Losing teeth

3 April 2015

Dear friend,

This week we had a major event in our house. The big lad discovered a wobbly tooth!

As a teacher I have never underestimated the enormity of loosing teeth for children:

Everyone needs to hear what has happened and the tooth must be examined properly. It should be placed carefully into a tissue and wrapped in cello tape. Finally it should be set somewhere safe and handed over to the child at the end of the day. It must be treated like a special gift because don't forget, later this will be rested lovingly and excitedly under a pillow in readiness for the arrival of the tooth fairy.

Loosing teeth is one of life's key moments, a right of passage, a sign that our children are growing up. But what happens if the experience scares you, makes you feel unsafe?

I must admit, I love these parenting moments. The bits where you get to swoop in like super mummy and rescue the child in distress. You get to prove you're worthy of the role of mummy. Your child needs you!

But sometimes autism has a habit of interfering with my super mummy performance. It tends to throw in a few curved balls.

Is there blood, is there blood?

What happens if I swallow blood?

What happens if I swallow my tooth?

Well it wouldn't be the first time!

Is there blood?

(Yes there was, but I didn't tell the big lad that.)

Any parent knows the importance of calm and swift action in these situations. However, something strange tends to happen inside a parents brain when they see their child bleeding. It fires off chain reactions in our neural pathways and turns most of us into Mr Bean.
But I can handle a tooth!

I am calm. I examine. I explain. I administer love.

He calms. He listens.

Oh yes, I am Super mummy!

You probably think it is weird so much stress over a wobbly tooth. One small, wobbling tooth!

But this is it...

This is how autism affects your life!

It can make these normal, everyday situations huge and scary.

It throws you that curved ball.

It can make small things seem enormous!

And this experience shows how far we have come. How far the big lad has come.

Because previously it would have been a very different story!

He is learning to be less scared, less panicked by changes and I am learning to stay calm and breathe.

Next stage is to navigate the tooth actually coming out.

God I hope he doesn't swallow it...

He asked me what would happen and I told him it would come out in his poo.

Big mistake?!

Now I have visions of him (or indeed me) searching for that bloody tooth.

Monday 6th April. Tooth update.

No fuss, no drama, no problems.

The tooth came out whilst the big lad was brushing his teeth.

Papa put it under his pillow and the tooth fairy remembered in a panic at 6.15 when she heard the kids waking.

Panic ensued but she made it.

One happy boy!

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