I decided today was the day to try to do something about the troublingly stained champagne-colored carpet in my dining room.
Yes, dining room.
Who puts carpet in a dining room, you ask? Well, the person who owned this house before I did. She had three young children, too, so I’m not sure what she was thinking but this carpet is nasty.
I even thought about pulling it up and painting the subfloor a distressed white but I took a gander at the subfloor and it is far to splintery for my household.
So I settled in this morning with a fresh white cloth and a brand new bottle of carpet cleaner. It was actually quite peaceful. I listened to talk radio and tried to catch up on current events, as relaxing as that could be in this day and age.
I was well into my project, faithfully scrubbing away at a deeply set-in spaghetti sauce stain when Edward shot past me at record pace, a panicked look on his face as he screamed,“Ohhhh noooooo! And it was a permanent tooth, too!”
I actually kept spraying and blotting. I think I was giving myself a moment to compose my thoughts and prepare to meet a ten-year-old missing one of his two front teeth.
I mentally calculated how much some sort of dental implant might cost, along with the knowledge that most dental insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic dentistry.
I could hear Edward in the background wailing from his self-imposed exile: “A permanent tooth! A permanent one. They don’t grow back! Aghhhhhh!”
Then I remembered some rule about putting knocked-out teeth in milk to preserve them for a possible re-implantation and realized I had to face the truth. I hurried over to the playroom where I found Joseph and Sue on their hands and knees searching through carpet and wailing, “It’s got to be here somewhere!”
Joseph stood up, clutching his mouth, and delivered the news with a hopeful look, “Only part of it is gone. It was a permanent tooth, but part of it is still here, and the other part is in the carpet somewhere. I think.”
He jumped back down and dutifully continued to sift through the shag. I knelt down next to him, steeled myself to the possible blow, and asked him to open his mouth. To my utter relief, only a half-moon shaped chunk was missing from one of his lower middle teeth.
A sharp shard poked forward to be sure, but it was nothing like the horror I had imagined.
I smiled. He looked afraid.
“If I find the piece, do you think they can graft it back on?” he asked, hopefully.
“I’d just like to hear the story, if you please,” I said calmly, fully expecting the dreaded word “wrestling” to be front and center.
Joseph began sheepishly, “Well, I was just sort of wearing these boxing gloves…”
“I don’t need to hear any more.” I countered, my confidence building as I imagined the scenario.
“Well, it was his head that knocked into my mouth.”
Isn’t it always?
We’ll be visiting the pediatric dentist in the morning to find out what can be done. In the meantime, the dentist warned us that further wrestling, roughhousing or consumption of crunchy foods could make the situation worse, or cause the jagged tooth shard to impale the lip.
A few hours after the event, everyone was eerily quiet. I hunted them as I typically do in these situations and found them piled on Edward’s bed…reading the Bible together.
They are good.