Saturday, January 19, 2013

That poor little mouth of hers

Remember back in August when Morgan almost bit her tongue off? She slipped off a piano bench, bumped her chin on the edge of the piano and bit right down on her little tongue - almost all the way through! She didn't eat anything or speak a single word for nearly a week afterwards and almost six months later, she still has a very noticeable dent across the middle of her tongue. Yeah... not fun.

Well there's another story that I never got around to telling here. A little story I like to call "The Time Morgan Fell Down an Escalator and Almost Knocked Her Teeth Out" or "My Worst Parenting Fail To Date".

Back in late October/early November when I was in the hospital, Morgan and Adam had come up for one of their usual weekend visits. Since I already had a couple visitors in my room when they showed up and hospital rooms aren't known for being incredibly spacious or entertaining, we decided go for a little walk. This happened to be on one of the first days I felt well enough to actually be out of bed and walking around and it felt great, but I was hauling an oxygen tank, a heart monitor with all it's wiring, plus all my normal IV junk around with me so I was having to take things pretty slowly. 

So there we were - Morgan, me, Adam, my brother Jason, and a friend of mine - out for a nice little stroll. (Let me just make sure you're paying attention: that's one, two, three, four adults and one tiny three year old. It's not as if we were outnumbered.) Morgan is very familiar with escalators and has been told no less than four thousand times to "be careful, don't step on the escalator alone, you need to hold someone's hand or you could fall and get hurt." She had always been compliant and never made a real attempt to get on by herself, but as we approached the escalators that day I could see the wheels start turning in her head. I'm not sure if she knew that I wouldn't be able to move fast enough with my entourage of medical equipment or if she thought that the four of us were too involved in our conversation and wouldn't notice if she snuck away, but right as I saw those little wheels start turning in her head, she darted toward the escalator and jumped onto it.

Jason and Adam both moved toward her, but weren't quite fast enough. I'm sure I mumbled (or possibly shouted) some kind of profanity because that's what I tend to do when I find myself in a situation I'm not in control of, but my brother, not wanting to scare her, calmly said, "Ooooh, Morgan, don't fall." And that's all it took. She suddenly panicked, tripped on the air under her feet, and tumbled.

Fortunately Jason was just a step or two behind her at that point and was able to grab her pretty quickly. It's not as if she plummeted down an entire staircase or anything, really just a step or two, but I have never felt like such an awful parent!

There was blood everywhere, so it took me a minute to really notice what was going on with her tooth. She had apparently hit her mouth on either a metal stair (ouch!) or the side of the escalator, and her tooth took the brunt of it. One of her front teeth was crooked, out of place and pretty loose. She had a very bloody, very obvious snaggletooth!

Fortunately, of all places, the hospital wasn't a bad place to be in this situation. After a little research and asking around, we determined that the best thing to do was leave the tooth alone, get her some Tylenol and wait until she could get into the dentist.

Two months and a few visits to the dentist later, her tooth is still there. It didn't end up falling out, and in fact tightened back up into almost it's original place. Once she got over the initial trauma it didn't cause her any continued pain, so the dentist said that the best course of action would be to leave it just as it is... which I'm grateful for, but here's the thing. She hit the tooth hard enough to cause nerve damage, and she now has a dead greyish-brown tooth right in front, constantly glaring at me and filling me with guilt!

(The good news is that since it's a baby tooth, it won't be discolored forever. Once that one falls out and her permanent tooth comes in, everything will be back to normal.)
The more I look at this picture the more I think maybe it's not
as noticeable as I'd originally thought, but trust me, it's there!

But it doesn't stop there, guys. In the weeks since that accident, this kid's mouth has been a target for, well, EVERYTHING! She's bumped it on the edge of the bathroom sink and coffee table more than once. It somehow got hit when she and Shylee were playing last weekend, and she's accidentally bitten her tongue or cheek countless times -- more than she ever did before! Just this morning she was playing with Nora, somehow got smacked with the dog toy and split her bottom lip open. Things like this happen on an almost daily basis now!

We always knew that Morgan would be the child who would make it necessary to memorize Poison Control's phone number and the reason we'll likely be on a first name basis with the entire emergency room staff someday. It's just who she is, and we've come to terms with that. I've actively tried to prepare myself to deal with her craziness clumsiness adventurousness, but there are some days that I wonder if I'm actually capable of that task.

Should I start making her wear a mouth guard? Maybe a football helmet to ensure extra protection? What about wrapping her head in bubble wrap? Until we figure it out, I may not be posting many pictures of her. Not because I'm embarrassed by her tooth or anything (because hello, have you seen her? She's still totally adorable!) but mostly because we'd really like to retain custody. 


  1. That little Morgan is one tough kid, that's for sure! And as for parenting fail? Please, forgetting to feed her or letting her wander around in heavy traffic would be a parenting fail. Accidents happen to everyone :)

  2. Aiden fell and hit his mouth super hard one time and his front tooth turned grey but after about 6 months it slowly went back to white again. Kids bodies are capable of even recovering from nerve damage. Some kids it does stay grey, but I thought u should know sometimes the odd coloring does go away...and ur right, she is still adorable. :)

  3. She is super cute! I'm glad they have a set of practice teeth :) I always feel like a super jerk when my kids get hurt, my latest 'mom of the year' moment was when I thought my 18 month old was still watching Dora while I was working out in the kitchen, except she was really right behind me... I planted my 3 lb hand weight right into her forehead, she had a perfectly round bruise for about a week... I still feel bad about that one.


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