"All right, parents! It's time to come and watch!"
I looked up from my pile of purple yarn that I had been tediously hooking and looping into a scarf for Corinne. The waiting room at the community center was emptying and it was time to watch our little girls perform what they had learned in the last 2 weeks in Jazz class.
There stood my own mini-dancer; arms raised and toes pointed and face... drawn into a frown? Weird. Corinne is usually thrilled to be dancing. I tried to avoid eye contact with her, lest the drama be validated, but her brown eyes found my blue ones and she began to wail.
She raced across the room into my arms.
"My mouth! It hurts! My mouth hurts sooo bad!!"
I looked inside and, sure enough, there wobbled the second baby tooth she'd ever cut. It wasn't quite at the "hanging on by a thread" stage but it was definitely on its way out the door. I hugged her and reassured her. Somehow, between her favorite dance teacher and I, we managed to get her back in line to finish out the dance. She was miserable, but she did her jumps and taps and spins with the most pathetic face you've ever seen. Before the final note even ended, she was back in my arms, tears pouring down her face.
I peered into her mouth once more.
"Hmmm. It really is loose, honey. Let me feel it a bit and see..." As I said this, I did what all mothers will do at least once in their parenting careers:
I tugged. And I tugged hard.
And the tooth didn't come out!
But the blood sure did.
Oh my LORD, you should have seen the horror on the faces of the little girls in that room as Corinne stood there with blood oozing from her mouth! I rushed her to the bathroom where her bawling echoed off the tiled walls. We staunched the flow of blood but the agony that she felt was more difficult to contain.
"I just want this pain to END! I want it out!!! Why is this happening to ME?!?!"
Now, I am not a mean mom, no matter what my kids will tell you. I don't LIKE it when my children are in pain, but the dramatics of a 6 year old are never-ending. Hearing Corinne scream over her current "pain" isn't anything new. So my sympathy was present, but not over-effusive. I'm sure that at least one mother was appalled at how I was just patting my daughter on the back and leaving her to clean herself up in the bathroom. Giving her attention was only going to feed the beast of Tantrums.
But Corinne had a second dance class that night and, while I'm not a CRAZY penny-pincher, I AM anal about paying for a class and then not attending. Do you know how much dance classes cost?? And that tooth wasn't coming out in the bathroom. At least, not without a blood bath. This hysteria needed to be abated so that she could do her ballet class! So we hurried home, where I gave her some "medicine" (leftover baby Tylenol) and dabbed a bit of Orajel on her gums. While rubbing her gums, I gripped that tooth and YANKED. And this time? I put some meaning into it!
"What?What? Did that hurt?"
"Did what hurt?"
I held up her bloody, itty-bitty tooth.
"Oh! My tooth! Aaahhhh!!!"
She raced to the sink, poured a glass of water and began chugging it down.
"Does it hurt that bad?"
"Noooo!! It's that gel stuff! It's SO NASTY!! I can't STAND IT!!"
Rolling my eyes, I handed her the tooth. She grinned through her tears and around the glass of water.
"How much money do you think I'll get for this one?"
"No idea, but let's get going! Your ballet class isn't over yet and you still have time to dance!"
And dance she did. The little girls were all adequately excited over her new hole in her head and I was thrilled that there wasn't any blood on her leotard.
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