Baby’s Breath

When I have a bad day, I do it up right.

I don’t mess around with a couple of little problems.  Nope. Not me.  If I’m gonna have a bad day, I have a day that’s worth at least a week of non-stop whining.  A really bad day.

A crap day.

Like today.

The story of my unbearable suffering really began last evening.  I was walking around my house in my stocking feet, which isn’t normally a problem.  But I was looking at the newspaper in my hand, and my bifocals slipped down my nose just a little tiny bit.  I failed to notice the kitchen chair that was a little out of place.

WHAM!  My toe connected with the leg of the chair and all the air rushed out of my body and refused to come back in.  I stood there with my foot lifted, like a racehorse with a nail in his shoe, panting and making little noises somewhere in the back of my throat. Probably the sound of my lungs climbing up into my mouth in search of oxygen.  I hobbled to the couch and peeled off my sock, gazing in dismay at the big shiny lump that used to be my third toe.  YOUCH.  A lot.

By bedtime the toe looked like a chubby purple sausage, and the throbbing went all the way to my ankle.

It was a pretty rough night, what with trying to keep one foot above the covers and not letting myself roll over in either direction.  When the alarm went off at 5:30, I was pretty bleery, to say the least.

Which made it even more frustrating when I couldn’t find my keys! I clumped around the house in a desperate search.  Check pockets, check purse, check drawers, check husband’s pockets, check the microwave (I told you I was bleery….), slight panic, limp quickly down the stairs and check the garage.   Find the keys in with the returnable bottles.  Hobble to the car and drive into the rising sun.

When I got to school, I realized that I had somehow managed to lose my plan book.  The one with the day’s lesson plans, the records of every single test score and homework assignment and family phone number and address……I limped up and down three flights, my foot throbbing, searching every nook and cranny.   Nothing.

An hour into the day, I was finally awake enough to eat breakfast.  I warmed up my cup of delicious oatmeal and took a big spoonful.

I knew right away that something was wrong when I bit down on a huge chunk of what felt like stone.  Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say that it took some clever lingual maneuvering to separate the stone from the oats.  I poked it a bit, and my heart sank.

Yep. It was my temporary crown, recently reglued after round three of my root canal. It had popped off and made a sprint for freedom, leaving behind it a tiny, razor sharp tooth nub.

Not wanting to alarm the students, I calmly wrapped the little nugget in a tissue and tucked it into my pocket. I stepped into the hallway and called my dentist.

They couldn’t see me for THREE days!  They advised me to run to CVS and buy some temporary glue.  So I hobbled and mumbled my way through the morning, not wanting to talk too much because of the risk of slicing my tongue to shreds on my nubbin.

Finally, it was lunch time.  Off I dashed/limped to the drug store, where I searched the aisles until I found a little tub of goop that was supposed to reattach my crown.  Of course, when I got back to school, the closest parking spot was way way way across the lot, and I had to scurry/hobble back to my classroom to scarf down a (soft) bit of lunch.  By the time I made it to my third floor classroom, my left foot was throbbing like, well…like a toothache!

Just before the kids got back from recess, I took a minute to clean off the crown, plop in what I thought was a little bit of the spackle and jammed it onto my razor nubbin.  I bit down hard, just like the directions said, and held my jaw clamped tight as I limped downstairs to get the kids.  Little bits of the adhesive leaked out from under the crown and collected in the nooks and crannies in my mouth.  Yechhh.  Spackle.

And so the day went on.  The crown stayed in place, but I had put in so much goop that it was up much higher than it should have been, meaning that it smacked into my top teeth every time I spoke or swallowed. My jaw ached.  My toe ached. I was a mess.  A whiny, achy mess.

When the school day finally ended, and I had dragged my aches and pains on a couple of errands, my friend and I stopped by the home of one of our colleagues, to meet her brand new baby girl.

And I sat on her couch.  And I took that sweet little bundle into my arms, and felt her curl herself into the familiar warm shape of a sleeping baby, resting like magic against my heart.  My cheek lay gently on her head, soothed by the silk of her hair.  My hand curved without thought, a perfect fit for her round little bottom. My body slipped instantly back into the rhythm of baby rocking. I looked into her dark blue eyes and breathed deeply of her sweet baby’s breath.

All the pain and frustration and throbbing annoyances of the day melted in an instant.

I held a little baby again.  And it cured me!


15 thoughts on “Baby’s Breath

  1. I always seem to have a list when I reply to your posts. It never starts out that way. It usually starts out with 1) I cannot wait to read your book because I LOVE the way you write. Then I get a little further down in your post and 2) Really? There is a way for us to fix our own crowns? And then of course I want to tell you 3) how I thought of you today when I heard a little girl ask her mommy to cut her pancakes and it made me cry. 4) Actually before # 1, I noticed your gorgeous header – is it new?
    5) Be careful out there!


    • Good morning! I love hearing from you!!
      Yes, isn’t the header awesome? We went snow shoeing after the last big snowfall. Its a little lake in my town. Nice!
      And yes! You can fix your own crown! Who knew? Last time it popped off, I almost used super glue, but then I pictured my tongue being glued to my tooth, and, well…you know…. This stuff is amazing! Ah, the things we learn as we age!
      And I totally understand about the little girl. I can’t believe the things that can bring me to tears….. Thanks for sharing this soft heartedness with me!


  2. I was going to reply with one of those “You think YOU had a bad day?” smarmy remarks I’m so good at, but you win. Yes, you had a bad day. I’m glad it ended well, however…


    • Ha! I think that a whole bunch of can actually have a bad day all at once!
      Just remember that I always exaggerate in the interest of (ahem) humor! But, man, that baby hug felt gooooood!


  3. I’m soft and fuzzy — I’ll send you a virtual hug anytime you need one. My only problem with babies is that I strongly suspect that a few of them just might be slightly cuter than me…


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