What you’ll need:
(1) 4 1/2 year old, slightly overzealous boy
(1) child’s rocking chair, preferably one that is too small for the afore-mentioned 4 1/2 year old.
(1) spill over the back of the chair onto his face
lots of ice and a couple of rags
Yesterday afternoon, Bennett asked if he could watch “Talking Words Factory” DVD, which I will pretty much always say yes to. Excited, he sat down with quite a bit of force, and made himself fall backwards off the chair. Which seems like not a very big deal; he didn’t hit especially hard, and he certainly didn’t fall very far. But, he did a good bit of damage anyway.
He busted his lower lip, which has resulted in swelling that remains now, almost 24 hours later, and a dark purple bruise. He also got some kind of abrasion right below his lower lip (from the floor or a tooth or both, I don’t know) and a small scratch on his upper gum. But the part that hurt the worst and bled the longest, though thankfully not a ton, was due to the fact that he tore that little flap of connective tissue that attaches your gums to your top lip. It’s called a frenulum, and I know what it is because I had to have mine surgically removed (more on that in a minute), but it would be prudent right now to encourage you NOT to google the word frenulum, as there are, ahem, other body parts with a frenulum, and you will get majorly disturbing search results. Now, back to my story.
So, I had to have a frenectomy (complete removal of frenulum) when I was in 6th grade as part of my massive, multi-step orthodontia. My front two teeth never would have grown together because that tissue grew between my teeth and kept them separated (think Madonna’s teeth). And for a while now, it’s looked as though Luke and Jack Henry will have to have theirs removed, too. Except blissfully, it’s now a laser-surgery vs. excision like I had (can you even imagine the drama of a 12-year-old girl and this surgery? My apologies, Dad.), because I do remember how badly it hurt for a couple of days after.
Notice I did not list Bennett in the children who would eventually need a frenectomy. Not that I would wish this on another one of my kids, but couldn’t it have been one of them who is going to need the surgery? Because the way Bennett messed his up yesterday, I’d venture to guess that this would have taken care of it. His bled for a good 30 minutes, and I don’t know, it probably could have used a stitch or two, but I was here alone with four kids and it didn’t seem life-threatening. He did wake up in the middle of the night crying because it hurt (and then I felt like a bad mom for not thinking of that sooner…I should have given him Motrin to dull the pain! I know how bad it hurts!) but has seemed fine all day!
UPDATED: I talked to our pediatrician today, and she said they wouldn’t have stitched it, so I can absolve myself of that guilt. She said that very little in the mouth gets stitches due to injury…primarily cuts along the edge of the lip do for cosmetic reasons. Good to know.
Here are the grody pictures.