As I’ve mentioned once or twice or 500 times, James is a wild man. He’s a high-energy daredevil who does absolutely everything at top speed. It will (hopefully) serve him well when he gets older, but for now it leads to tons of accidents and injuries. I’ve given up on his legs ever being bruise-free, and it’s a very rare day when he doesn’t have a goose egg somewhere on his head.

One of my kids’ favorite parts about Thanksgiving weekend is having 24-hour access to their cousins. James is always especially excited to be around my nephews — he adores being “one of the boys” and becomes some weird man-baby who wrestles and talks about farts. They all play and chase each other around from the moment they wake up until the moment they say goodnight. With all this energy and action there are lots of scrapes and bumps, but we do our best to keep them at a minimum, especially with James, who often forgets that he isn’t a nine-year old boy who weighs seventy-five pounds.

After Thanksgiving dinner, we were all winding down. We’d had pie and were at that point in the evening where we were ready to put on our stretchy pants, watch movies, and relax. I was just finishing up washing dishes when I happened to glance up and see James standing still, staring up at the skylight above him. He looked intrigued by it, as if he was trying to figure out why the heck there was a window in the ceiling. While he was puzzling things out, one of the kids called his name from down the hall. Without looking down, James turned and ran. The whole thing played out in front of me in slow-motion. As I started to yell, “Watch where you’re going!” James lowered his head and ran mouth-first into a sofa-height table.

Mike got to him first and scooped him up while he was still in the middle of that “silent scream” kids do when they are shocked and in pain. There was blood all over the place and I immediately thought, “Pleeeeeeease don’t have bitten through your lip again.” My sister-in-law started handing me towels so I could clear away the blood and I determined that while he hadn’t bitten through anything, he had scraped his lip and done some kind of damage to his teeth/gums. We gave him paper towels to soak up the blood while he whimpered in my arms.

After crying for about 30 minutes, he fell into an exhausted sleep. That was when we were able to lift up his upper lip and really see the damage. It looked like one of his front teeth had been knocked slightly out of place, and had gashed his gums. After talking with a nurse and a million friends (plus some extensive googling) we decided it was okay to wait until the next day to see a dentist.

In the morning, James was miserable. I’ve never seen him so still and sad in my life. He was clearly in a lot of pain. We called his dentist, who asked us to text her some pictures of his mouth. I told him, “James, I have to take a picture of your mouth for the dentist!” And he gave me the saddest “cheese” ever:

I also sent her close-ups, but I will spare you those.

The dentist said it didn’t look like anything that needed immediate attention, especially since none of his teeth were loose. She told us to care for his mouth with ibuprofen, soft foods, and rest. Normally I would laugh at a prescription of “rest” for James, but he was completely uninterested in doing anything other than being cuddled.

comfort from big sister
Comfort from big sister

After a day of resting and even napping (!!!) with me, he woke up on Saturday acting like his normal self…which was a relief until we realized that meant he was back to trying to wrestle and run around. Keeping him from aggravating his injury was NOT fun, especially because we didn’t want him to do any damage to his slightly dislocated tooth. If I’d had a football helmet, I definitely would have made him wear it.

By some sort of miracle, we made it through the rest of the weekend without further injury. First thing on Monday morning, I brought James into his dentist. He was nervous at first, but after being prompted by the dentist he opened his mouth up like a pro. The dentist examined his mouth and then said, “I don’t think there is anything to worry about. He has a gash on his gums that is already healing, and his front tooth has already begun to reset itself.” She couldn’t guarantee that there wouldn’t be discoloration in the tooth, but she was confident it wasn’t damaged to the point where it would need to be removed. Relief!

Now, almost a week later, he will tell anyone he meets, “I got a cut in my mouth!” and happily curl up his lip to show it off. And, in typical James fashion, he somehow managed to get a scrape on the top of his foot and get an unexplained bruise on his back.

If we make it to Kindergarten without another visit to the ER, it will be a miracle.