You Weak Little Man

Posted by Danny

It’s almost time for braces in the Tanner household.  Teeth have the potential to become a significant focus in the months and years to come.

Our orthodontist called me a few weeks ago and said, “If DJ doesn’t want to be wearing braces in the 12th grade, she probably should get her last three baby teeth extracted.”  Since she was headed to resident camp for four weeks, I quickly made an appointment with our dentist.

So last Thursday, at 3 pm, we slinked in to the office waiting room, DJ understandably nervous.  Me, a wreck.

I’ve never had a cavity.  I floss without ceasing.  When Lisa and I were first dating we went to the mountains for the weekend.  On the top of Grandfather mountain, I looked out at the sights around us.  It was beautiful.  I then pulled out my dental floss – and went to town.  Why not merge the three things I liked most in my life at that time?  Hiking, Lisa and flossing.  It’s amazing she continued our relationship.

My love for a pure mouth and my squeamish stomach hinder my ability to be of  significant support to my children in an oral surgery situation.

With the permission of the dentist, I entered the examining room with DJ.  The nurse on one side of her, the dentist on the other.  Me on a round, backless, rolling stool at the base of her chair.

It started out simple enough – a mirror and cleaning pick.  That did not last long.

Her nervousness drew him to offer the laughing gas.  She began to inhale – she calmed a bit.

I, on the other hand, needed some too.  I became light headed as he pulled out the needle, longer than my forearm.  With a circular handle on the end, it reminded me of a small caulking gun.

The shots began – I looked out the window.  I could hear him shake her jaw – the sound of lips, spit and teeth, like a horse eating dinner.

“One tooth is out DJ.” 

Whew!  Relief.

“I’m just going to clean up the socket.”

How long can it take?  Is that the drill he’s pulled out?  Something is wrong.

“Are you OK DJ?”  the doctor asked with concern.

“Are you OK Mr. Tanner?” he asked with a grin.

My tan skin was white, my pits sweating profusely.  I need a chair with a back, I’m going to pass out.

I moved to the nurse’s computer with a more solid seat.  I held my head down as the blood rushed back in. 

Think happy thoughts Danny – the Christmas parade last year.

I was right in my thinking – something had indeed gone wrong.  Two roots broke off in her gums – he dug and he dug – like an archeologist searching for King Tutankhamun’s tomb. 

“I couldn’t get them all but I think they will resorb.”

Resorb, resorb, what exactly does that mean?   A cousin of absorb?  We can’t come back for more. 

You are such a wimp – you weak little man.  Lisa could have taken the teeth out with tweezers and peroxide.  You’ve got to buck up – this is your job now.

The Tooth Fairy Sabbatical

 

Posted by Danny

I’ve been out-of-town twice lately on business trips, and I am thankful to Jesse for keeping the girls.  They always have a great time when he’s in charge -although  I”m not convinced that all of the rules are followed when I’m gone.

Jesse talks a big game about discipline, “We need to set some strict guidelines for Stephanie to shore up her study habits.”  By we, I’m pretty sure he means ME.  “Michelle really needs to stop asking 8 times during dinner if she’s eaten enough.  I think if she asks once that she shouldn’t get dessert.”  Yeah, he’s a big talker but when I walk out the door, it’s cotton candy for dinner. 

But I have two nieces and was the fun uncle in my day too.  I understand when I come home from DC and find out that he watched movies with DJ and her buddy until the wee hours of the night.  And I’m ok with him using the Golden Corral gift certificates to take the crew out for a two-hour eating fest.  But what I don’t understand, is why when I go out-of-town, the Tooth Fairy takes a Sabbatical.

Michelle is losing teeth like NC State is losing basketball games (yeah, I’m a State fan).  And the past two times I’ve been gone, a bicuspid has sprung loose. 

Michelle gleefully shares the news with Jesse and calls me with full excitement.  She carefully places the tooth in the hand stitched pillow her Nana made her and tucks it neatly under her sleeping pillow.  I can just picture her dreams – the fairy flutters in wearing her pink tutu, sparkles sprinkling from her wand.  The dollar tucked in a nice lace pouch.

The sweet dream is rudely interrupted the following morning when she awakes and finds that her tooth is in the exact same place she left it the night before.  With disappointment she questions Jesse, “Why do you think she didn’t come?  What’s going on?”  I know those big eyes kill him.  And the stories, oh the stories, he extols.

“Well, it came out late in the day.  She probably had her calendar booked with other kids who lost teeth at an earlier hour.  She’s not a Genie, she’s simply the Tooth Fairy.”  As if you don’t have to have some sort of super power to sneak into millions of houses each night replacing money for teeth.  Or, “Maybe she’s at a conference like your dad.”  To my knowledge, there is not a conference for the Tooth Fairy!  What sort of semiars would they conduct?  The New Price of a Molar?  Change or bills?  Things You Can Do With Leftover Teeth? 

He once told her, “I bet she hurt her wing in a game of Lacrosse.  I”m sure she’ll be better soon.”  Yeah, like when your dad gets home.

Today he even suggested that perhaps I was having a rendezvous with the Tooth Fairy on my “business” trips.  I’m hard at work, missing my family and he suggests that I’m away sleeping with the Tooth Fairy.  Unbelieveable!

I’m sort of glad that I’m the only one in the house who knows how to get in touch with the Tooth Fairy.  Jesse’s so good, if it weren’t for that, I’m not sure they’d need me.

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