Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parents Need Only Apply

This morning I yanked the front tooth out of my darling little peanut’s head.

The only person clearly qualified for that kind of nasty job is a parent. There is something so…soo…sooo….ICKY about it. Forgive my penchant for detail, but the little sucker was crackling, bleeding, and otherwise squirming into positions that teeth simply shouldn’t be placed in. Em was TOTALLY freaked out by the thought of Mama extracting it from her melon; she plaintively yelled, “OWWWW!” before I even had a decent grip with my index fingernail and thumb. I thought, “Oh great. If this is how she is reacting before I start the prying process, I can’t imagine what she’ll do when the torture begins.”

She and I went back and forth with the “OWWWW!” and “IT’S OK, EM!” verbal volleying for several minutes. Each time I got a hold of it, she instinctively yelped and clenched her teeth. So, not only was I having to perform this cringe-worthy dental procedure in the bathroom, but I also had to avoid getting my fingers bitten off. Finally, I looked her straight in the eyes with my superseriousmommy look and said, “We’re gonna DO THIS!”, as if we were about to storm the beach at Normandy. She returned my gaze with an equally serious nod of approval. Within a few seconds and some tense moments, the little cherub had been successfully detoothed.

As with all great challenges, the victory was so sweet. Emma squealed with delight when she saw the big gap at the front of her mouth (she had lost it’s next-door neighbor a few months ago in an equally traumatic removal). She reveled in how sthe sthounded when sthe talkths. Her joy was so unbridled that she decided to put her treasure into the Tooth Fairy pillow container and take it to school for show-and-tell. (Sorry, Teach!)

As for me, I was reminded about the countless other ishy parental things I have done, all in the name of love. I have endured the most foul of substances eeking out of my spawn, fearlessly and without hesitation. When you are a parent, you just do it. You change a kajillion poopy diapers, you clean up all manner of accidents, you wear stinky burp rags on your shoulder, and you hold the hand of a scared child when she gets her immunizations. You do this because you are the parent; you are the best one for the job. Simply put, your love is bigger than the mess.

When I was driving Emma to school this morning, she was quietly holding her Tooth Fairy container in her hands, wistfully looking out the window while rubbing her tongue against the newly-vacated area. After a few minutes, she said simply, “I feel sthpecial.” From deep within this mommy’s full heart, I lovingly responded, “That’s because you ARE.”

Yep, sthe sthure isth.

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