Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Gummy Grin is Back!

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that although I was up at 6:00 on Tuesday morning, the past two mornings have been a different story entirely. Tuesday was, of course, the Day of the Monkey's Surgery.

We were up well before the sun--all of us. As a matter of fact, as the sun appeared, we were already on the road to drop off the Pickle and the Reepicheep so that we could get to the hospital with the Monkey by 7:30, for Pete's sake. The Frog was coming along with us, as many times the Monkey wants her and no one else. Not counting my Monkey's desperate urges to nurse, the morning went very smoothly, until he and I got into the pre-op waiting area. He refused to sit on the bed, wanting the comfort of my lap instead. Well OK, I expected this, and of course I held him until the very last possible second. I prayed his favorite prayer with him (Hail, Mary) over and over. I reminded him how much I love him, how much Mama Mary loves him, how much Jesus loves him. I sang his favorite song (Happy Birthday!) over and over, just the way he likes it--with the "May the Dear Lord bless you" verse included. But no matter what I said or how softly I crooned to him, the whole time we were in the little curtained-off corner we had been assigned to, he was writhing and crying, "I want Daddy! I want to drive in Daddy's car! I'm ready to go home! I want chocolate ohs!"**

**I feel I can no longer avoid sharing the adorable name he has for nursing. My Monkey has designated my right side as "chocolate" and my left side as "strawberry." His term for nursing has long been "ohs"--which is pronounced like "close"--as in, "close to you." I have no idea why this little moniker developed, but I absolutely love it. So when he wants to nurse, tending toward the right side, he says, "Choc-ate ohs, peas, Mama." If it's the left side he wants, he says, "Aw-bee ohs, peas, Mama." I can't even stand how endearing this is!**

Back to our story: Enter the anesthesiologist. She is a Mama of Small Boys, and knew just exactly how to not only calm my fears (I was a loosely disguised bundle of nerves!), but also how to relax my darling boy. Oh yes, he went right to her. Fully conscious, mind you--they do the gas sedation in the O.R., followed by the IV anesthesia. He went right to her, yes, and did not even peer back at me as she carried him off toward the Sterile Zone of Doom Into Which Mamas Dare Not Tread. Not a peek. Nor a peep. This, of all things, upset me more than having to calm him!

Of course, he was only in surgery for all of 45-ish minutes. I was summoned immediately as he was being taken into recovery and as they were rousing him from his slumber, so that I could give him his much-desired chocolate ohs. He was terribly angry with the very kind lady who was holding him as he woke, and he was frantic for me to get down to business. Once I did, though, he was content to just fall back to sleep. After about 20 minutes, we were taken back to his room on the peds floor for monitoring until he could eat and drink well enough for them to let us out on parole. (We have to check back with our parole officer--er, dentist--in two weeks.)

Each time he opened his pitiful little eyes for about the next hour or so as the local anesthesia wore off, he was just sad, sad, sad...and then he just wanted his Daddy. No ohs. No Frog. Just Daddy, thankyouverymuch. My Darling, being the Knight In Shining Armor that he is, laid his smallest boy upon his strong chest and snuggled him for about a two hour nap. And this while lying most uncomfortably on a bed meant for much shorter people--peds beds are about a foot shorter than standard beds! *sigh* My hero!

While the Monkey napped on his Daddy, the Frog and I wandered down to the cafeteria to see what we could grub up for lunch. When we returned, our ever-so-recently pitiful Monkey was sitting comfortably in a chair, munching on a purple popsicle. He spent the next two hours plastered to the window watching traffic, much of which consisted of dump trucks--which obviously trumps being upset by the pain of dental surgery, in case you were unaware!--and was as happy as a little lark!

Since I am experiencing many cravings from the Bean, mostly for proteinish things, my cravings have a tendency to dictate our menu. And on Tuesday, the Bean informed me that it wanted steak. Well, far be it from me to deny my children things that are good for them, so steak is what we had. My Monkey, fresh out of surgery, ate about half of a ten ounce steak! The boy just kept asking for meat. "More meat! More meat, peas, Daddy!" He also ate about six beautifully cooked baby carrots, and a regular kid-sized portion of potatoes. Good grief, I think he's going to be just fine!

It's going to take me a while to get used to seeing my Big Monkey Boy With the Gummy Grin he once sported. (I've posted my very favorite baby picture of him so you can be blessed by this memory as I am.) Today, it's as though nothing ever happened. He ate pizza for supper. I've been asking and asking him all day if his mouth hurts, all the while ready to give him his Mortin if the need arises--but he says no each time. He has adapted I suppose I knew he would. Children are wonderfully resilient even when we don't necessarily expect them to be so.

It will take about four or five years for his new teeth to grow in and fill that smile again...and I'm sure I will miss this Gummy Grin when it happens.


Anonymous said...

"How could I have not known?" She laments loudly to the empty room... "How? What kind of friend am I?"
After several head bangs against a cold-ish desk, she collapses into a humiliated lump of human flesh.
Vowing to call the blessed friend, she lifts her weakened head and scrawls a note to her loved ones if, perchance, she perishes in sadness and embarrassment before she can reach the telephone....

To be continued sometime tonight...EST...

Jenni said...

Well, that story of the "ohs" has got to be THE sweetest, most hilarious thing ever!

I'm so glad your Monkey is feeling a-ok after such a traumatic experience! And eating steak, no less!

Dear Laura, be encouraged! You are such a gifted writer; write for the sheer joy of writing, and the audience will come along, slowly but surely!!

zookeeper said...

I'm not sure what kind of dental surgery your poor little man had to endure, but any of it takes a courageous knight! (coming from a woman who loathes going to the dentist) You're pretty brave yourself- I have been blessed not to have to experience this yet as a parent.