Motherhood: You can’t make this stuff up! (Why the toothy photo? See below…)
It was just going to be a simple holiday party … with a theme, of course. That theme being Latin American in nature. In addition to the food (prepared by my husband who hails from Peru), we decided on a piñata. Two of them actually: one for the kids and one for the “adults.”
But it was a cold day at the end of November when the Holiday Fiesta took place. So cold that we decided to hang the piñatas inside. (Mistake number 1.)
The festivities – which may or may not have included margaritas – were well underway when we decided it was Piñata Time.
The kids went first. Their piñata was filled with candy, prizes and suckers. We handed the first child a small sized whiffle ball bat and he started swinging. And swinging. And swinging. The piñata would not crack open. Enter the second child. She whacked at the piñata like a professional softball player and barely made a dent in it. What WAS this thing made of?
Our decision making already wasn’t off to a great a start, and that became the second theme for the evening: enter my husband with a Louisville Slugger. (Mistake number 2.)
“Uhm, I don’t think that’s a great idea,” I said.
“It won’t break, they need something heavier,” he replied.
What could possibly go wrong?
Everyone backed away (safety first!), except me – the photographer. The next child took a swing with the wooden bat he was handed and finally made a dent in the piñata. The excitement in the air was palpable. The kids eager to grab their loot, as I was snapping photos of the fun.
Next up: the baseball player. (Mistake number 3.) Without thinking he took a single swing at the piñata like, well, like a baseball player. The piñata burst open, candy went flying, and I fell to the floor in agony. Not because I was hit by the bat, I was hit by a dum-dum sucker. In the face. In my right front tooth to be exact. The entire right side of my face and head immediately started tingling.
What a dumb-dumb! Who stands that close to a piñata let alone a kid swinging a bat? (Mistake number 4.)
My years (and years and years) of dental work and orthodontics flashed before me. The suppressed memory of my childhood jack-o-lantern teeth made its way from the recesses of my mind. Somehow though, the tooth was still in my mouth and not even loose, but I knew what was to come: ibuprofen and a trip to the dentist.
A week later the pain subsided, but I stopped smiling as the tooth grew darker and darker. I looked like the Great Pumpkin again. The dentist reluctantly informed me that indeed the root of the tooth was severed and the tooth was a lost cause. My only option was a root canal, because why not add that to my dental resume?
For the sake of perspective, a sucker also hit the solid wood door behind me and dented it (see photo above), so I figure the dum-dum was traveling at the speed of sound when it made contact with my face.
The Piñata Incident made for a great story, even the oral surgeon was amused, “Never heard that one before!”
The root canal did nothing for the now gray tooth except secure it in place and was followed by a week’s worth of antibiotics, but rarely by a smile that dared show the piñata tooth. For two years I did everything in my power to hide the ugly thing (gotta love photo editor). Call me self-conscious (ok, vain), but I felt like a pre-braces (expander, spacers, retainers, wisdom teeth, etc.) child again.
Finally, my dentist recommended a crown and now I feel like a queen again; just kidding – a crown for my gray tooth. It took months (yes, months) to match my other teeth, but now I can smile again without prompting questions, stares or head tilts, and safely say that piñatas are off the party planning list permanently.