Category Archives: Teething

On Losing Teeth and Hanging On.


I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter today. She is 6.5 years old and hasn’t lost a tooth yet. Her greatest desire for the last year has been for her teeth to start falling out. I know right,  here I sit at 35 years old and mournfully wonder when I’ll need a set of dentures with all the extractions I’ve already had and there’s a 6 year old wishing hers away. She would watch enviously as her brother lost tooth after tooth, she would come home from school and wistfully tell me how so-and-so had lost a tooth that day in the classroom. I explained that she had only started teething after she was 10 months old, and this was probably why her teeth were falling out late. I explained that the longer it took, the healthier her new shiny white pearls would be and the more she would appreciate them! She was not appeased. She couldn’t understand why everyone else was going through the joy of losing and gaining new teeth; why everyone else was getting money from the tooth fairy and she was being denied. It hurt, especially because her 7 year old brother has lost 7 teeth already. I fear that by the time she starts losing teeth, she’ll be at an age where she doesn’t even believe in the tooth fairy anymore!

Well.

Yesterday I received a hysterical call at work. She was sobbing so hard, I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Eventually I calmed her down and we did some breathing exercises and she told me that her bottom tooth was loose. Of course, I went into panic mode thinking she had had some sort of accident to warrant the pain and agony she was experiencing from this loose tooth, right? She explained that no, nothing had happened, her tooth was just loose.

Ookkkk?

Turns out the whole sensation gave her the fright of her life. That which she had longed for, for the longest time, didn’t actually make her feel that good after all. I eventually calmed her down enough to laugh about it and I managed to muster a bit of excitement out of her. But man, she is still paranoid. She woke me up twice in the middle of the night to verify if I was sure-sure-sure she wouldn’t swallow her tooth and choke on it during the night. Her hand and tongue are constantly fiddling with the little tooth, she doesn’t appear to be enjoying this at all.

And then I got thinking.

Sometimes we pray, and we pray, and.we.pray.. but still it seems like we are not getting our prayers answered. Other people around us seem to be blessed, they are getting promotions, driving fancy cars, their children are well behaved, they go on fancy holidays, their spouses seem like they’ve fallen straight out of the Garden of Eden, their lives are AMAZING.. but why God, aren’t you answering MY prayer? You know I need a new job to afford the school fees. You know I need my sick parents to get better because I don’t have the time and resources to look after them. You know I need my debt cancelled so I can start afresh. You know my marriage is failing, why won’t you intervene? You know my boss is treating me unfairly, why won’t you move him? Or me? You know I can’t relate to my teenage kids and they have fallen off the right path, why can’t you fix them? You know I am lonely and depressed, make me better? You know I have health challenges, why aren’t you healing me? Guys, the list goes on and on.

But Hannah’s tooth saga reminded me that God’s timing is perfect.  Because He knows us. He knows that sometimes we are not ready to handle what is coming. He knows that sometimes we need to go and grow through certain things so that we are equipped to deal with that which we are praying for. Trying to push the hand of God, always lands us in deep water. I bet if Hannah could go back, she would not wish so desperately for that tooth to come out! It’s a silly analogy but it works. I know in my own life when I have tried to do my own thing, when I have not consulted God and gone out and made things happen the way I think they should or done something because I felt I DESERVED it… those things have failed. I know that often the things I have begged God for, and which didn’t ever materialise.. in hindsight I can look back and say “Wow, God, thank you for NOT answering that prayer because my life would have taken an entirely different path if that had actually worked out! A path I know NOW, was not good for me” I’ve learned that waiting on God, builds resilience and grows character. I’ve learned that in the waiting and the trusting, He allows other lessons to be learned. I think what we fail to remember is that ultimately God’s plans for you are good. You just have to trust Him. You just have to go where He leads. You just have to tend to your garden where He has put you. You just have to be faithful with what you have. Remain faithful and obedient. Sometimes we think God is saying no, when really He is saying not yet, or nope you deserve better than that, or trust Me because you wouldn’t want Me to open that door if you knew what was really behind it. Your denial is not always a no. And when you do get that “pearly white” it will be at the perfect time and perfect for you.

There are people going through some stuff. Serious, tragic, heartbreaking stuff. I know that some people may feel that God has turned His back on them. I know there are even believers who are doubting that God cares. I know that there are people who have lost all hope, who can’t see a way out, who can’t see HOW God could fix this situation that He has allowed to go on for so long. But I want to remind you that God sees you, and He hears you and He cares. Won’t you trust that your Father knows every hair on your head and that He is MORE than able to give you a rich, rewarding, ridiculously fruitful life. He is a good, good Father!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has so much as imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2: 9

I hope this reaches someone today who needs to read it. I’m praying for you! And for my Hannah’s teeth to fall out and grow back without her losing her mind xxx

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Growing up can be sad


My son lost his first tooth. I think it is too early. I think it is too soon for him to be losing teeth. What next? University? A girlfriend? Marriage? It’s just going too fast. Make it stop.

Mothering is a weird thing hey. Some days I am so happy that they are grown, that they can wipe their own bums and sleep through the night and fetch my slippers and BE QUIET when I tell them to. But on the contrary, I feel this sadness that they are growing so fast. I posted a photo on IG the other day of Liam. I took the photo and then I stared at it for ages, and I kept staring back at my real life masterpiece. It was the first time I noticed how his face has completely changed. There are hardly any signs of babyhood left. His face and body are lean, there are no dimples on his thighs and when he is in his swimming trunks, his body looks like it belongs to a BOY, not my little pudgy pudding. Hannah. Oh my word. She used to have this big protruding baby belly that would turn the corner before she did. It’s gone! Her skin feels different, it feels like mine, not that smooth marshmallow-y baby softness.. big girl’s skin! Her arms can wrap around my neck almost twice. I remember not so long ago that her fingers could barely grasp around my neck when I’d take her for a back ride. And I’d laugh and tell her to hold on tightly, now she strangles me with her long arms and I have to tell her to loosen her grip.

I don’t know how much time I have left for them to fit onto my lap. I remember sitting on my daddy’s lap well into my schooling days.. because we would watch the news and then I remember moaning because I had to go to bed because I had school the next day. So with this hindsight, I trust I still have a few more years of a kid curled on my lap. But already it’s getting awkward because it’s all arms and legs and poky bum bones and I’m like WHEN DID YOU GET SO BIG?

I’m so grateful that they are both feelers. That they both love to be touched and held and cuddled. There are many moments in my parenting future that I am dreading… puberty, boyfriends and girlfriends, school projects, slamming doors and ALL that. But one moment that will truly break my heart is when the cuddling stops. And I KNOW it will happen, that’s the cycle of life, it’s a normal progression, I get that. But man, it will hurt. I still hug and kiss my own parents but I know that if I tried to sit on my mother’s lap I would most likely render her injured, ha. But I wonder if she misses it? I need to ask her that. Maybe she’ll respond in a comment, mom? 🙂 Does the growing up part get easier? I know that each stage comes with wonderful things, I can’t wait to have a teenage Hannah – shopping together, going for spa days while the boys go to watch the soccer (although I think Hannah will want to watch soccer with her dad more than she’ll want to get her nails done with me). Getting her to colour my greys and ogling over movie stars… I look forward to those times. As I do with Liam… I look forward to fostering a relationship where he’ll talk to me about stuff, I pray everyday that my boy and I will be able to talk about STUFF. That he’ll feel safe talking to me about STUFF. All sorts of STUFF. And hanging out together, playing Xbox or Playstation or whatever is cool for teenage boys in 2022.

Marcia recently asked if we were concerned about our age / getting older. And I truly am not… but when I think about age in the broader sense… as in time passing, getting older, the years rolling by… my heart does gallop a bit at the thought of these babies of mine growing into big people. Doesn’t yours?

You see this first picture? It feels like it was yesterday. I can remember the stress, the anxiety, the overwhelming tiredness of this very day as if it happened yesterday.

And you see this picture? It WAS pretty much yesterday. Time hey. Blink twice and you may miss it.

kids and me

A trip to the dentist


Liam has had this little hole in his back molar for the last month or so. He has never complained about pain, and I’ve just been waiting for the medical aid to tick over before taking him to the dentist. Anyway, yesterday my child was in pain and I quickly booked him in for a visit this morning. I KNOW how bad toothache can get, I am the queen of toothache after all. Remember this post? 

He wasn’t afraid at all, which I was grateful for, because I am terrified of the dentist and I’ve tried really hard not to transfer that anxiety over to him. He was the perfect gentleman, and the dentist really did a great job of making him feel comfortable in the chair. She filled his hole while telling him stories about Spiderman who came through that window over there (everyone had to stop to take a look at the window) when he came to get his teeth done.

She asked him questions about who brushes his teeth and how often. I felt the heat rise up my neck when he told her that mommy brushes his teeth everyday in the morning but not always in the night because mommy is always tired. Yup, he said that.

Anyway, we’ve managed to save his milk tooth until such time that it falls out naturally… hopefully. The dentist was giving me tips on preserving their milk teeth for as long as possible.. I sort of zoned out when she started talking about flossing… lady, I don’t even have time or energy to floss my own teeth, it’s just not going to happen. I’d rather cut back on the candy for the kids.

Check out my brave boy … nevermind he is groping his place of safety as my sister so aptly put it.. haha!

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Kids, today’s lesson is about looking after your pearly whites


What I have learnt from my dental dilemma is that, like a nagging mother in law, the longer you leave it be, the worse it becomes. You have to nip it in the bud.

Today I finally found the will to make an appointment and actually follow through with a visit to the dentist. Let me first say that these two lady dentists were amazing, and I will definitely be using them going forward, not only for myself but for the kids as well. They were gentle, and very explanatory, which is what a dental wuss like myself requires. Their equipment is all very high tech, but this could be normal for 2012, considering I haven’t been to a dentist since…um… since I don’t know when. However, the results are not good. My wisdom tooth is basically shot, kapout, finished and klaar and because I’ve left it for so long, the gum has actually grown in and around the cavity. This means that I need to be admitted into hospital, be put under general anesthetic and have it surgically removed. And here I thought being admitted for a caesar was scary. She also suggested that while I’m under, he may as well remove the two upper wisdom teeth which currently serve no purpose because with the bottoms out (my other bottom wisdom was taken out some years back), they aren’t been used for chewing and will eventually grow longer to compensate for the lack of bottom teeth which apparently will cause other problems. Sjoe.

So that’s the one issue.

The other issue is that I have another MEGA sized hole, which she says she can fix and the tooth will be saved! Hallelujah! So today we started treatment on that tooth and I’ve got to go back in three weeks to finish it off.

And lastly, I have a tooth which I endured a rather painful root canal for, which has gone completely black and is basically a shell because there is no nerve and the tooth is no longer “alive” – so she giving me options for making that tooth pretty again.

Now the crux. With my lack of teeth, I need to fill the gaps with something if I plan on eating anything via my mouth again (tube feeding isn’t exactly classy at my age). She suggested bridges, but didn’t recommend it. She recommended this new technology of drilling a titanium screw into your jaw / gum / bone… I’m not too sure now…. And placing a “fake tooth on top. Or something like that. We decided to discuss THIS procedure in the new year while my medical aid still has a few pennies to spare.

All in all, my mouth is in a bad way. A friend commented this morning that I was soon going to be more Coloured than ever, with a big passion gap in the front of my mouth. The only positive to this is that I would have more time to blog, as this travesty would mean I’d become a recluse.

One thing I have learned from this dastardly experience is that when they say you should have a check up every six months, they mean it. Had I reacted more promptly, I would probably have saved myself some porcelain AND pain. I’ve taken Liam to the dentist already and I do think that Hannah could do with a little clean. The earlier I get them used to the dentist, the easier the whole dental debacle becomes, and they become accustomed to the masked man/lady who digs in your mouth for a bit. And hopefully, they will not be as poep-bang as their mother is to make the visit every six months to ensure their pearly whites last them well into pensionable age!

The Power of Association


When Hannah was born, I was amazed that she fit my initial pie in the sky idea that babies are supposed to be pink and wrinkled and quiet and angelic. This because, my idyllic ideas were shattered when Liam was born; he was everything a baby was NOT supposed to be. He was born awake, and he stayed awake A LOT. As a newborn, if he napped for 40 minutes at a time, it was cause for celebration. Night times were worse, we couldn’t make an hour without him stirring and yelling for something to eat. He was a boob baby, and a formula supplemented baby, and he ate porridge at 3 months, all in an effort to make him SLEEEP. How he remained a cute, happy little boy on such sleep deprivation is beyond me. We soon realised that Liam was born ready – for EVERYTHING. He started teething at 3 months, walked at 11 months, started baby talking at about 4 months and real talking at about a year and oh my giggling granny, hasn’t stopped since. He is a real rough and tumble boy’s boy, does everything with gusto and dramatics, he is a ball of energy and I think he is destined to be a leader and not a follower. So when Hannah was born, all prim and proper, quiet as a mouse, a four to five hour schedule baby, and slept a full eight hours from about 3 months, we were a bit taken aback. She was a very calm baby, happy to just sit in her pram and watch the world pass her by. She hardly cried, she didn’t require much attention, other than watering and feeding here and there, and she was a total breeze to deal with. I used to say that Liam was blessed enough to get my antsy pantsy genes and Hannah got her Dad’s more laid back kinda genes.

Boy, was that short lived.

I read an interesting blog post, which supports my theory on the Power of Association. “The power of association and surrounding yourself with other successful people is a sure fire way to reach your goals and dreams much faster. The plain and simple truth is that if you are not spending time with other action takers on the same path to bigger things in life, then you hinder your own success.” It goes on to say: “…the outcome of who you are, the goals you achieve, the dreams you accomplish, the destiny you fulfill, all has its roots either as a result of associations you keep or maybe you personally. Let’s look for a good association, because it will determine your accomplishments.”

So now my theory.. since Hannah has been hanging around with her big brother, she has evolved into a little tigress. If I can use a simple example.. she evolved from one of those cute cuddly things in Waybaloo into that pirate chick in Jake and the Neverland Pirates, almost overnight (still cute and cuddly though). It seems even her physical milestones are being reached quicker, as a result of being around Liam. She only cut her first tooth at 10 months, but everything else has come at whirlwind speed.. she walked before her first birthday, she went from a quiet, introverted toddler who really only spoke when she was spoken to, into a word-a-second finger wagging, rule breaking toddler. I stand back and watch how she admires Liam, how she tries to imitate everything he does, how she tries to pronounce words like he does, how she tries these Evil Knievel tricks that get my heart racing. While potty training Liam, we used to let him wee in the garden – something that he hasn’t quite gotten over, even though he is fully potty trained. The other day I found Miss Hannah trying to wee in the garden with her brother, except she couldn’t get out of her press-studded vest so she was kinda leaning hip forward, legs apart, mimicking her brother who was creating a yellow stream across the yard. WHERE was my camera. She wants to be just like him, she wants to eat the same food as he does, and even though I know she doesn’t have an affinity for mushy foods – she won’t even eat mushy breakfast cereal or mashed butternut – if Liam is eating it, she will force herself to swallow it down with a sick look on her face.

I think it’s great that she has a mentor of sorts, that she endeavours to be just like her smart big brother, and I have no doubt that she will learn faster; that her mental and physical capabilities will develop quicker because she spends every waking moment with her mentor. But my concern is that she is also picking up on the not-so-admirable qualities of a strong willed two year old boy.. like the tantrums, the crying just because I feel like it, the naughtiness (and no, I don’t believe that children can’t be naughty). I know this phase will come regardless of who your child is, or who they spend time with, that’s just raising babies for you… but Hannah, at the tender age of 17 months, wags her finger in my face and says no no no no no, when I raise my voice and make big eyes at her to show my disapproval at something she’s done. She looks at me with that just-you-dare-try-it look when I reprimand her for touching something she knows is off limits, and runs away in a fit of giggles when I make as if I am coming to catch her to discipline her. She isn’t afraid of a smack on the fingers because she knows that Liam gets lots of those and he seems fine – she finds it all quite amusing actually. She looks to Liam when Dad raises his voice, to gauge how he reacts, so that she can do the same, because you don’t mess with Dad when he raises his voice, you see. She is a two and a half year old Liam in a 17 month old body – except her English is still pretty sucky.

My idea is to train Liam to be the perfect little well behaved, well mannered boy, so that she will pick up these great qualities from her brother.. but training Liam is like training a yappy little puppy who is just too excitable to listen or learn and just wees his pants when you shout and goes back to chew on that same piece of furniture no matter how many times you tell him not to.. its HARD!

So now that my hopes for a little princess in a pink organza tutu have been dashed, I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that Hannah will most likely be a tom boy, who only wants to wear camouflage and dig in the sand (boy, she loves digging in the sand!). And I’m cool with that, I just hope that Liam will grow out of his Terrible Twos phase quickly so that Hannah at least learns how to be a well behaved little tom boy.

No matter what, my kids are living proof that the Power of Association is real. Who are you associating with, and what does it say about you?

Also from the blog post I mentioned above, a thought provoking article by Gen. Colin Powell, which stirred my heart..

  • Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere, with some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it
  • Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life
  • Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships
  • If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl but, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights
  • The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve
  • Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity
  • An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people
  • As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on; they will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl
  • Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you