Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shark Tooth Update

Just when the deadline for calling the dentist had come, and after days of wiggling and twisting and yanking and tears (mostly from Ainsley, but a few from me, too), the baby tooth came out. I picked her up from school yesterday and saw a little tooth-shaped plastic necklace around her neck.

"I pulled out my tooth during recess today, mommy!"


That's the way it's going to be with this kid. Panic and drama over some urgent-seeming issue, and just when we're all at the breaking point and ready to call in the big guns...she quietly takes care of business herself.

Some of you heard about this story, but for those of you who didn't hear much about Ains until I started the blog, let me embarrass the crap (ha!) out of the kid by telling you about Enema Day.

When Ainsley was three, she became half-potty-trained. She started peeing on the potty after a slow but steady progression from through pull-ups and training panties. But she developed a terrible fear of pooping on the potty. This led to a fear of pooping in general, and for one entire spring we battled constipation with her. We were giving her prune juice, a prescription laxative, adding fiber to her food, and there was still one point where she went 6 days without a bowel movement. After a consulation with her pediatrician, we were advised to purchase a pediatric enema. If she hadn't pooped (on potty, in pull-up, we didn't care at this point) by the third day after that appointment, I was told to use that or bring her in to have the doctor do it. Heaven help us.

The third day came, and we were all miserable. Ainsley was so full of it she wasn't eating, had a stomach that looked like she had swallowed a Nerf ball, and was so cranky she couldn't stand herself. I was terrified that she had something seriously wrong and that we were going to be sending her to college in a pull-up ("Hi, roomie, my name's Ainsley. Now, before we decide whose bed is going where, there's something you need to know about me...") So after I picked Ains up from day care, I spread out a towel in the bathtub, took the small but fearsome-looking appliance out of the box, and re-read the directions.

I noticed that things had gotten really quiet in the house. I called out for Ainsley, and when she didn't answer right away I became worried that my attempts at subversion had failed and she knew what I was up to and had run away from home.

I found her in a quiet corner of our spare bedroom, looking pensive.

"I'm pooping."

I'd never felt such joy at changing a pull-up.

A month later, she decided on her own that it was time to do number 2 in the potty and the enema threat became just a terrible memory. But I did feel that same sense of gratitude and relief yesterday when I saw that little stump of a tooth tucked inside her necklace.

The tooth fairy came last night to reward her for her efforts and impeccable timing. And, like every other time she's freaked us out, all was right with the world in the end.

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