It’s “Tooth Fairy Day”

Ben loves the Tooth Fairy. He might be getting to the age where he’ll stop believing in such make-believe things, but I’m planning to encourage him for as long as he wants to believe. He has enough reality in his life. Why shouldn’t he get excited over the Tooth Fairy leaving one of those gold Presidential dollar coins? We have a mint here in Denver so I get them fresh off the press. Clean and shiny. Something so little brings such a smile to his face.

We took a tour of the Denver Mint once when my parents were visiting. It happened to be the week of Ben’s semi-annual scans and since we were already downtown at the hospital we made plans to take a tour of the Mint, too. The security there is pretty tight. Everyone has to go through a metal detector before entering.

We were all standing in a single-file line waiting for our turn to walk through security. I was in front, the kids were in the middle, and Matt was at the back. When I walked through the alarm started screaming. I don’t have any metal plates in my head or tin-foil wrapped cucumbers hidden on my body so I wasn’t quite sure what it was all about. The guard pulled me aside and started asking me questions. He said that it wasn’t the alarm for metal, it was a radioactive material sensor. And I was making it scream. The gates closed behind us, we were trapped in this small area, answering lots of questions. Finally, the guard asked me if I had received any dental work recently. My face took on a look of question as I wondered why he would ask me such a thing, then I realized, It’s MY SON making the alarms go off! He’s radioactive from his scans! Poor kid, he wasn’t even through the detector yet and he’d made all the alarms go off. Questions were answered and we were able to go on our tour, dragging our radioactive kid along to admire all the shiny new coins.

I know this has nothing to do with the Tooth Fairy, but I just didn’t know when I would get the opportunity to share that story about the Mint. Sorry for the detour.

I’m not a fan of the dentist. I do okay now that I’m older but when I was about nine years old I had to have a tooth pulled to make way for an adult molar. I went to our family dentist for this procedure, Dr. Marcel Daneault, a very skilled dentist in Reynoldsburg, OH. He was from France. And he hated Jane Fonda. Don’t ask. But he seemed to always be talking about his disdain for her while he worked on my teeth. I would always think “I’m nine” when he’d start his tirade. No matter. I’d tune him out and stare at the poster he had on the ceiling – the one with the kitten dangling from a branch with the statement “Hang in there”. I always thought that was an odd choice for a dentist’s office.

Anyway, the tooth pulling experience. I’m not fond of needles to begin with, but even more so when they are placed anywhere near my mouth. He had to give me two shots – one in the roof of my mouth and one over the tooth in question. As he went in with that hideously scary metal syringe I closed my eyes. I felt the dreaded “pinch” and then a heavy French accent saying “Damn”. Damn? What? Come to find out he had broken the tip of the needle off in the roof of my mouth. As my brain swirled toward unconsciousness he reached in and pulled out the offending piece. I’m sure that it was a complete accident. That, or I reminded him of Jane Fonda at that particular moment and he wished to cause me intense pain. Either way, it was traumatic.

The same dentist took out my wisdom teeth several years later. He said that it would be no issue whatsoever for him to take out the one “normal” wisdom tooth and the three others that were impacted and growing towards my newly (finally braces-free) straight teeth. I should not see an oral surgeon, I should let him do it. So, I let him.

When I arrived he said “Oh, you are a baby when it comes to zee needles” (in his French accent). And I’m thinking, “Duh! Your fault, professor!” But I didn’t say it out loud. After all, he was the man with the needle.

He gave me some laughing gas that ended up making me entirely paranoid instead of relaxed and ready for the shot. He stuffed wads of cotton in my mouth, had it pried open so he could access the very back, and then started to come at me with the needle. I freaked out. And started hyperventilating. Since my mouth was stuffed full of cotton I couldn’t close it. So, the sound that came out of me was a very long and terribly loud snort. The snorts got worse as my embarrassment grew. And then I decided to throw in some “I’m sorry’s” since my embarrassment was out of control. “SNORT! – I’m sorry! – SNORRRRRT! – I’m sorry! – SNORRRT! – I’m sorry!” The man had cut out the three impacted teeth before I stopped snorting.

By the time I was able to walk out of his office the people in the waiting room erupted in applause. They’d heard my entire performance. I was completely mortified.

And that crazy Tooth Fairy, she brought me NOTHING.

More tomorrow. 🙂

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