Growing Pains

Nothing is worse than seeing your child in pain. And when your child is especially headstrong, seeing them acknowledge their pain is even worse. Margot must fall down a thousand times a day. She’s covered in so many bruises I worry people think we don’t watch her. The truth is, she’s just a headstrong kid that keeps going no matter how hard she falls. She’ll get up after everything, almost always with a pissed off look on her face and a will to enact revenge. She triumphs over split lips and dominates skinned knees. So when she tells you she’s hurt, or cries her eyes out, you know the pain is real.

While working the other day, I received a frantic call from my wife. “Drew, can you come home?” Her voice was shaking. In the background I could hear kids screaming. My wife never asks me to come home. Last week she tweaked a muscle in her back picking up a kid. She could barely move but still she didn’t ask me to come home. Huh, I wonder where Margot got her gung ho attitude.

“Whats wrong?”

Screaming was all that came through my speaker. Before she spoke again I swear I heard someone yell “THE BLOOD!”

“Margot and Jude were fighting over headphones, they got caught in the fan and it swung Margot around the room and into the wall!”

“WHAT?” Luckily I was already in my car, I stomped on the gas. Work is five minutes from home. I knew I could make it in 2.

Screaming and crying were mixed in the receiver, making my home sound like a primate house on fire.

“Oh man, you’re going to have to bring her to the dentist or stay here with jude.”

“Tell me again what happened, the phone was breaking up.”

Alaina took a deep breath as I turned onto our road. “Margot and Jude were fighting over headphones. Margot took the headphones so hard she swung around and hit her face on the entertainment center.”

So yes, what I heard and what she said were completely different. While my brain went to some comical mischief that the kids were getting in, the reality was that Margot hit the table so hard it bent her front tooth out of alignment with the other teeth. When I finally got home and saw her, her face was buried in Alaina’s chest. Her mouth looked like Ed Norton’s mouth in Fight Club. Blood soaked the empty space that was created around the tooth and seemed to be seeping into every crevice of her tiny mouth. Also, upon throwing the door open heroically, I noticed that Alaina was almost in as many tears as Margot.

When your child is hurt it can be hard to keep a level head. Especially when the child in question is losing their shit and bleeding all over you. I’m so thankful that I have Alaina by my side when something like this  happens, and that she has me as well. With two if us tackling a stressful situation, we can take the steps to rectify the situations and not lose our cool. Margot wouldn’t let go of Alaina, soaking her shirt in her blood. I called our dentists emergency line and wondered what kind of dentist goes home at 3 pm. (oh right, the one that starts at 630 am). And then, we played the waiting game.

This is the time when we as parents turn to the doctors of the internet. We speculate and plan. We come up with worst case scenarios. We contrive the worst for our children. Maybe it’s to ready our own minds for what may be the worse. Someday Margot will fall off her bike. Some day she could break an arm. Someday she may even get cancer. Those events and their solutions are long off. Right then though, she had a tooth that was knocked loose. She had a top lip 3 times the size of her bottom. She had cried so hard, that she was starting to fall asleep.  And we were terrified for her.

It’s not like this was our first traumatic experience with a kid getting hurt. Kids get hurt and sick all the time. There was the time Jude fell down the stairs. You can read about that here. Or the time Margot had to go the emergency room in the middle of Texas because she wouldn’t stop liquid shitting. No matter how many times you experience your kid getting hurt in some ridiculous way, you’re scared. Our kids entire world is us and all we want is the best for them.

Our dentist, our amazing and understanding dentist, has told us it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when the tooth will fall out. Margot hit her face in a way that would make anybody cringe. The tooth that was hit has been pushed behind her normal teeth. The best way to describe it is to think of a fence. And then think of a bicyclist running tire first into only 1 plank of the fence (hell, let’s come full circle, the plank hits him in the mouth causing the misalignment of his teeth). The plank that took the brunt of the bicycle is sticking out at an angle more than any other tooth…er…plank.

Today, I watched her take small pieces of peanut butter and jelly and squish them into the side of her mouth being careful not to hit her problem( and painful) area.  She’s making it work. She’s “being a trooper”.  And she won’t stop talking about how the tooth fairy is going to leave her chocolate coins under her pillow…which was news to me.



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