Sunday, September 23, 2007

the tooth fairy is bleeding me dry


But that will be nothing compared to what the orthodontist is going to do to me. Back when I was dentally naive, I thought Ellie's teeth were going to be trouble. The two top incisors look like they're trying to escape each other and are running for the hills in opposite directions. I took her for the orthodontist consult and was told to come back when she lost the rest of her baby teeth and four years later, I still have no reason to schedule the next appointment. And even after the little pearls finally give up the ghost and drop out of her mouth, the permanent teeth take their own sweet time to make their appearance on the gum scene. And I mean drop out; there is NO way this child would ever assist a tooth by the normal methods, e.g., wiggling and worrying it until it's ripe for the pulling or just wrapping string around it and a door knob and letting your older brother help nature take its course. No, no, no, Ellie's teeth, loathe to come out in the first place, get no encouragement from the management. So, yeah, she'll need spacers and braces, but no biggie really, no major renovations.

But then the three littles came along and my orthodontic innocence evaporated. All three of them, oh good hell, it's like total tooth soup above the gum line. The x-rays make you shiver. The toothy confusion is truly truly frightening for a parent to see. And on top of the scraggle tooth thing Nora and YuYu have going on, Mimi's tiny pretty head isn't big enough to house more than 10, maybe 12 teeth tops. I just live in dread of the money that I'm going to have to pour into their mouths by way of the orthodontist's boat loan. Boat, nah, with their teeth? we're probably talking Ferrari payments more like it since they'll all three be in braces at the same time . . . and college at the same time . . . and driving at the same time. What was I thinking, I would really like to know, I'm a crazy woman, but that's not news, more about the teeth.

So Nora's bottom center incisors popped up behind her firm and secure baby teeth about two weeks ago and I was wisely counseled to be patient, to wait and see if nature would give an assist to the desiduosity (word?) process, and it did. She pulled out her first tooth yesterday and today, she just wiggled, worried and finally offered up the second tooth to be yanked by me because it was bugging her so badly. She is the only child of mine that doesn't winge and whine and clamp her lips shut so tightly that they disappear from her face when all I want to do is just want to take a look. And I even remembered, without prodding, to leave the money under her pillow last night. I hope I do as well tonight, but you never know, the fairy has proved to be fairly unreliable in the past.

The tooth that came out of Nora's head this morning was stained on the back side. I tried to use the stains as motivation for her continued efforts at good dental hygiene. "See," I said, "why you need to keep brushing your teeth bud? That's from when you were in the orphanage." "Yeah, that's why they shoulda boughted me a tootha brush." Even in an event as universal to child rearing as losing teeth, the adoptive parent is handed another poignant reminder that your child spent the first 4.5 years of her life without so much as her own toothbrush not to mention comfort and affection. Poor little sprite.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Sarita lost 8, yes 8, teeth the summer she turned 10. I swear every time I turned around she had another one in her hand.