I think that yesterday when Ronan dropped his sippy cup on the ground I heard him say fffffuck.
I’m gonna win that mother of the year award any day now.
I think I can finally write about it.
For four weeks now, I’ve been too ashamed to talk about this.
It was Friday, and it was rainy. Ronan and I were on our way, after nap and lunch, to find a rainy day adventure with my friend T and her daughter, E.
On the way, Ronan, who had been a bottomless pit that day, started signing for food and saying ‘nom nom nom’. Hungry again. I pulled over at the Tim Horton’s on the way and we got bagels to snack on. I tore his into manageable pieces and started to eat mine too. He stood on the chair, leaning on the table and eating.
He should have been in a high chair.
He fell. of course he fell. And of course he fell while I was looking at my phone, texting T that we would be a few minutes late. With a gasp, I stood up and grabbed him off the tile floor. he cried, but only a little bit - no more than an everyday head bump. I comforted him as he cried into my shoulder, looking defiantly around, seeing myself through everyone else’s eyes. Look at that irresponsible mother. She’s paying attention to her phone instead of her kid and now he’s hurt.
After he was calm, which didn’t take long, I pulled out of our hug and examine him, and felt the air sucked out of my lungs: his teeth.
Oh my god, his teeth.
A huge chip on his left front tooth and a smaller chip on the left lateral incisor. The gum at his front tooth was also bleeding, and I felt and confirmed the thing I never knew until that moment was my worst nightmare. My baby’s tooth was loose.
And he was still asking to eat.
I need to get out of here.
We were 3/4 of the way to T’s house at this point and I needed a non-judgemental place to google pediatric dentists and debrief.
Quickly, I packed Ronan into the car, brushed away a tear (mine) and drove the rest of the way.
I can’t even say how grateful I am that I did that instead of going home. She made me coffee (that’s good for nerves, right?), told me a story about another baby she knows who lost a tooth even younger than this, told me this can happen to anyone and I’m not a bad mom. Not even because I was looking at my phone. She offered to accompany us to the dentist. She monitored Ronan while I called for the appointment and while I called Mister Murphy at work to tell him what had happened and to get the number of our extended benefits plan.
When accidents happen to your children (And I know this because I have cared for a lot of children/their parents after a lot of accidents), it doesn’t matter how much it’s nobody’s fault. It is impossible not to blame yourself even if you can say, even if you can believe, on some level, the reasons it wasn’t your fault. I would relive that accident for days and days, and each time it was with a tightness of my chest and a foreboding sense of shame. I should have been better. I shouldn’t have had the phone out. He should have been in a high chair. A bagel isn’t even a healthy snack, why did we even STOP there? Why am I not the kind of mother who always has a snack?
The diagnosis was this: No exposed nerves or blood vessels in the chipped teeth. The tooth had (still has) a good chance of going dark/bruised, which would be permanent. We followed up today with the dentist, he can see some discoloration at the back of the tooth but nothing that’s visible when he smiles at this point. That tooth will be vulnerable to abscesses until it falls out, sadly, and if that were to happen it would need to be surgically removed.
We can choose to have a filling put on for cosmetic reasons when he’s a little older and can cooperate somewhat.
Mister Murphy left work that day to come meet us at the dentist’s office. He was upset with me at first, I could tell by the way he was so quiet, and it made me feel that much worse. As we got back into our separate cars to go home I said something snarky like “Thanks for all your support, honey” (I can be mean when I’m stressed, guys).
When I got home after dropping off T and E he wasn’t there. I waffled between annoyance that he hadn’t come straight home and fear that something had happened to him. Then, after some more time passed, paranoia set in and I convinced myself that this incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back and maybe he wasn’t happy in our relationship and he was going to come home and tell me he was done.
Shut up, it had been an emotional day.
When he came home, he bore flowers and a bottle of wine. He said he was sorry for reacting the way he did and he should have known how upset I was already. I, for my part, burst into sad, grateful, relieved, guilty tears.
I bet you didn’t think this was a love story.
Gratuitous Picture of Your Kids Wednesday - First Meeting
Mister Murphy meeting Ronan, my most prized image ever.
I don’t actually have photos of the very first time I met Ronan, we were so caught up in what was going on that it was an hour or so later that we remembered to take some pictures.
Mister Murphy was brushing away tears when he handed him back to me, and I remember feeling jealous that he could cry to show his emotion. I’m just not someone who cries in big moments, not happy or sad ones. I cry mostly when I’m angry or frustrated or overwhelmed - the moments when you least want your voice to choke up, the moments it feels weak. When I want joyful tears, when I want sorrow, when I want to cry with abandon so that my outside will match my inside… nothing.
Forever destined to appear emotionally stunted even though I’m not.
I am Anna. Wife to Mister Murphy, mama to baby Ronan, born October 30th 2011. This is where I record our lives, because I never want to forget what this feels like.