Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Of fat lips, beaver dams, and the Tooth Fairy

I happened to get another email from Adam's teacher today. This one wasn't so happy as the one from yesterday:

Mr. and Mrs. Rash,
Adam knocked out his front tooth during lunch recess today. The office has tried to get you but couldn't reach anyone. He is back on class with me and seems OK. He is still a little surprised about the whole thing. If you want to call the office you can. I think they wanted to talk with you and see if you wanted him to come home. His lower lip got cut but he seems fine right now. You decide.

The real story goes something like this: I got a call around 11:30 today from the school nurse. She said that Adam had jumped off of something on the playground and hit his face. He had a fat lip, one of his front teeth was knocked out, and although he had bled quite a bit it all was under control at that point. She said that Adam had his mouth stuffed with gauze and seemed okay physically, but he was pretty upset.

As I've mentioned before, Adam is not very good at self-soothing, so we never know when to jump up when he gets hurt and when to sit by and let him work through it. (Remember the broken toe at Thanksgiving that didn't get to the doctor for two days because I didn't know if Adam was simply overreacting?) The nurse was concerned mostly because Adam was telling her that it was a permanent tooth that had been knocked out. I explained to her that Adam had only lost two teeth that had grown back in (both on the bottom, middle) and another one (also on the bottom) that had just come out a week ago. Since this newly missing tooth was on the top I was sure that it was still a baby tooth. I also explained to her that Adam has four other teeth that are loose right now, so the tooth that got knocked out was likely already loose. (Side note: the tooth that Adam lost last week was actually removed by the dentist after Adam had stopped eating because he was afraid that the practically dangling tooth would actually fall out and he didn't want it to hurt. He wouldn't let us touch it, so I called our dentist and he gladly allowed me to take Adam in. The dentist got a huge laugh from the easiest tooth pulling ever - he touched it and it fell right out. No charge for that one.)

Once I got off the phone with Adam and the school nurse, we determined that he would be fine to just stay at school. Phil and I went out to lunch with a big group from work and all was well . . . until we got back from lunch and there were messages from the school everywhere. My phone, Phil's phone, a note on my desk, a note at Phil's reception desk, the above referenced email from Adam's teacher . . . the school secretary had been calling wondering where we were because Adam had been sitting in the office for over an hour waiting for me to come pick him. Clearly I had misunderstood when I thought he was okay to stay at school. I called the school and was told that Adam finally gave up on my and went back to class. I didn't want him to feel completely abandoned so I decided to go pick him up.

Once I arrived at the school, the secretary called the teacher to have Adam sent to the office. I waited for him in the hallway and in just a few minutes he appeared at the end of the hallway with a ratty little piece of gauze hanging out of his mouth. The bleeding had long since stopped, but he was no way going to give up the gauze. I didn't even try to fight that battle so we just headed out to pick Noah up.

At some point I had the brilliant idea to go get some ice cream and take the boys to a park. The thought was that if Adam were willing to eat some ice cream, he might give up the gauze. The plan worked to perfection, until I took the boys down by this stream that runs next to the park. It's a pretty wooded area and it looked like a great place for them to explore and forget about the tooth trauma. Adam was climbing around on some fallen trees and getting braver by the minute. We were pretending that the tangle of branches was a beaver dam, and all was wonderful, until Adam dropped his ice cream and the tears started flowing again. Aaarrgghhhh!! He recovered from that (because I pulled another one out of the box) and kept climbing around. I was encouraging the exploration and then all of a sudden, some branches broke and Adam joined the ice cream at the bottom of the beaver dam tangle of branches. Needless to say, the tears flowed freely once again. In all fairness to Adam, I didn't really blame him on this one. He got pretty scratched up and it was quite a process to extricate him from the thorns and sticks.

So there we were, a fat lip, a missing tooth, and scratches all over the place because I thought crawling around on a fake beaver dam would be a good distraction. After that we decided that playing at the park might be a better option and his mind eventually turned to how much money he might get from the tooth fairy. He's hoping for $4 so that he can buy a pack of ten Pokemon cards. First of all, Pokemon cards are a total rip-off. Secondly, I know the tooth fairy personally and she's more of a bargain shopper than that. There's no way that he's going to get $4 from the tooth fairy for one tooth.


KJae said...

That's so sad!! How's he doing now? I want some pictures of his battle wounds, Weezie.

Kiss him for Auntie.

KJae said...

How much did "El Cheapo the Tooth Fairy" bring Adam??!?