Namine’s two top front teeth are loose; they have been for some time. But one of them, we had noticed, was just about ready to pop right out. (Even last night, we could hardly believe it was still clinging on.) It was so wiggly that it made biting anything difficult, and it was to the point that Namine couldn’t bite into her sub.
Jessica offered to pull Namine’s loose tooth out, but she declined, thank you very much. “I want Daddy to do it,” she said.
Sure. It didn’t bother me any (and truth be told, wiggly teeth gross Jessica out). So I went around to the other side of the table where Namine was sitting, grabbed a napkin, and asked her to open her mouth. She did. “A moment’s pain, and then it’s done,” I said. She nodded. I gripped the tooth with the napkin in between my fingers, and pulled. It budged a little, but did not come out.
“One more try?” I asked. Namine did not look confident. “I promise, if I can’t get it this time, I’ll leave it alone,” I said.
She opened her mouth again, and once more I gripped the tooth. I yanked harder, and the tooth came free with a wet popping sound. I handed the tooth to Jessica, who was making strange sounds in her throat. She put the tooth in an empty pill container. “Just don’t take the tooth by accident,” I said helpfully. Jessica paled and started making more strange throat noises.
I turned back to Namine, who refused to close her mouth. She grunted at me, and I realized her mouth was slowly filling with blood. The hole in her mouth was protesting the loss of its tooth in the only way it could, and Namine looked like she was going to be sick.
Jessica handed me an ice cube, which I pressed to the bloody hole. After a few minutes, the bleeding had slowed somewhat, but had not completely stopped. I handed Namine a cup of water. “Here,” I said. “Take a mouthful, swish it around a bit, and swallow. You’ll feel better.” There was not nearly enough blood to make her sick to her stomach, but she balked at the idea of swallowing blood. She shook her head at me. “It’s just blood,” I said. Jessica, the more queasy of us, looked at me like I was nuts. But I pressed on. “It’s just blood. It’s not gross, it’s just a part of you.”
Namine acquiesced. She took a mouthful of water, swished, and swallowed. She did this a few more times, punctuated by me pressing ice against her bloody gum. After a short while, the bleeding stopped. It was still sore, and she couldn’t bite the bread of her sub, but she was able to eat the turkey and lettuce inside.