There is nobody like mama. Period. With all girls it has been interesting to see their affection shift from time to time depending on their mood. But mostly, when push comes to shove, no body can bring comfort like mama. I am going to milk this phenomenon for as long as I can, knowing full well that someday it may not always be that way. I’ve heard that the teenage years with girls can be tough for moms. For now, yes, it is a pain sometimes when they only want mama, but I do find it pretty sweet. In a weird way, I relish the times when they just want me to read to them or for me to sit next to them at the table.
I’ve seen my oldest start to favor her dad just a little more lately, which has knocked me from my pedestal just a wee bit. Two examples come to mind: One was when my husband and I exchanged some tense words the other night. Olivia came roaring to her dad’s defense “Be Nice Mommy!” she said. My inner five-year-old came back with, “Daddy has to be nice too!” I couldn’t just let her be right especially when Brent couldn’t stop smiling when she said that. The other time, I had playfully tied his socks together while they were still on his feet so he couldn’t move. I thought it was hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing but Olivia started to get really mad. In defensive of her daddy she yelled, “Untie him!” She’s a daddy’s girl all right.
But sometimes we moms need a break and it pays to have a helpful husband around the house who help out with the kids especially at bedtime. It was just one of those nights this past week when Brent had taken the kids up for a bath while I cleaned up from dinner.
As I cleaned away, I heard a thud followed by Rocky crying. She was really crying. I then heard Olivia yell for me even though I know Brent was up there with them. I came running upstairs only to learn that Raquel had slipped outside of the bathtub and hit her face on the side of the tub.
Brent insisted that it was no big deal and that she was okay because she wanted to go right back in the tub after he picked her up. But as soon as she saw me, she really turned on the tears. She was bleeding a little from her mouth and upon further inspection; she had chipped one if not more of her little front teeth. I was starting to get really upset because I didn’t know what to do and Brent was trying to get me to chill out so as to not upset the other two girls.
I took the baby from the bathroom and took care of her while Brent finished up the bath with the other two. As I sat there looking at my little 18-month old with the once perfect smile, I found myself getting more and more mad at Brent. She was now a snaggletooth and it was entirely his fault. That never would have happened if I had been up there with my kids. I wouldn’t have left the bathroom for a minute and she wouldn’t have chipped her teeth.
I think I was mad for a few reasons. I was mad because he reacted to me like I was overreacting and that what had happened to Raquel was no big deal. But in hindsight, I know he was trying to make sure that I didn’t freak out the other two girls. But I was mad because I felt like I had wanted him to show more concern than I thought he did. I think I was also mad because in some ways it is so much easier having someone else to blame. As her mom, I felt some guilt for it happening in the first place and for not having been there. Having someone to blame takes the edge off the universal question of, “Why did this have to happen?” Well, because Daddy wasn’t paying attention, that’s why. At least that was my answer in the moment.
To admit to a certain level of vanity, I was also mad because I thought about having to see her snaggletooth smile for the next five years until she lost her baby teeth. Admitting this was hard and silly because I know that when it comes to physical deformities there are other people with way more significant hurdles than a few chipped teeth. But I kid you not, after it happened I kept thinking about Sloth in Goonies for some reason. I kept thinking about his messed up mouth and thought that was what she was up against.
I would be a big fat liar if I said I had a perfect track record with accidents with my kids on my watch. There was the time that Olivia rolled off the changing table when she was just a baby. Or the time that I accidentally nipped off part of Georgia’s finger while cutting her nails. Or the time Georgia ran away when Rocky was a newborn and I was just about to call the police when a man and his kids returned her to me. On my watch, my kids have choked, eaten stuff they shouldn’t have, gotten lost, tripped, fallen, scrapped, cut themselves, cut each others hair, ruined stuff, etc., etc. Yeah, I have a perfect track record for sure. Did Brent ever say, “Way to go!” or “It’s all your fault”? No. (Then again, I probably would have hurt him if he had)
My anger subsided and I did take Raquel into the dentist the next day to hear about what to look out for with dental accidents like hers. Our wonderful Pediatric dentist told me to watch out for discoloration, loose teeth, and mouth sores around the impact site. I also will bring her back in three weeks and he may be able to file down some of the jagged edges so that her teeth aren’t too sharp. The good news is that they are her baby teeth and her snaggletooth smile is kind of cute in a vampire sort of way. We are all okay today and I thank God everyday for our health (and medical insurance).