“Just taste it!” I yelled, in desperation.
“I hate green grapes, they’re bitter!” He screamed back…
“How do you know, if you don’t try them?” I countered, wisely. At the same time, picking up one of the grapes and popping it into my mouth as evidence of their sweetness.
“Yum, these are good!” I said, in that fake- mom voice that makes me sound like a Sesame Street flunkee’.
“I just know! They were bad last time! I only like the red ones.”
And with that, I’d had it. And quite possibly, I lost my momma- mind.
It was one of those weeks where the stars align and so do my hormones and temper. To be fair, he wasn’t making sense, and I was (technically) right. How did he know if these green grapes were bitter, unless he tried them?
The battle had gone on long enough. I would make him try them. NOW.
I part jokingly, part stubbornly, pushed the grape against his front teeth, waiting for it to “pop” and for his sure to follow admission of it’s sweetness. The “pop” I felt was followed quickly by a flow of blood, not juice from his mouth.
For a minute I wondered what had happened.. was it a tainted grape? Did it have a razor blade in it- or some evil shard of glass? What sick person would do that to a kid? I grabbed a napkin and hoped he wouldn’t notice the blood.
His complaints about bitter grapes turned into a siren-type scream: “You knocked my toof out!” “Mommy! You knocked my toof out!” Tears mixed with the rivulet of blood on his chin.
It took a minute for the truth to register.
I had knocked his tooth out.
To be fair, his front tooth had been “hanging from a thread” for about a week. Sure, we had the “toof fairy” on speed dial. But, in my grape infused frustration, I’d totally forgotten it was loose.
The truth tried to sink in, but I kicked it back out with a deflection any hockey player would have been proud of. “You should have tried the grape, It’s your own fault.”
There was silence in the kitchen. The entire family was at the table and in shock. They were either in shock, or afraid I’d knock their teeth out next.
I tried to enlist their aid.
Grabbing a (non-white) towel and mopping up the mess… I tried to comfort him.. and me “Tell him I didn’t do it on purpose!” Maybe he’d calm down if he know I didn’t do it on purpose... I was met with blank stares. Great. My entire family was against me.
“You knocked my toof out!” “Mommy! You knocked my toof out!” His was the only voice in the kitchen. It echoed through my head and landed in my heart with a pang of guilt. I had knocked his tooth out.. and dang.. that was NOT in any of the parenting books… What do I do now? Call child services? I may as well.. cause tomorrow all he’s going to talk about during class “sharing time” is how his mother had knocked his toof out.
I ran through my options…
- Denial- well the toof was gone, but the gap would be hard to cover, unless I bought stock in Chicklets…
- Blame swapping: Yes, I briefly considered blaming him. (Moms have guilt swapping skillz… we know this, besides he should have tasted the grape.) But, there were witnesses and something told me this was a pivotal as well as bloody parenting moment. Besides, I’d already tried to blame swap and no one was buying it. The only other option was:
- Take responsibility, apologize and use this as learning opportunity. UGH. I’d rather knock my own toof out.
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to hurt you. I should have thought that through.”
“I forgive you, mommy.” Was his quick and toothless reply.
Yes. it was over that quick. Once I took responsibility, Noah forgave me. His tears stopped. He moved on. (To a popsicle, of course.)
Well.. it was almost over. Let’s just say the toof-fairy may have over-compensated.;) And I may have asked him, once the blood was gone and the crying was over, how that grape tasted…Apparently, it WAS sweet. And he’s honest. And I was right.:P
- Have you ever done something stupid as a mom that you instantly regretted? Something that you totally knew better than to do, but did anyway? Maybe in a moment of frustration, star or hormonal alignment?
- What was it, and how did you respond?
- How did your child respond?
* More importantly.. how much does your toof fairy pay???*
Dear Lord– I mess up every day, thank you for kids who are resilient and for grace and forgiveness that covers my sin. I love you lord.. amen
*** all kids freak when they see blood. I read somewhere to always keep a red washcloth handy for emergency clean ups.. they see less blood and freak less. It works!