Sunday, December 2, 2012

Loose Tooth

Lliam is very stoic when he is having a shocking, perhaps painful experience. He gets embarrassed about expressing pain outwardly in public. When he was four we took him on a pre-school field trip to Sycamore Grove park, where the kids went on a nature walk on a paved trail. He tripped over a bump in the pavement and it hurt really bad. He cried in pain but didn't want anyone in the class, including the teacher, see him cry. A classmate named Cassandra, who happened to like Lliam very much came over in concern and wanted to know if he was alright. He spurned her.

Fast forward to today, at a restaurant with Lliam, Holly and Karen. Holly and Karen were discussing child bearing in China and the bias toward wanting a boy as the allotted child. Lliam bit into his cheeseburger and suddenly had a stricken look on his face, resting his chin on his arms. Holly immediately thought he was disturbed by the birthing practices of China, but I knew that if that were the case, Lliam would be chiming into the conversation, asking questions to better understand the situation. I became more worried when he wouldn't answer my queries about how he was feeling.

I took Lliam aside to ask what was bothering him, and he started tearing up as he described the crunching sensation of his loose tooth as he bit into his burger. I took him into the bathroom to find that his tooth was indeed bleeding and very loose. I told Lliam that this must have been a shocking experience, as he didn't expect it, but to rest assured that I went through the same thing at his age. It was very important to him to know that I had gone through the same thing. He wanted to know that my parents had reassured me too when I was in this situation.

After we left the restaurant, Lliam was very quiet in the car and said he was tearful and tired. I coaxed him out to get some frozen yogurt. That outing gave him some perspective on the experience and he started chatting with me more casually about it. He is looking forward to receiving his bonus from the Tooth Fairy.

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