Monday, 25 September 2017

Sometimes being a single mum is like pulling teeth... literally

REMEMBER I told you about how the Sunshiney Seven Year Old informed me one balmy evening when I was brushing his pearly whites, that my gappy front teeth, stained from too many years of enthusiastic smoking, red wine and tea-drinking made me look like Tow Mater, the rusty old hillbilly tow truck from the animated film Cars?

And do you recall that his (quite accurate, actually) observation made me scramble for the dentist’s number to make an appointment for:

a) Closing the “bike-park” gap and

b) Whitening those little blighters with a Hollywood smile worthy of Ross in Friends?

Well, I’m halfway through the exorbitantly expensive straightening process, which involves putting these thin, tight, plastic mouthguard-type trays over your teeth and leaving them in for at least 20 hours a day.

You only take them out to eat, which accounts for at least four hours a day, and you wear each pair for 10 days.

It’s going to take 12 pairs altogether to make my teeth look a little less post-war-malnourished-kid-with-rickets and last week I was fitted for the seventh pair.

The dentist then gave me the eighth and ninth pair to keep safe until I needed them.

That night, with the kids at their dad’s for the weekend, I left the trays in my rucksack, slung casually over the back of a kitchen chair, because I was going out (for the first time in a million years) and wanted to transfer my purse and mobile into another slightly more elegant handbag — one devoid of loose dog treats, broken crayons, leaking pens, old tissues, furry mints and Slimming World Hi-Fi chocolate bar wrappers.

So anyway, there I am at the (almost unbearably lovely) Great House in Sonning with two mummy friends (also v lovely) when talk turns to the last time we were all together with our Year 2 sons.

The boys were deliriously bouncing on a trampoline when all of a sudden, the Sunshiney Seven Year Old comes running inside, barging into the kitchen, rudely interrupting our mammoth tea and cake fest with his contorted face completely covered in blood.

Turns out one of the other boys had inadvertently kicked his already-wobbly front tooth to the point that it was now hanging from one solitary thin thread.

“Pull it out for him!” One lovely mum piped up.

“Yeah!” The other one chimed in. “Just twist it round and yank – easy peasy!”

“Yeff pweave Muhhy,” my poor boy looked up at me with those gigantic, beautiful brown eyes of his.

Squeamish at the best of times, yet refusing to lose face in front of my son and the other mums, I closed my eyes, fumbled about in his bloody mouth and tried to get to grips with his slimy, tiny wobbler.

But no matter how much I grimaced and groped, I just couldn’t get any purchase.

Desperate for one of the other mums to say “Move aside, you big wuss, I’ll do it”, I reluctantly carried on groaning and gurning, slipping and sliding my fingers all over his teeth until finally it popped out.

The mums cheered, claiming they would get their husbands to do that kind of thing. My son grinned gappily with pride and I nearly fainted with shock and awe. Happy days.

So when I got home from the Great House later that night, still feeling like a big single mummy hero and I found Cookie sprawled out on the Persian-y Ikea rug he’d ruined months ago, crunching hungrily on my outlandishly pricey orthodontic trays, did I lose it?

Did I forget my mindfulness mantra and scream like a banshee, prompting a swift, concerned text from the Nicest Neighbour In The World?

Well, of course I did. Who out there with anger management issues wouldn’t?

But that’s another story…

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