When my first child was born, even though he was covered in my insides, I thought he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on. Natural for a first time, parent, I think. It’s not a case of rose-colored glasses. It’s the first time we’ve ever truly experienced REAL love at first sight. True, pure, beautiful, still totally disgusting, yet wonderful. THEN I was told that I had to lubricate his umbilical cord stump until it fell off. UNTIL HIS BLACK STINKY STUMP FELL OFF! WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL? For a hot ass second, I thought about returning him, but those big gray eyes calmed me.
THEN there were the tar poops, and I lived.
THEN there were multiple cases of explosive seedy diarrhea in colors I didn’t think poop could be, projectile vomit, being sprayed in the face with pee more times than I can count, chunky milky baby rolls, and I survived them all!
I thought to myself- if this is the worst parenthood has to offer, I can totally handle this! Nothing could be worse than those things!
We all have a weakness (or fifty) when it comes to raising kids. Mine came in the form of red, erupting gums.
My adorable, squishy, toothless baby had been replaced with a whiny hot sack of doofy-looking teeth and swollen gums. It was disgusting. It was disturbing. THIS had to be the worst part of parenthood.
I was wrong, y’all. So very, very wrong.
It started slowly. One of those doofy baby teeth began to wiggle, and with each wiggle, my stomach flopped over like a fish out of water. What was this? What was happening to me? How had I forgotten? Those doofy weird, rounded teeth that had just violently busted through my child’s gums only a few years before aren’t permanent.
I suddenly remembered being in Kindergarten and being surrounded by my peers when I lost my first tooth. No one warned me. No one told me that kind of thing would happen. Sure, I had an older brother, but he was just a giant douche I only paid attention to when he had a toy I wanted to play with. I never saw teeth falling out of his head.
It fell out onto the table in front of me and I LOST IT.
“MRS. SHERIDAN! I BROKE MY TOOTH! I’M DYING! MY LIFE IS OVER! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???”
(Yes, I was just as dramatic then, as I am sure I am recalling something that happened 28 years ago perfectly).
Wiggly teeth were not fun for me as a child- I’d cry and complain, and I never, not once, attempted to pull a tooth out. It horrified me too much–which meant that I literally had teeth hanging by a string dangling around in my mouth, and omfg, I think I’m going to barf.
I must have burned it from my memory. Like one of those REALLY embarrassing life moments you completely forget about until you’re JUST about to fall asleep, and then it pops back into your head and haunts you for the rest of your life. That is loose teeth to me. And now my kid had them. And he wasn’t grossed out. In fact, he was proud.
“LOOK AT HOW WIGGLY MY TOOTH IS, MOMMY!”- wait, lemme go empty the contents of my stomach into the toilet, and then I’ll think about it.
I only ever participated in Tooth Fairy duty one time- just to know what it felt like, for one of those moments I could look back on and be like “Yeah, there was that time I had to ninja roll out of your room because you were such a light sleeper that I nearly broke my neck after you woke up with my hand under your pillow.”
It was after I exited Holden’s room successfully that another memory came flooding back. The day I found ALL of my baby teeth in one of my mom’s jewelry boxes. I mean… maybe it was supposed to be sweet, but looking down at Holden’s creepy tiny disembodied tooth, my stomach tried to exit via my lungs. EW. I CAN’T!
But, I did it. I faced my fears (for the most part). I made it through the wiggly teeth, the weird gap-toothed smiles, the comically oversized adult teeth filling up my kid’s mouth… and then Parker.
WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE PARKER??
It’s those adorable smooshy cheeks. They put you into a trance and it makes you forget how absolutely disgusting the kid is. I mean that in the best way, of course, but living with his machine gun farts and sticky hands can be quite the chore. His tooth experience was different. Although he got them early, like big brother, they didn’t fall out early. Year 4 passed, all tiny teeth still solidly in his gums. Year 5 passed, not a single, disgusting, wiggly tooth. Year 6. I was beginning to think he’d grow up to be a giant man with tiny teeth and he’d have to join the sideshow.
That’s when I saw it. Sitting at a picnic table inside Water Country (a local water park), I saw something that looked out of place in his mouth. I don’t know how I even saw it, but instantly, I gasped.
“OPEN YOUR MOUTH!”
I must have been so panicky that it caused him to think something was very wrong. Little did we know.
“What?? What’s wrong???”
“OPEN YOUR MOUTH RIGHT NOW!”
There they were. Right behind his bottom row of teeth…ANOTHER FUCKING ROW OF TEETH. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It was straight out of my parental nightmares, people.
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I can deal with the Exorcist-style vomiting. I can deal with diarrhea, machine gun farts, and catching my kids eat their nasty little boogers, but I CAN NOT HANDLE THIS!
From that moment on, every time the kid chewed, or smiled, or talked to me, I saw his creepy little shark teeth staring back at me. I started calling him Sharker. And when the teeth finally became wiggly WEEKS LATER (and he started calling his front baby teeth “unicorn teeth” because they were so loose they stuck STRAIGHT OUT), I cried. And not for what might be the total sum of our future orthodontic bill, but because I knew it meant more disgusting, bloody, gummy, wiggly,hanging on by a thread, “Mommy look at this!” teeth, and I swear, I’m gonna lock myself in a closet and eat hair instead.
Am I alone?? Am I just totally weird? Is anyone else completely squicked out by loose teeth? If not, what IS your weak-spot in parenthood?
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