“Loch has a morbid fear of blood!” my daughter says.
My grandson has a dangling front tooth, empty on either side. He won’t twist it or work it. He is afraid it will bleed, so he lets it hang. It’s been hanging for weeks, now.
Loch is 6 years old. He and his 9 year old sister Lexi are visiting me for 3 days.
Today, as I’m pulling a tee shirt over his head he starts to scream. The tee shirt has yanked on his tooth…and the tooth is bleeding.
Loch is screaming, “Get me a mirror! Get me a mirror!”
In light of his ‘morbid fear of blood,’ I don’t think this is a good idea. Loch runs to the bathroom and grabs a red bath towel off the rod. He jams it against his tooth and runs into the ‘kid’s room’ that has a wall of mirrored closets.
He drops the bath towel from his mouth and takes a look. A great wail arises.
There is BLOOD on The Tooth!
Loch drops to the floor in front of the mirror moaning, with the towel again covering his face.
Bill comes in from his Studio and I explain the situation. Bill says the cure is an ice cube.
When the ice cube is delivered Loch wraps it in the edge of the towel and holds it and the entire towel against his mouth. He settles down cross-legged on the floor in front of the mirror, watching himself.
He is mesmerized. I am thinking I am so glad the towel is red so he can’t actually see the blood.
Lexi, Bill and I leave Loch to his obsession.
The boy has other obsessions. When he was 2 or 3 years old he wore tall, green plastic rain boots and green gloves twenty-four hours a day.
Everyone thought it was odd. Cute, but odd.
The gloves grew mold inside and Loch started to smell. My daughter had to finally sneak the gloves off his little hands at night and wash and bleach them.
Right now, he likes his clothes put on and off in certain ways. Tee shirt first, then the underpants. Next the jeans and don’t try and rearrange the order!
We three sit on the porch while Loch obsesses. Every few minutes or so we go back and check on him. He is still sitting on the floor right in front of the mirrors, looking at his face, riveted to the ‘bloody’ scene unfolding in his life.
Finally, we delegate Bill to occasionally look in on him. About an hour later, Bill comes to the front patio and says, “You should go and look at him. He’s fast asleep with the towel over his face.”
Apparently, he has finally tipped over and fallen asleep. I know for a fact that active obsessions are very tiring and can’t be kept up, forever.
He sleeps like this for more then an hour. This is interesting as he and his mother have assured us earlier that he no longer naps. Ever.
Later, Loch comes into my bedroom where I have taken advantage of his napping, to take a nap myself.
I open an eye and say, “Hi Loch. How was your nap.”
“I didn’t take a nap!” he says.
“Yes, you did.”
“No! I didn’t take a nap.”
I guess he didn’t notice he was flat out on the floor when he came to.
But, it’s a good time for a swim in the pool. I pull his shirt over his head being very careful of that dangling tooth.
The kids go into the pool with Bill while I relax on the patio under the hanging wisteria. Suddenly, there is a scream that sounds like a werewolf. I have never heard a werewolf in the pool before. This wolf howls and howls and the neighborhood reverberates with its agony.
Loch has been stung by a bee. He has never had a bee sting before.
I haul him into the house and salt his palm with meat tenderizer, give him some homeopathic Apis for stings…and give him another ice cube but this one for his hand. He takes up the giant red bath towel again, to hold the ice against the sting. He’s still wailing and howling. But, he hasn’t gone into anaphylactic shock like my dog Bob does with a bee sting. So, this is good.
I notice Loch’s tooth has started bleeding now, but very wisely…I don’t mention it.
Bill says, “Well Loch, you have had a bad day. I think you deserve an ice cream cone, don’t you?”
It’s almost 5PM and we haven’t had dinner but we head up town to the ice cream shop. Loch has blue bubble gum ice cream with gummy worms. The ice cube he brought for his hand, melts. His tooth has bled a bit onto a gummy worm. He doesn’t notice.
Soon after, he eats a semblance of dinner and then gets an early bedtime. We all hope for a better tomorrow.
Unfortunately, his mother has told him if he doesn’t pull that tooth out, he may swallow it and he will need to poop it out.
Loch has a fear of getting poop on his fingers and now he is afraid that, “My bottom will be ripped out by that tooth!”
I assure him that not too many kids swallow their loose teeth in the night but if he does the tooth fairy will have to come twice. Once for the loss of the tooth from his gum and once for the exit of the tooth from his bottom. There are more places to lose a tooth then from the mouth and the fairy knows she will have to pay extra for it.
If Loch has to poop out his tooth from his ‘beheine’ we will somehow convince him that this is a Rare and Lucky Experience.
Teach kids early that ‘bad’ can be made into ‘good’ and perhaps it will make the sojourn on earth a tiny bit easier…for all of us.
UPDATE: Here is a Buddy note between my daughter Summer and me, three days later about Loch and The Tooth.
Venus: How is Loch’s tooth?
Summer: I pulled it.
Venus: Oh Wow! What happened?
Summer: He screamed his head off. But, it was time. He had a dental appointment today for a cleaning and I knew that would go badly.
Venus: How did you manage to do it?
Summer: Why, I pinned him to the bed.
Summer: Then, as he struggled with me, I ‘accidentally’ bumped the tooth with my hand.
Summer: Easy Peasy. Desperate times require desperate measures.
Venus: What happened when he bled?!
Summer: He freaked out and fell asleep with a giant, wet wash cloth stuffed in his mouth.
Venus: Another Bad Day for Loch.