Thursday, 18 October 2012

Why buy age-appropriate toys (or the story of how I ended up toothless)

A couple of weeks ago we took a little trip to the local cycle shop / haberdashery / toy shop. It sounds weird, doesn't it? It is in fact one of the best toy stores I have ever seen (the fact that it has a haberdashery is just a massive bonus for me). While we were there I looked for something to help LittleT start to understand what it is that mummy does with needle and thread and I found a set of large colourful wooden beads with strings to thread them through. The tub said 3+ but we have had plenty of non age-appropriate toys (according to the box) before and have had no problems, plus there were no small pieces so I bought them.

The next day her dad made for her a long string full of wooden beads and tied the string at both end, at the end of the day we put it all back in the box. A couple of days later, a week day, LittleT and I were both sitting down playing with it, she got up (like she does so I didn't think anything of it), she started spinning (the girl loves spinning), it all happened very quickly but, what I hadn't realised was the fact that she had grabbed the long string of beads that her dad had made for her and that she was spinning it with her.

Exhibit A
I found out though the very hard way, when the wooden beads hit my face. For any normal person this would mean a bit of pain but for me, due to my previous injuries, this meant a lot of pain and the knowledge that she may have knocked a tooth out of place (again).

The tooth in question was (sob) a lateral incisor that has given me a lot of trouble through the years, ever since it broke in the accident, the (rather fake) root fractured a few years later and, given the amount of infections it was causing by the time we realised it, it was taken out and nothing went back in. It is on the "bad" side of my face anyway so there was no point risking it (a hemorrhage and 3 day hospital stay after taking my 4 wisdom teeth out a few years before had given me enough experience to avoid any root work). A tooth was temporarily attached to the two teeth at either side (one of them mine, one of them half mine/half man-made) and that was it. That tooth held on for years and, let's just face it (literally), with my history I don't like dentists.

The beads loosened it and I was for the life of me holding on to it when by the Sunday I knew it was coming off, it was making everything hurt but the thought of being toothless again brought back way too many memories that I wanted to repress. On Tuesday Mr Tapas took time off work to accompany me to the dentist and, as we were putting LittleT in her stroller so that they could both go for a walk while I was getting a dental verdict, we were laughing and my tooth finally gave up and fell to the floor, right next to Mr Tapas' shoe, after telling him not to move, I grabbed my now muddy tooth and ran into the dentist's surgery.

I asked for an envelope at reception, placed it inside and hoped it could be reattached. I broke into tears when I was told it wasn't possible and that they would try to rush a bridge instead (it usually takes two weeks) so that it would be ready within a week.

I was crying because of the memories that this was all bringing, getting up after being hit by a car and feeling the inside of my mouth was different, smelling the asphalt again. If you have ever hit the asphalt before you may recognise the smell I am talking about. Together with the smell of four tyres burning on the very hot summer weather road as the mindless driver tried to stop the car.

Twenty one years later and I can still smell it all. I felt the need to justify myself, that this wasn't just an "I want to be pretty" 21st century problem, this was me knowing rather well how people react when they see a slight mark on your face, let alone your mouth. This was me coping with feelings I try to forget every time I am in pain.

This was me wondering, yet again, why me?

Seriously, why me? Why didn't I wait two seconds longer to leave the house? Why did I choose to cross that street at that exact time? Ah yes, the car to my left (this was in Spain) had stopped for me, it was a pedestrian crossing, there were absolutely no cars coming on the other side.

I usually just get on with it but it's things like this, weeks like this, that just bring it all back, with a vengeance.

The best bit though: the first time my toddler realised what was going on, she smiled and pointed and I thought "Oh no, please don't learn to point and laugh already" but she wasn't pointing, she was trying to stick her finger where my tooth used to be and thinking it was very funny that mummy had a hole in her mouth. That did make me beam a toothless smile back at her.

Followed by the fact that I do have a lot less pressure in my mouth since the tooth is gone.

Anyone need a rather natural toothless extra for a period film? I'm available until Tuesday afternoon.

Tooth update 25/10/2012: Still toothless, the dentist didn't like the colour of the tooth that was sent by the lab (it did look grey next to my teeth) so refused to fit it. I would make a perfect Halloween witch but I am hoping to cover this hole before then!

Unintentional self-portrait taken when I got out of the dentist, see the hole?
The shot I was actually trying to take, flipping 2 camera iPhone

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