Saying Goodbye to the Special Tooth

Shortly after her second birthday, Hope started having screaming fits each night, complaining of pain right below her nose. Because it was a regular thing, and thinking it was related to a sinus issue caused by her cleft lip and palate, we took her to an ENT.

During the ENT visit, the doctor found something:  a tooth growing in the upper part of her jaw, right under her left nostril. This type of tooth placement was normal for kids with a cleft palate, but would eventually need to be removed.

X-Ray of Hope's teeth
X-Ray of Hope’s teeth

We learned that it was necessary to make sure the tooth was clean and taught Hope to brush it just like any one of her other teeth. She became proud and protective of what came to be known as her ‘special tooth.’

Fast forward five years later to today and Hope is not happy that she’s going to have to say goodbye to her special tooth. Later this summer, she will have a bone graft to fill a gap in her alveolar ridge (in other words, they’re taking some bone from her hip, grinding it up, and placing it in the gap in the upper part of her jaw). The special tooth is right where the bone graft will be, so the tooth will need to be removed first.

Hope and Luke
Hope and Luke

That first surgery is Friday. Hope’s reaction to the impending surgery has ranged from sheer horror to acceptance. While most of her procedures and appointments have been at Nationwide Children’s Hospital here in Columbus, the removal will be done by an orthodontist at a “grown up hospital.” We had an appointment with her orthodontist, which went well. He was very receptive to her and her questions, particularly her request that she get to keep the tooth (which he pointedly had his assistant write in his notes).

While her anxiety is a little higher than normal, she is confident and ready for the surgery. She’s always had a high pain threshold. But as the date of the removal of her special tooth nears, she’s approaching it much more courageously than I would. The Civee and I don’t quite know what to expect for after the surgery, so we’re going to make sure to have plenty of ice cream on hand and a special box for her special tooth.



Hope’s Sixth Crazy Year

I feel it says something that Hope’s sixth and fifth birthday posts are on the same page.

Well, it’s been a busy year. Since Hope’s last birthday, she:

  • Went to the beach for the first time
  • Went to her first Weezer concert
  • Started Kindergarten
  • Learned to read
  • Learned to write
  • Has become a regular helper in the kitchen
  • Has seen her first Star Wars movie in the theater (six times)

So yeah, she’s growing and becoming this awesome little person who’s fun to hang out with (and is already asking me when the next Weezer concert is).

Happy Birthday, Hope!

Happy Birthday Hope!

Happy birthday to Jedi Knight*, mermaid* and the snappiest dresser in her family, Hope.

Just today, Hope and I were gardening- she was actually helping me put some plants in the ground and I thought to myself it’s amazing that she’s not just mimicking me, she’s actually performing a task. And I realized how much trouble I’m in now that I have a five year old on my hands.

The past year has been a blast. And looking back at last year’s Hope birthday entry, there is an item to update- Hope has seen all six Star Wars movies, so we’re ahead of schedule on that**. Nice to know I’m doing one of these parenting things right.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the next year. And not just because I’ll be watching a new Star Wars movie in the theaters with one of my children.

Happy birthday, Hope!

Hope is five


**going to have to write about this sometime.

Only Kids Can Make Bad Jokes Funny

Yesterday I was drying Hope off after bath time. She was complaining that the towel was too rough, so I told her the old joke about the guy and his talking dog. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is:

A guy has a talking dog and brings it to a talent scout. “This dog can talk!” he says. “Okay, Spike, what’s on the top of a house?” “Roof!” the dog replies. The agent grumbles. The guy then asks the dog “what does sandpaper feel like?” “Rough!” the dog answers. The talent agent tells the guy he has one more chance or he’ll throw the guy and his dog out in the street. “No, hang on,” the guy says. “This one will amaze you. ” He turns and asks the dog: “Who was the greatest home run hitter of all time?” “Ruth!” goes the dog. The talent scout boots them out of his office onto the street. And the dog turns to the guy and says “You think I should have said Hank Aaron?”

Hope clearly didn’t get the joke. But she laughed.

A few minutes later she asked if we could tell the joke together, with her supplying the dog’s answer. I said yes, so we told it to The Civee and Luke. The joke went normally, with her going “Roof” and “Rough.” But when I asked “Who was the greatest home run hitter of all time?”, she replied ” Derek Jeter.”

She may very well be funnier than I am.

Happy Birthday Hope!

Today, Hope has turned as old as a presidential term. To a former political nerd, that’s quite a milestone.  I realize I haven’t kept the Internet updated on her and Luke’s every move. But as both of them grow older, I’m finding that I enjoy spending time with them more than I do writing about them (and I need some recovery time after they go to bed!).

Hope still loves to hear and tell stories. She can sing and has a memory that rivals mine. She’s fully potty trained, and even better, can clean up after herself.

Three was a lot more fun than two. But it’s feeling like four may be the best year yet. Plus, she’s another year closer to watching Star Wars.


Edison the Hutt

A while back, I wrote about Hope’s love of storytelling.

If anything, she’s gotten more into stories. She makes conversations out of them and often I’ll find myself starting one story and finishing another. Hope will ask question after question and try to relate the ongoing story with something she knows about.

Last week, Hope watched part of the movie Hop. The next day, she asked The Civee and I to re-tell her the story of the movie (which we weren’t paying much attention to). So we mentioned the few facts we knew, starting with the Easter Bunny’s son going to Hollywood.

Hope: Where’s Hollywood?

Me: In California.

Hope: Why did he go to Hollywood?

Me: Because that’s where a lot of famous people live.

Hope: Why do they live there?

Me: Because they make a lot of television and movies out in Hollywood.

Hope: Why?

And at this point I saw my chance to get away from talking about Hop to talking about something I knew  about (thanks to my film classes in college). I told her the simplified, kid-friendly story of how in response to Thomas Edison’s attempts to control American filmmaking in the early 1900s, a number of producers went to California and started making movies in Hollywood.

She actually understood all of this. And then came up with an analogy which surprised me.

Hope: So Thomas Edison was like Jabba the Hutt.

(A few months ago, the music from the final scene of Empire came on and she asked about it, so I told her the Rebels were trying to save their friend Han Solo from Jabba, a greedy gangster).

Yes, Hope. Thomas Edison was exactly like Jabba the Hutt.

Dinnertime Stories With Hope

Hope has graduated from asking for stories to telling them.

Her stories entertain everyone, including Luke. Tonight, we were having ribs for dinner and Hope started telling a story about mastodons (her favorite thing at the Ohio Historical Society Museum). I wasn’t able to record the first part (which started with “once upon a time”), but here’s the rest of it, until Hope gets distracted by some ribs. But then Luke chimes in with a song, which inspires Hope to sing too.

Oh, and usually dinnertime at our house doesn’t look like Medieval Times, but hey, we were having ribs.

The Giant Inflatable Sumo Wrestler Will Only Lead To More Questions

Near our house there’s a tire place that advertises with giant inflatables. Every week, there’s something different outside the store advertising that week’s deals. It used to be simple, large tires, rabbits or monkeys. But in the past few months, the place has had a steady rotation, mixing in a dinosaur, sumo wrestler and even a large inflatable Elvis to get attention.

Hope loves to talk and ask questions, and the inflatables have started a lot of conversations on our car rides.

The questions started out normal:

Hope: What’s that guy?

Me: That’s a sumo wrestler.

Hope: What’s a sumo wrestler?

Me: Sumo wrestling is a sport they play in Japan.


Hope: What’s that guy?.

Me: That’s Elvis. He’s the king of rock and roll.

Hope: Like Weezer?

Me: Yes, but older.

Hope can see anything and ask for a story about it. Or try and relate it to something else. But we’ve had to be careful, because her questions have gotten more involved. Last time we saw the sumo wrestler, the conversation went something like this:

Hope: What does that sumo guy do?

Me: Well, two of them are in a circle and have to push each other out.

Hope: Isn’t that mean?

Me: It’s part of the game. There’s a referee.

Hope: Is he naked?

Me: No, he’s wearing something.

One topic that we’ve had to start addressing with her is death. Earlier this summer, she had some pillbugs in a container that died overnight. So The Civee and I tried explaining the concept to her. And she won a goldfish at a church festival back in June that has miraculously survived (so far). We knew the topic would come up again, and eventually we would have to let her in on the fact that people die too. A few weeks ago on the radio, the DJ mentioned it was the anniversary of Elvis’ death. This led to another round, once the Elvis inflatable made a reappearance:

Hope: Did Elvis die?

Me: Yes.

Hope: Why did he die?

Me: Ummmm…because he took a bunch of medicine without his doctor or parents saying he could.

She’s asked these questions every time we’ve passed the Elvis inflatable. And we try and steer the conversation back to something positive about Elvis. But it’s better she’s learning about things like death. At the very least, we can use these conversations to have the [other] king teach her a lesson- don’t take medicine your doctor or mom or dad doesn’t tell you to take.