Laughing gas….


In advance of braces, the doll needed to have a tooth pulled yesterday. In my attempt to allay her fear, I reminded her about my own history of having teeth pulled for braces. When I was a few years younger than she, my mom dropped me off at the dentist, explaining that my older brother Tom (he was about 18 at the time) would pick me up afterward. I sat down in the dental chair, opened my mouth and moments later the dentist filled my mouth with novocaine and went to town extracting teeth.

Now the dentist’s office was about a ten minute walk from our home, but my mom didn’t like the idea of me walking down a busy street by myself, so brother Tom was given the task to pick me up. She gave him a tentative time and I was told to wait. When I emerged from the dentists’ office, I carried a tissue, containing all my extracted teeth and a little gauze. But my brother, was nowhere to be found. So in a classic game of unintentional hide and seek, I walked around to the back parking lot while my brother walked into the office. Not seeing me, he walked to the back lot while I walked out to the front.

Unable to find him, in tears, I began walking home, spitting out blood every step of the way. We finally crossed paths about a block from home and while I love my brother Tom, there was no way in hell I was getting into a car with him at that point. He was mad at me, I was mad and determined to get him in trouble for making his poor wounded little sister walk home spitting blood.

Tom beat me home and explained to my mom what happened, so when I walked in with blood dripping from my mouth and tears falling down my face, she gathered me up and soothed me as best she could. Once I calmed down she asked me “How many teeth did he pull?” My mouth still full of novocaine I replied, “Theben” Looking back she replied “What?” Again I replied “Theben”. “Marsha, there is no way he took out seven teeth at once” She replied. Pulling out my wadded tooth filled tissue I opened up the paper and said, “Thee for yourthelf” Counting the teeth her face conveyed a pissed off look and invited me to eat a popsicle–which went a long way at soothing  my sore mouth.

“So you see doll, having one tooth pulled is nothing…” I said with a smile. “How much did you make from the tooth fairy?” she asked as dollar signs filled her eyes. “A whopping $3.25!! .25 cents per tooth!!” I laughed. “Wow mom…” she laughed. “Well, considering your tooth fairy stopped coming here years ago…” I returned and we both smirked.


Yesterday when I arrived home from work, the doll was seated on the loveseat reading a book. “Did you have your tooth removed?” I asked. “Yes. They gave me laughing gas.” She said with a giggle. “Oh yeah?” I asked. “Yes, my head felt like a three-dimensional balloon and I was floating above. My body was the string.” “Well that’s a far cry from my experience…” I laughed. The boy, reading on the opposite couch mused, “The last time I had laughing gas everyone around me had balloon heads…” Their father, not wanting to be left out added “I was telling the doll the last time they gave it to me, everyone’s heads were paper cut-outs with cartoon eyes.” Looking at my silly family I said, “Yeah, yeah yeah, rub it in…” and walked out of the room.



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