Sunday, July 8, 2012
The Worst $700 I Ever Spent
Nope, this is my three year old. Let me tell you what happened and then I'll tell you about how the money comes in. A few weeks ago, I was changing Little Buddy's diaper (poopy of course) when and Munchkin Girl was in the other room, looking out the front window, hoping her little friends were going to be coming out to play. I heard her fussing in there. Not crying, just almost like whining.
"What's wrong?" I yelled. "What are you fussing about in there?"
She came running in and honestly I expected something stupid. Like a dead fly on the floor or a hair in her mouth. Instead, her front tooth was sticking straight out all weird. She reached up and I yelled, "No!! Don't pull!!"
Yet my three year old yanked her own tooth out, right before my very eyes. Blood started gushing and I was elbow deep in a poopy diaper so you can only imagine the mass chaos that ensued.
Somehow she had knocked her tooth against the front door while looking out the window. Don't ask. I'm as confused as you are about what happened. Anyway, we had the tooth fairy come. We told her how cute looks and how grown up she is. We went to the dentist. He took X-rays and assured us that there was no permanent damage, but that it would likely take 3-4 years for the permanent tooth to come in. He did say that we could have a fake tooth made. He made it sound super easy...no anesthesia, nothing permanent, just quick and painless!
At first we didn't even consider it, but she kept looking up at me with sad eyes, and saying, "Mommy? I can't chew my food very well. I want my tooth back." So I finally talked to her about it. I explained that the doctor could make her a new tooth but it would take awhile and might hurt just a little bit. She agreed that it would be worth it and was so thrilled that ran around yelling for days, "Guess what?!? I'm getting a new tooth!!"
It wasn't a bad process to have it made, but then it came time to check out. As I've said before, I'm a bit of a dingbat. I started to walk out without paying or anything. I figured insurance would cover everything and they would bill us later for the difference.
"Ma'am?" they yelled. "We need to charge your card. That comes to $350."
"I'm sorry?" I sputtered. "That wasn't my understanding."
"Oh yes, you pay the other half when the tooth comes in a few weeks."
I about peed my pants. $700 for a new tooth??!?!? The dentist didn't mention that part. He made it sound sooo easy.
Fast forward again to two weeks later when the tooth finally arrived. Of course, by now Munchkin Girl is used to her missing tooth and she's telling me that she doesn't need a new one anymore. I figure she'll be happy when she sees the new one in her mouth and we head out for the dentist. We arrive and it is the scariest-looking contraption I've ever seen. Wires wrap around the back teeth and then a long wire goes along the back of the rest of her teeth to keep in the fake tooth. She looks terrified and I don't blame her.
I whisper in her ear that I'll buy her a new doll and a cookie if she's brave. She lays down, but clings to my hand. They struggle with getting stupid thing in her mouth and when it's done, she's like a caged animal. She's squirming and screaming, "Take it out! I don't want a new doll or a cookie! Just take it out!!" That's when I knew she meant business. Since when does she not want a new doll? Or a cookie for crying out loud?!? I've never seen her like this.
Now, what's a Mom to do? I've already spent $700 on the stupid thing. Yet, the only reason I even did it is because she said she wanted it. I honestly don't care. I think she looks kind of cute with a missing tooth. Yet now I'm torturing her and traumatizing her and she'll probably hate the dentist for life and frankly it doesn't look that good anyway. The color doesn't even match.
"Let's take it out," I said softly. "We're not putting it in. We'll call you if we change our mind."
And that's how I spent $700 on a fake tooth that is now sitting permanently at the dentist's office instead of in my daughter's mouth. Yet I know with 100% certainty that I made the right decision. Sometimes you just gotta trust your gut, even if everyone, the nurses, the dentist, everyone, thinks you're crazy. Plus, it makes a great story. And she looks cute as a button with her missing tooth...and just think how fun it will be when her new tooth comes in! It should only take about four years.
Of course, if I had to do over again, I would ask more questions. But you live and learn, right?
Don't forget to check out my new book! It will seriously help you save your sanity. If you have ever tried to cook dinner while your kid clings to your leg and cries, this is the book for you! It was released in July, 2012 and was co-written by me and Susan Case, a Kindergarten Teacher. We worked together to give a Mom's point of view and a teacher's point of view, so that we could give you activities that not only keep the kids busy, but also keep them motivated to learn and develop their natural curiosity. Kids behave better when they are given challenging projects to work on, which will in turn give you more free time to do the things you really need to do, like washing dishes, paying bills, and relaxing so that you can be a better Mom!
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