Friday, May 12, 2006

The joys of being an adult

There are certain things in life that you can look forward to as you get older. Getting to rent a car on your own, inviting your friends over whenever you want, drinking coffee. Having a glass of wine with dinner, planting a garden, shaking your head at kids these days with their weird haircuts. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are also things you can happily kiss goodbye: curfews, notes from mommy when you want to stay home, being forced to go to the doctor when you don’t want to. Report cards, only getting $1 a week for allowance, awkward pubescent years.

There are things you can only know about once you become an adult, and you cherish the ability to close this chapter of you life. The chapter including tantrums, angst, growing pains, and being misunderstood, over-analyzed and under-appreciated. There’s also experiencing something that makes you realize how difficult it was for you parents to raise you. This sort of realization can create wonderful conversations with your parents, where you tell your tale of how frustrating it is when your roommates don’t thoroughly clean their dishes but put them away for you to find later, and your mother says, “See, that’s how we felt with you as a child.” You chuckle, sigh, and and finally have that understanding, nay, a rite of passage, that took years to build.

I went to sleep the other night thinking about these things, an overconfident smile passing my lips. “Life is so good,“ I thought. But how was I to know that the very next morning I would be facing an agony that besets toddlers everywhere.

Teething. I am teething.

I am what people in the dentistry business call “an anomaly.” I’ve had braces twice, have had 2 mouth surgeries during which they pulled out 10 baby teeth that wouldn’t fall out (as well as remove a cyst and reposition a tooth that was coming in backwards.) I have had a spacer put in my mouth to correct a cross-bite, which involved breaking the cartilage of the jaw so it could be moved into the right position. I am also missing 4 permanent teeth- two molars and two incisors, which required the filing of my canines so they could be positioned where my incisors should be. One good thing about the latter is that they didn’t have to bother with pulling my wisdom teeth (I had plenty of room). But all of that pain and work pales in comparison to teething. Holy mother of god, growing a tooth in hurts like a motherfucker. I’m sorry for the language (I usually do not swear to god) but I’ve been in agony for at least a week while my final wisdom tooth is starting to poke out from my bottom right gum. It’s all I can think about, minute after minute, hour after hour. I can’t sleep on that side because I will chew up my swollen cheek, so I try to sleep on the other side but gravity forces my swollen cheek to fall into the path of my grinding teeth. My only recourse is to sleep on my back, which has never been comfortable for me.

I guess the good thing is that I have a new respect for what babies have to go through at such a tender age. I feel like I can empathize with their plight. But the best news is... I now have an abundance of wisdom that I didn’t have before my wisdom teeth grew in. Boo-ya.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of comments:

    herofix said...


    Another tooth-grinder, eh? Did you know that the official word for this is Bruxism? I've got acute Bruxism (as the actress said to the bishop).

    Jason said...

    Uncomfortable to hear it put into words, but at least it helps me know what Katrina is going thru as number 4 is making itself known. Hang in there!


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