Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Shark teeth and bravery

Lord, I want to tell you about my little girl being very brave indeed. You must have been proud. I know that I was.

As you know, my little Lizzie (7) had a loose front tooth. For ages.  Lizzie is the only child in the world who hates to wiggle her loose teeth. She's too squeamish - they sort of need to work loose on their own, preferably, and then drop out, untouched by human hand. This one was a bit of a problem, as it was the first of her big top front teeth to become loose, but also because the new, grown-up tooth was emerging behind it. Apparently it's called a 'shark tooth' when the new one comes in at the same time like this.

(Speaking of sharks, I've got a bone to pick with you about teeth. Why can't we just regenerate new teeth when the old ones fall out or become troublesome like sharks do? Wouldn't that be so much easier than all this dentistry anguish?  Any thoughts?)

Anyway. Lizzie's tooth was in the way. The new one needed prime position and to save her a jaunt with orthodontics when she's a bit older, the baby tooth needed to make way for the new one.  She wiggled (sort of) and we cajoled and she cried and we reasoned and we bribed and she worried and eventually she decided all on her own that while she was at the dentist anyway, maybe he could pull out the old tooth. So he did. With remarkably little fuss from my little girl.

I was so, so proud of Elizabeth. She hasn't got a great track record for bravery (like mother like daughter, perhaps) and yet she managed an injection of local anaesthetic and the extraction of a front tooth with barely a tear.

And yet, as she climbed into the big chair, she was terrified. She was afraid, but she was brave. It's no good claiming courage when something doesn't frighten you, and I think that anticipating having a tooth pulled out is worthy of a degree of nervousness. If you're seven, and you've never had any dental problems until then, more than a degree of nervousness. So I was so proud of my girl. She was brave.

I wanted to thank you for my little girl and for being right there with her holding her hand as she had a little whimper when the dentist reached for his pliers, or whatever that scary-looking instrument is that he uses to extract teeth. Thankyou for a dentist who is worth his weight in gold (doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible that a good dentist is worth more than rubies, or something? Well, it should.)
Thankyou for being there with me as I juggled Katy (her turn for a check-up was straight after Lizzie and she was watching everything with wide eyes) and also tried to reassure and comfort the afflicted one in the big reclining chair.

Thankyou that we live lives where an awkward baby tooth is deserving of comment. I know that there are seven year olds and their mums in this world that have much more serious things to worry about than 'shark teeth'.

Just wanted to tell you about it. Milestone in our house. Lizzie was very proud of herself and for hours (no, days) afterwards kept asking if she'd been brave. After all Katy's operations and blood tests and hospital appointments last year I think Lizzie had cast herself in the role of non-brave-sister, and you know what? It's really boosted her self-esteem to have come through this little dentist's appointment with a well-deserved 'I was brave' sticker. She basked in the glory for ages and I haven't got tired of telling her how well she did.

Good out of troubles, hey?


I have my eye on the other, wobbly front tooth now. It's sticking out a bit at an angle as if the new tooth is behind it. She won't wobble it.

Lord... let's not do this all again, please? 

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