Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Worst Mother Ever

I am the Worst Mother Ever.

We were having a pleasant morning. Vinny and I were horsing around on the bed. Jeff was in the kitchen making his own breakfast.

Vinny loves to tumble. I try to be very careful and make sure he doesn't tumble off the bed. But he was closer to the edge than I had thought, and I didn't catch him in time. He tumbled another full rotation and landed on his face.

He was screaming. I grabbed him and held him to my chest, trying to calm him down. Then I noticed that there was blood coming from his mouth. I thought he had cut his lip or bit his tongue, but he screamed bloody murder when I tried to take a look and I saw that his front left tooth was pushed up into his gums. I called to Jeff and said we'd better take Vinny to the doctor. He called the doctor's office and they said we should take him to the emergency room. We decided to take him to the Children's Hospital because they seem better equipped to handle children than does our local emergency room.

I tried to hold some ice to his mouth while we were going there, but any kind of pressure on it made poor Vinny scream bloody murder. After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the hospital. I took him in while Jeff parked the car.

His tooth got pushed up into his gum, and it should descend on its own, according to the doctor. We need to take him to a dentist sometime within the next week or two, to determine the extent of the damage and whether the baby tooth has damaged the permanent tooth bud. He said to give him tylenol and ibuprofen, and a soft diet for seven days.

I looked to see what Dr. Google says the prognosis is for our sweet boy's smile. According to this site, if it's pushed up more than 6 mm (which I think it is), it's pretty much hopeless. The tooth will die and will probably need to be extracted.

I feel like the worst mother in the world. I should have stopped him from tumbling so close to the edge of the bed. Thanks to me, he's probably going to have a huge gap where his front tooth belongs for the next 5 years. I will take him to the dentist next week and find out for sure.


Anonymous said...

I feel awful for Vinny...but you are NOT the worst mother in the world. Don't even think it!


Sally said...

Poor Vinny! I think every mother has done something like this. It's a horrible feeling, wishing you could rewind and just not let it happen.

Tommy has a scar on his cheek from about two years ago. Cutting his fingernails was always a battle, so I got really bad about putting off cutting them. Then he gashed his cheek open in the middle of the night and is scarred for life because of my laziness. Or at least that's the way I saw it at the time.

I really hope his tooth turns out OK. Even if it doesn't, he'll still be a cutie.

rachel said...

Big hugs, sis, and I'm so sorry. I know it's almost impossible NOT to beat yourself up about this, but try not to. It was an accident.

Madeleine said...

Oh, Rebecca. That is a bummer. He will be OK, though.

My daughter loves to horse around on the bed. I'm sure there will be an accident eventually. It's hard to keep kids from doing something they enjoy so much.

Hugs for you and Vinny.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you have heard this many times, but It Could Happen To Anyone. You were right there like a good parent is supposed to be; it's not like you left him alone in the house or anything. Heck, you didn't even leave him alone in the room.

Children are young, they heal, and if (heaven forbid) there ends up being some sort of space in his smile there are amazing things dentists can do these days.

Good luck.

- Fluffiana (via Milkbreath & Me)

Tegan said...

The worst mother ever would be complaining that the child had injured himself, and not be so concerned about him. The worst mother ever would be complaining about the bills, not worrying about his future health and the possibility of gap tooth. You are NOT the worst mother ever.

Kids get hurt. It's the way things go. I myself have blemishes on my permanent teeth due to a similar incident when I was a child. It happens. Hang in there.

Don't let this incident ruin his love of tumbling.

acmegirl said...


Please try not to beat yourself up too much about this. Accidents happen, no matter how vigilant you are. I can't even tell you how many times my kids have fallen off the bed, in all sorts of circumstances, some very similar to what you described.

There's a balance between killing all the fun by being too safety conscious, and letting the kids run riot without enough supervision. It sounds like you were walking that line quite nicely when Vinny fell, and I hope this experience doesn't make you skew your behavior to the hyper-cautious side. Kids are amazingly resiliant, and it sounds like you are doing all the right things to make sure he comes through this just fine.

Anonymous said...

Oh Rebecca, don't beat yourself up over it. I know it stinks and that your feel tremendously for your son. Honestly though, accidents like this are bound to happen sometimes. For a baby/toddler to fall off of the bed or couch, well, that happens sometimes, even under supervision. He was just really unlucky to land on his face. It stinks, but he'll be ok. Now make sure that you will be too.

Jane said...

Oh no! Poor little guy.

You are not the world's worst mother!! Kids fall and do weird things. He'll be okay. Don't be so hard on yourself!!

susan said...

A friend of Rachel's popping over to offer hugs and sympathy: it sucks to have been right nearby such a terrible bloody tumble.

Look at all the things you did right: immediate comfort, first aid, prompt medical care, follow-up. I hope his mouth heals, and the missing tooth (if indeed it is missing) doesn't torment you for years. Kids get hurt, and parents ache when that happens. But this doesn't make you the Worst Mother Ever, and the proof of that is in the way you're castigating yourself about this. The truly worst mother ever wouldn't care.

Unsolicited advice: if you don't already have a kids' dentist you have a relationship with, look for a pediatric dentist with an exclusively pediatric practice. They are likely to have staff who are used to working with kids all day long, to have kid-sized dental chairs and a more kid-friendly vibe than a dentist whose practice is physically set up for adults.

So hugs and sympathy: you did good in a bad situation. And I hope Vinny recovers quickly.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Been there, done that. We were lucky that our kids (yes! once with each kid! because we're bright like that!) ended up with black eyes rather than busted teeth. And we felt like the worst parents ever at the time(s), too. But. The kids were OK, and Vinny will be OK (even if he loses the tooth). I hope the trauma fades for you as quickly as it will fade for him.

Arwen said...

I have to agree with everyone. Accidents happen.

I really appreciate what acmegirl said. There is no such thing as a risk free life: to live a life without tumbles with mum would be a sad life indeed. A mum that spends time to tumble with her son is parenting in a number of different nurturing ways, from the animal to the more uniquely human. And although none of us want to have our kids hurt, your hugs and kisses and medical attention are all teaching him where safety and community are.

To sum up: tumbling, good! Chainsaw juggling, not so good!

kostis said...

i feel bad for vinny....but believe me it's true that every mother has done something like this...what sets them apart is what they do after this
have happened...:) anywayz i believe little vinny has a very different opinion for his mother.

p.s:i believe proffesional opinion is
better that google doctor.

hoping for the best,

EcoGeoFemme said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for you both. But it sounds like you are an excellent mother for reacting as you did.

FWIW, I had a gray tooth for a long while (months? years? I can't remember). I fell on my face and damaged my front baby tooth, but they decided not to pull it since it would fall out on its own. He'll be okay.

Kal said...

I went earlier this year to a 3wk baby who'd been fired from his rocker-seat by his big brother. Bro leant down to kiss the baby good night and catapulted him forwards onto the floor.

A bump, a bruise and a story to tell when he's older. Nothing more.

Came over from Rachel, have some hugs from me, a stranger you don't know.

Accidents happen, it's nothing you did or didn't do. Don't beat yourself up over it. Please.

Twice said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! (Or try not to be ;-) - Impossible no?) Stuff like this happens all the time - kids horse around - it is just bad luck that he landed on his face. If his tooth is damaged, he will just look like he lost his front tooth early - very precocious!

elswhere said...

What everyone else said: it's a rare kid who *doesn't* have something like this happen, and it's great that you and Vinny have tumbling sessions, and you took the very best of parental care all through the experience.

I will spare you the full version of the harrowing story of how my own kid, at the age of 2, fell in the dark onto an exposed screw and cut her face open and we had to rush to the emergency room and she got stitches and still has the scar. But trust me: you are not alone in whatever you're feeling right now.

Laura said...

Love you! Hugs!

And Vinny will have a gorgeous smile no matter what. Because his cuteness is that strong, and because he's loved.

So are you.

Laura said...

Visiting from Rachel's blog - this exact thing happened to my best friend's boy - you can see the post here: (hope that works)

His teeth eventually went back to normal after a few months, so you just never know!

liz said...

What they all said and many hugs.