(A year ago today, Will knocked out his front tooth. Indulge me, if you will, on this mother’s journey.)
At about four months of age, Will began drooling, like every other baby. We nodded our heads knowingly and said, “He must be teething.”
The months went by and he continued to drool and chew on his fingers and on his toys. He occasionally got cranky and we nodded our heads knowingly and said, “He must be teething.”
At his nine-month visit to the pediatrician, she observed him climbing around the room and said, “I predict he will walk in here for his 12-month visit and I predict he will have a tooth by then.” He walked six weeks later, ran into the pediatrician’s office at 12 months—and gave her a big, gummy, toothless smile.
Finally at 14 months, two little teeth poked through the bottom gum. And slowly, slowly, slowly, others followed.
Will and his mighty fangs, June 2006, 23 months of age.
By his second birthday he had what looked to us like a mouthful of teeth.
Happy second birthday, Will! Breakfast, July 20, 2006
Need a closer look?
He slowly added a few more as the summer and fall progressed.
A year ago Will still had both of those hard-won front teeth. As you would expect for a two-year-old.
Last known photo of his front teeth, November 2006.
And then one morning, he took a terrible fall, and tumbled teeth first onto a bedside table. With a magazine on it. His teeth marks went all the way through to page 35. (Those magazine pages are now in his baby book.)
Bleeding, swelling, tears, an emergency trip to the pediatric dentist—but he still had two front teeth, even though one was pushed up into his gum. The poor little fellow was as brave as can be, and we took him home for cuddles, movies, soft foods and popsicles.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but his mouth is so swollen it looks like a beak. November 13, 2006
Over the next few weeks, the tooth worked its way down, we were cautiously optimistic and then…he fell again, two weeks later at school. The tooth came out.
November 29, 2006
The phrase, “I was devastated!” is overused, but I was. Truly. My sweet, beautiful little baby had a huge, gaping hole in his smile. I felt like I should have been able to protect him from harm and the fact that it happened without me there was a extraordinarily painful metaphor for life as a working parent.
Still a little swollen, November 29, 2006
He hardly seemed to notice, and to this day, while he is well aware that he is missing a tooth, it has never bothered him. That’s okay, because my heart breaks enough for the both of us when I see that smile.
And of course, it was three days before Christmas card photos last year. We didn’t use this one, but thought you might enjoy the outtake.
Edited to add: I have NO IDEA why Will looks like he got a fresh red dye job in that last photo. NO IDEA. Is it just my monitor?