Mother of the Year …


So, Monday morning– Taft kicks Trey (this is not that unusual, I have four boys who are generally involved in some kind of tumble right?) After school, Trey says "my tooth hurts" I say sure it does, you got kicked in the mouth. Tuesday morning, Trey says "my tooth hurts" I say, yep — it’s probably bruised or something." Tuesday after school, Trey says "I couldn’t concentrate on math because my tooth hurts" I say "Ok, here’s some Tylenol." Trey goes to bed and wakes up just as I’m settling down — guess what he says? "My tooth hurts," to which I reply "Here’s some Tylenol, now go back to bed." Wednesday morning, Trey says "Mom, I need  more Tylenol" so, we’re making the exchange a bit shorter now. Wednesday after school, Trey says "Mom, I couldn’t even play on the playground, because my tooth really hurts — my teacher told me to rinse my mouth. I told her I needed some Tylenol and she told me to tell my mom when I get home. So, I need some Tylenol" I think to myself, we should stop by and ask our friend Mark, the dentist what he thinks could be going on — unfortunately I don’t act on this. Thursday a.m. at 3:00a.m.,  Trey is standing by my bed "I can’t even sleep mom, my tooth REALLY hurts!!!!" At this point, I give Trey Motrin Jr. (an extra hefty dose) and decide perhaps I should call the dentist. Long story shorter …. we saw two dentists yesterday afternoon and Trey is scheduled for a tooth extraction at 11:00 this morning. Can you believe it — he is having his permanent tooth (front and center) extracted because when his little brother kicked him, he kicked him "just so" and killed his young and impressionable and apparently "not-quite-permanent" tooth, which has now begun to abscess.

He will need to perfect this closed-mouth smile — until he is about sixteen!!
He told me yesterday, full of novocaine that he will have a great story to add to his comedy routine. I agreed.

Want to read more about me as a parent?
My friend, Helen, managing editor at Canadian Parents conducted an interview with me.
You can read it here.

please note:  It does not mention anything about my laissez-faire approach to tooth pain.


  1. I love reading the interview,and don’t feel bad we all have done something like that O worse,I hope he is not on pain anymore and get’s another teeth soon,hugs.

  2. I had to chuckle! Years ago my youngest son was hassling the neighbor girls and they ran to tell me. Kendall jumped in the empty ditch to avoid being found. He came up out of the ditch, yelling that his arm was broke. I figured he was just trying to get out of punishment. So I sent him to his room to wait until his dad got home from home teaching. His dad went down to talk to him and guess what? The arm was broke!!!! I really felt stupid! Anyways, he is now 26 and never lets me forget it!

  3. I think it’s always difficult to know when to get to the doctor (dentist, obviously, in this case!) or just to leave it alone. Seems like the times you wait are always the times you should have gone in sooner. At least in my life! If it makes you feel any better, my Haley chipped her permanent front tooth a couple of years ago. It is SO frustrating to think that she’ll have to worry about caps and crowns for her whole life! I hope the extraction goes smoothly.

  4. You know what I love about you? You tell it all, the good, the bad and the abcessed! :)

  5. Gotta love boys and their roughhousin’… LOL!! Peace and blessings, Cindy B.

  6. ElizabethW says:

    This is the most reassuring thing I’ve read all day. Now that our littlest is old enough to “play” with the 4-year-old, it seems that we have about a five-minute period of interaction, max, before there’s blood, screams, or some combination thereof. Good to know it’s just a boy thing. :)

  7. Your interview with canadian parents was really great – you have a great way of sharing your life in an inspiring and uplifting way. I came away from reading that article with a renewed sense that this job we are doing may be hard at times and not always glamarous but so important. To do it well we need to take a bit of time to plan and look after ourselves so we can be the best we can for our families. I admire what you do and how you do it and i am grateful that you take the time to share your wisdom – thank you!

  8. I had to laugh at your title. My dear friend and I regularly start our conversations with “so, would you like to hear why I will NOT be winning Mother of the Year this year?”

  9. THANK YOU for being a real person – I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU!

  10. hey, maybe you could get him a gold or silver or some other cool looking tooth and then he could tell cool stories about it.

  11. I only have two boys but when they were younger they were wrestling and instead of stopping it I told them to take it outside. My youngest complained of his hand hurting and after about three weeks I took him in, and sure enough there was a broken bone. Doctor said it may not ever heal properly, because it had been a while…He’s 30 now and still reminds me. Someday he will have kids of his own and do the same thing.

  12. I only have two boys but when they were younger they were wrestling and instead of stopping it I told them to take it outside. My youngest complained of his hand hurting and after about three weeks I took him in, and sure enough there was a broken bone. Doctor said it may not ever heal properly, because it had been a while…He’s 30 now and still reminds me. Someday he will have kids of his own and do the same thing.

  13. Erika Hayes says:

    Well mark that one up for experience… what tab does that go behind.. “things we want to forget!” LOL
    I am so sorry Trey had to feel pain I know as a mom of 4 I hate it when my kids hurt..but alas, my son broke his arm and I had no clue.. not once, but twice! Yes I did it twice… I think that wins loser mom of the year award!
    Have a great day, I hope Trey feels better. OH I went to the dentist today.. I have to get a root canal next week! Great dental news all around!

  14. kat-in-texas says:

    Oh, Stacy! Ouch!!! It’s hard to see your kids go through something like that. (Especially losing front teeth!) It does happen, though. It’s something I say to my patients all the time, “We’re lucky to have teeth as adults.” (should have used that in comments the other day!) God could have given us 3 sets of natural teeth, but then Trey couldn’t use it in his comedy routine! Good Luck with the flipper–it’ll look fine.

  15. crafterbeth says:

    I know Helen too! and I also have a “my kid said it hurt and I didn’t take it too seriously” story! When my son was 11 he fell off a very slow moving-on flat ground – skateboard. Said his hand hurt, no swelling, no bruising, could still move it, no big deal right? Not so, 2 weeks later he reminded me that his hand was hurting again. A little trip to the E.R. revealed a teeny tiny broken bone which resulted in a casting!

  16. When my sister was about 7 she was climbing a tree at church after chi=oir practice one Friday afternoon. The tree had a nice spot to sit on which my mom helped her get to… of course my sister promptly fell out of the tree. When my mom looked at her arm her reply was “it’s just jammed”… well, um, not so much but broken.
    Now is the time to introduce him to hockey – one tooth is already gone so, there’s less to worry about!
    So, know you are part of a LONG LONG line of mom’s who have done much the same thing!

  17. Well I’m glad I’m not alone. I’ve done that with the kids. Especially my DD who is a bit more whiny about “pain” Then when it’s really “something”…oops.

  18. My RM son still teases me about his very crooked toe that he apparently broke while hiking on a family trip to Hawaii when he was about 14. I have NO MEMORY of him ever complaining about it–I think I was so busy with everything else (including 2 kids under 3!) that it just never registered. I’m sure I just told him to take Tylenol too! Not as bad as a friend of mine, though, who was trying to teach her 10yo son not to bug her when she was on the phone and when he did one afternoon, she kept turning her back and walking away, phone at her ear. Finally she noticed he was whacking his chest against the dining room table. Ack! He was trying to do the Hiemlich manuever on himself because he was choking!! So don’t feel badly–we’ve all done it!

  19. That’s the one thing that wouldn’t happen at our house–my husband is a dentist. Knee pain? Take Advil. Muscle cramps? Eat a banana. Stomach aches? Got to the bathroom. Headache? Drink water. I hate going to the doctor!

  20. Don’t feel bad Stacy, I did the same thing with my 14 y.o son last year, he came home saying his hand hurt after a friend kicked him and he fell on the neighbors tramoline…this went on for about 2 weeks, him sayin his hand really hurt and again, thank god for “take some tylenol”. One day I finally “looked at his hand” and saw it was swollen and bruised, 2 weeks later, we saw the Dr as I asked routinely at his allergy shot appt to “look at his hand” and x-ray was ordered and it was FRACTURED…I didn’t win any mother of the year contests when the ortho and his pediatrician asked, “so when did this happen” reply..”About two weeks ago”. If looks could kill!

  21. As you can read here, this kind of thing happens to all mothers. If we take our kids to the doctor or dentist for every little thing, we’d be broke and they’d be calling us the ‘boy who cried wolf’. Life happens and this is just ‘one of those things’. Been there, done that.
    By the way, Happy World Card Day!

  22. Theresa Grdina says:

    Oh man…that’s too bad about the tooth! Don’t beat yourself up about your attitude toward tooth pain…my daughter kept complaining about her foot hurting. I told her to suck it up and move on. For two weeks she complained. then one day I saw her walking out of school and she was limping. I told her to quit playing around and she said she wasn’t but her FOOT HURT. After visiting an orthopedic surgeon, she was put in a cast and was in it for six weeks. the verdict? broken leg. This was her 10th or 11th broken bone…she was always breaking something. At one point I thought I would be arrested for abuse! LOL! However, she is now 6′ tall and the doc says she was growing so fast her bones couldn’t “keep up”! Go figure. She is 19, a sophomore in college, and doing just fine now! Hang in there – the first 100 years are the hardest!!!

  23. ok so now I really don’t feel so bad about doing almost the exact same thing to my daughter who in turn fought an 103 degree fever for three days because of “oh mom my tooth hurts” off handed comments.
    Thank goodness we are all in this motherhood thing together.
    No guilt just learning lessons and moving onward.

  24. Stacy,
    There is something called a “flipper” for him to use until he can get an implant. A retainer with a false tooth attached. My son had one from age 8-18. Worked great at Halloween and as a party joke. Of course he learned to eat with it in, so the people eating with him wouldn’t scream when he took his tooth out.
    Good luck!

  25. LOL! Poor you and poor Trey. I had to laugh when I saw the pic with the blue hair remembering when I saw his comedy act at CK Buffalo.
    We’ve all had our bad parent things Stacy. My son now age 26 broke this thumb playing basketball when he was about 9. We told him he was fine and sent him back outside after looking at it. Fast forward to next morning when he wakes up with a thumb swollen twice in size. We take him for an xray and it was indeed broken. He was cast up to his elbow. He has now grown up and loves us just the same and we laugh at what great parents we were. LOL!

  26. Daurene Turpin says:

    Ask about the “flipper” thing. I had to have one and so glad I did. It kept the rest of my teeth straight. While I waited for my tooth implant to happen/heal. Denist said if I didn’t have it my teeth would have gone so crooked then into braces. Check into it. seemed like a big chunk of change at first, but so worth it. You’re a great mother, and I love that you have these moments like the rest of us.

  27. So sorry that Trey;s tooth has to come out. Here’s hoping its an easy process.
    Love the article….I do believe that I’m striving to be more like you…..organized, together and creative daily!]
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Oh, I empathize with you. I had a somewhat similar experience with my then seven year old daughter in January. For several nights she told me that her head itched. The first night I told her she probably had dry skin. The next night I told her she probably hadn’t gotten all the shampoo out.The third night I sighed and said, “Okay, let me look”. I’m sure you can figure out where the story goes from here. Yes, she had lice. As a former elementary teacher, you’d think I would have picked up on this right away but I didn’t. Let me tell you, now if she even HINTS of an itchy scalp, I do a lice check immediately!

  29. It happens to all of us…My daughter fell at school and bent back her fingers. I just giving her motrin for the pain. My husband finally took her for an x-ray 2 days later and 2 fingers were broken! She ended up with a cast up to her elbow.

  30. I knocked one of my front teeth out when I was 8. I had the retainer with a tooth thing for a while (hated it). The dentist wound up pulling out the adjacent from tooth and using some very fast and painful braces, pulled my side teeth togther in a matter of two weeks and crowned them with porcelain veneers to make them look like larger teeth, like front teeth. My canines were shaved so they wouldn’t look like canines anymore, so it all looked normal. This way I don’t have any false teeth, just missing two teeth in the back (where the spaces now are once they moved all my teeth forward). The veneers are replaced about every 10 years or so.

  31. South Carolina Dentists

  32. Just yesterday my 6 year old tripped and split her chin open on the corner of the bathroom counter. Blood everywhere. A gash so deep I could see the white beads of fatty tissue floating like islands in the sea of blood.
    Spinning through my head were all the options, and memories of past events like this. I could bundle her into the car for a drive to the ER, pay $200.00, sit for several hours while the gunshot victims and overdosed druggies parade before us, be coughed on by people with the flu, and then be told by an ER nurse that since it’s Sunday they don’t have a plastic surgeon on duty so a Resident will be in with a needle and thread in awhile… Or, I could deal with it myself.
    So I irrigated the gash and applied some butterfly bandages to keep it closed, and put a patch of Tegaderm over it to keep it clean. The bleeding stopped.
    Later, when my husband returned from work he was surprised I hadn’t taken her for stitches. What if the bandage comes loose and it opens up? She’ll have a huge scar that she’ll be embarrassed about for the rest of her life!
    Maybe I should have taken her in. Maybe there would have been a plastic surgeon available. Oh well, you do the best you can.

  33. Had to comment on this one- check out my blog at I am definitely challenging you in the Mother of the Year contest :).

  34. maple jenny says:

    Just had time to read today–so funny! I am so glad there is a community of us not-so-great decision-making moms.
    Last summer my son the older cut off the knuckle skin for my son the younger–well, almost cut it off. I didn’t bring him in for stitches because he’d just been in for a cut on his head, and the doctors and nurses poo-pooed me all around for being a worry wart. When I got that stitch removed, they chewed me out for not bringing him in this time. I ask you! My saving grace is that everyone has scarred knuckles. And plenty have lost teeth too.

  35. My friends and I are always joking about winning MOY (since I didn’t stand a shot at SOY) We make comments like, “I’ll be sure to ask her to write a letter of recommendation for my MOY entry” or I’m a shoe-in for MOY…
    I hope everything works out for your son!

  36. Stacy,
    We had a similar experience as well. We went to a friend’s skating party a couple of years ago. My oldest was 8 or 9. He couldn’t skate and was totally goofing off and fell, hitting his mouth on the metal railing that you hold onto. He broke off part of his top front permanent tooth, diagonally. It looked awful! We called and got an emergency dental appointment (of COURSE it happened on the weekend). Even though it wasn’t my fault, I felt so much guilt about it afterward because I had ignored my motherly instinct telling me that this party was not a good idea! Anyway…the dentist checked to make sure the nerve wasn’t damamged. Then they built out the rest of the tooth with a composite to try and make it look like the rest of his teeth (it doesn’t really). Like your son, he must wait until he’s much older to do anything else, probably a root canal and crown. I’m glad to know my son isn’t the only one with a less than perfect front permanent tooth!

  37. I think today I earned my nomination–Ryan managed to get into the van by himself and then close his fingers in the automatic door. I was busy cleaning inside with the music on and didn’t hear him screaming. thankfully they’re just bruised, no broken bones–but he was out there for at least 10 minutes.

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