Yesterday the doll had four teeth pulled, in preparation for braces. Since her father had the day off from work, he was tasked with taking care of her following the procedure. Meanwhile Mary Alice and I picked the boy up from school. When I arrived home for the evening, the doll did not look well. “Mom I have an upset stomach…” She confided. “Baby I know, I’m sure you swallowed some stuff during the surgery in addition to the drugs they gave you, may not be out of your system”. I explained.
A short time later she evacuated the contents of her stomach.
When she was feeling a little better she approached me and said, “Mom, I was so disoriented after they removed my teeth, I asked one of the nurses if I was dead”. Amused I smiled in return. “Then a while later I couldn’t understand why they took my teeth”. “Oh yeah?” I asked. “Why did you take my teeth, I was using them…” Her father said, entering the kitchen and conversation. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry” I said wrapping her in a hug (A hug by the way that she accepted and held on to for over a minute as I rocked her back and forth). “They also left the roots in…” She said opening her mouth to show. “Baby, whatever you do, do not mess with those roots. They’ll dissolve on their own. You do not want to dislodge them unless you willing to experience the worst pain in the world”. I explained. “Is that that dry thingymabopper you mentioned yesterday?” She wondered. “Yes. Dry socket. Believe me when I tell you, you do not want that. So just be careful when brushing your teeth tonight, okay?”
Disengaging from the hug, she nodded and then left the room. Looking at her father I asked, “How was she immediately after the procedure?” “I don’t know. They wouldn’t let me see her until they were ready to shove her out the door”. He replied angrily. “That may have something more to do with insurance regulations than parental preference” I tried. “I don’t care. As her father I have every right to be with her while she’s under anesthesia”. He exclaimed. “The only time they let me see her is when they wanted to push her out the door–with minimal instructions. She cried all the way home, couldn’t figure out where she was or why they took her teeth. So heartbreaking to see”. “…and be helpless?” I added. “Yes that too”. He agreed.
By the time she went to bed, her mouth was feeling better, though a sinus infection had taken up residence. “Mom why do I always get slammed with everything all at once?” She asked and all I could do is wrap her in another hug and say, “It’s the nature of the beast”.