"What happened?" I asked, trying to mask my nausea and panic. We were at the drugstore where I was holding three different zippy cups that each promised to be "leak-proof" in a different and miraculous way and also cost three times more than I thought was reasonable for a plastic freaking cup. Now I dropped the cups and addressed the bloody bubble gum situation.
"I bit down too hard on the gum and it just, there was all this blood!" my daughter panted, thoroughly freaked out.
Several blood-soaked tissue balls later, I was able to discern that her tooth hadn't just spontaneously started to bleed; she had a loose tooth which had been knocked significantly more loose by the impact of her over-zealous chomp. Now the loose tooth -- one of the big front teeth on the top -- was fully dis-adhered in the front, but still rooted in the back. In other words, it was a nauseating dental situation that she could not resist making more and more nauseating over the next few hours. The problem was, the more she fucked with her tooth, she more freaked out she got.
"I TWISTED IT!!!!" she shrieked as she ran into the kitchen where I was making the only thing I ever make it the kitchen - turkey tacos.
She had indeed, twisted the tooth so that instead of being parallel to her gums, it was perpendicular. I am very squeamish and do not do well with these kinds of things.
"Ugggggggghhh," I moaned, feeling light-headed.
"DO SOMETHING!!!!' Seconda shrieked.
"Just --" I panted, "twist it back."
"No! I CAN'T! I'm too scared!"
"Well, I, I don't want to hurt you." I stammered. It was true, but not my primary reason for declining to get physically involved. Mostly, I was just seriously, hard-core scheeeved out. I felt a little like I had to put my head between my knees.
"HELP!! IT'S SO WEIRD AND GROSS!!!" she yelled.
At that exact moment, my deus ex machine arrived on the scene. I heard David's key turning in the lock.
"Daddy!" I sighed with relief.
"Daddy!" Seconda shrieked.
"Daddy!" the baby parroted.
David had barely gotten one foot in the door when he was charged with the task of Dealing With The Tooth Freak Show.
"Well, just let me take off my coat first," he protested. His face had that look which clearly said, "I should have taken the long way home today."
"NO DADDY I CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND! NOW NOW NOW!"
So he reached in her mouth and gave the tooth a twist so that it hung, by a thread of tissue, in its original position.
We urged Seconda to just pull the disgusting dead chunk of organic material out of her mouth but she was too terrified to even consider it. So we ate dinner, and in the process, naturally, her tooth got twisted again.
"OH MY GOD IT'S TWISTED AGAIN!"
And we repeated the circus act above.
On the third time this happened, I insisted that David pull the tooth. I was not about to have her stay up til midnight freaking out about the tooth that refused to go gently into it's good night.
It looked like she was going to need sedation but finally, she pulled herself together, screwed her courage to the sticking place and opened her mouth. After a little bit of ice-rubbing, David got a hold of the tooth and bam, it was done in approximately 1.5 milliseconds. Instantly, she was ebullient.
I, too, was enormously relieved, in the same way you are relieved when your constipated toddler finally takes a crap or your baby who's been caterwauling in her crib finally succumbs to sleep. You know that children can not stay awake forever, cannot go without a bowel movement forever, cannot keep dead teeth that are literally dangling from their gums adhered to the mouth forever but damn if it doesn't feel exactly that way.