip.

He shook his head. “They’re pretty loose in there.”


Now there are a lot of things I can deal with as a parent. I have been pooped on and spit up on. I have a mean vomit radar and can rock the stomach bug care-taking like nobody’s business. But the one thing I cannot handle is bloody, loose teeth, even ones not caused by a run-in with the sidewalk.

One trip to the dentist later, and we learned that she in fact broke her two front teeth in her fall, right above the gum line.

“Mom, have you felt how loose these teeth are in here?” I love our dentist, but our twice yearly visits mean she doesn’t know me very well. Because the answer to that was a very emphatic NO. I hadn’t even gone to great lengths to clean the blood off her lips because GROSS.

Also, mother of the year.

And that is how Zoe ended up having dental surgery at 6:30am on a Friday morning.


The days between the accident and the surgery were sad and filled with all of us trying to figure out what she could eat. The mouth pain itself subsided so that she felt like telling everyone in Costco about her broken teeth and how today the dentist gave her a coin and she got a bouncy ball, but on Friday she’s getting her teeth out and she’s going to get TWO COINS. Thank you, Direct TV sales rep, for humoring her and listening to her plight.

Thursday evening she made sure she went to bed in her favorite penguin jammies, so she could wear them to the dentist in the wee hours of the morning. She took her stuffed owl, Hoot. My nephew sent her a new stuffed tiger to accompany her during the procedure. She named him Soft and told everyone, “My cousin – he’s 10 and a boy – gave this to me to bring to the dentist.”

The anesthesiologist asked her questions about her Thanksgiving while he gave her laughing gas and she slipped under (not something I ever want to watch again if I can help it), and before I could even get settled down in the next room, they were finishing up. Coming around from the anesthesia was a little traumatic, as was having a big wad of gauze stuffed in the gap where her teeth used to be. All morning long she cried that she wanted her teeth back (UGH, right in the mama feels!), but after a Tinker Bell movie marathon and a 2-hour nap, she was begging to jump on the trampoline.

The answer to that was NO.

By Friday night she was completely back to normal. By Sunday I started to get a feeling that she knows exactly how cute she sounds with no front teeth, as she seems to be going to extra lengths to use lots of “s” words.


Even I get a little squeamish looking at this one.
Even I get a little squeamish looking at this one.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m so glad Zoe is doing fine (and that “the’s” cute!).
    As for you, Mom, don’t feel bad about keeping your hands away from the loose teeth.
    At least you brought her to the dentist in a timely fashion.

    When Jack broke his wrist, I told him for two days he was being overly dramatic.

    Doctor, preparing the x-ray: So. He can’t move his hand? At all? That’s not a good sign.
    Jack: See, Mom. I told you.

    Mother. Of. The. Year.

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