Sunday, August 03, 2008

of gaps and grins

(wherein, if writer's hurdle extends to the blog, I shall roar)

On Friday, the Eldest changed tactics, and offered a different ENT challenge.

He's been wiggling this tooth for a while now, and we happily celebrated with him when it fell out. The added bonus of his timing (I was en route to a mammogram and was very willing to be distracted), plus the careful pleasure with which he tucked it into a pretty wooden box. The Eldest plans to keep all of his baby teeth in this box, and has chosen a safely high spot on a shelf for it. We're not a tooth fairy family, he informed me. Honestly, I didn't think we were.

Later that evening, he asked me why I was so excited about the tooth. I had to sit down to explain this one, but it came pretty easily. I know that you are getting bigger and can do more things, I said - Like five hundred and FIFTY piece puzzles! he interrupted - Yes, like those. And I know that as you grow, you move farther from being a baby towards being a small kid, then a bigger one, then a teenager, and eventually a grownup. The Eldest nodded seriously. But sometimes your body does something that reminds me that you have taken steps down that road, like this. Your baby teeth fell out, and an adult tooth will come. The Eldest offered me his newly gapping grin. It's like a reminder: you are getting bigger! And that's exciting to us.

The Eldest looked at me gently. Well, of course it's exciting, he said soothingly. And then he stuck his tongue in the gap and wiggled it.

There's a jelly-like clot sitting in that gap, but happily it's not oozing. Just sitting there. And thanks to the Eldest's latest round of nosebleeds, he's packed to the gills with ENT-friendly clotting power. The tooth has distracted him handily from the nosebleeds, although he's been showing a little bit of emotional strain - a little faster to flare, to snap and growl. Well, fair enough. Me, too.

But, since the first talk had gone so well, I thought I'd try another. After shabbat dinner, while the Man took the Toddles up to bed, the Eldest and I had a futon moment. So, I said, what d'you think about these bleeds? The Eldest stuck his tongue in his toothless spot and considered. What bleeds? I rolled my eyes at him. The nosebleeds!

Oh. Those.

We talked it through: the nosebleeds got factor, which should make a clot, right? But they also get Amicar, does he understand why? He does. So, why aren't they better? The Eldest thought this over. I don't know, he said, furrowing his brow. Why not?

Well, love, when you got that bleed in your calf, we gave you factor and ice. And we made you rest the leg, d'you remember? The Eldest nodded, remembering. We rest the leg because the healing is fragile, and takes a little time to get stronger, so that you can use the leg again safely. But can you rest a nose? The Eldest looked surprised. No, he exclaimed. You can't! I grinned at him. Nope. Can't put a nose up on a pillow, can't stop using it, can't really rest it. I mimed popping a nose off and putting it on a cushion. Ah, well, I said, shaking my head sadly. Guess that won't do.

The Eldest went off to brush his teeth, limp with laughter. You can't put it on a pillow, he told the Man, and burst into giggles. The Man, an old hand at recognizing my handiwork, patted the giggling child and steered him towards bed.

So. The old anticlimax holds steady, then, eh? Drama, resolution, laughter and off to the next patch of road. What's next? The Toddles had a suggestion:

I have a wiggily toof, too! shouted the Toddles, bouncing up to be admired. Oh, says the Eldest solemnly. Really? Let me see. One examination later, the Eldest looked up at me. Don't worry, Mum, he said, that tooth's got a ways to go. Ah.


Julia said...

So, do you suppose we are going to hear about noses on pillows sometime soon over here?
Can you believe she lost her first tooth? Had it in a box like that, liked to show it off to people. And one day it was no longer there. And nowhere to be found. Very sad.

mama o' the matrices said...

Depends. Do you know Graham Clarke? He's a singer who lives in NY, I think, and he has a song about taking off noses. It's called something like "Awful Smell." Got to love kid music with a serious sense of humor...

So, she lost the box? Good to know. I'll warn the Eldest, so that at least he'll take a bit more care. And won't be shocked if/when (okay, when) the box does disappear. Sorry to hear it, though.

Anonymous said...

Very cute!
A proud Savta would like the pics, please :)

joy said...

I don't have all my baby teeth by any means, but I still have some, in a wooden box alongside my wisdom teeth. And I dare say, that kid has moments when he is as high-strung as me, so he might just manage to keep the box 'til he's at least as old as (the hills) me.

Anonymous said...

Love that sweet gap-toothed smile!