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June 17, 2013 / bekbekbekah

Have You Ever Been Curb-Stomped?

One of the hazards of living in this world is living with the existence of great, paralyzing fears. Everyone has at least one thing in their life that causes them to lose their calm and behave irrationally. We all have them, we all face them, and we all live with them. I personally have an absurd number of fears, rational and irrational alike, and I’m probably the worst at dealing with them. Two of my greatest fears are getting my two front teeth knocked out and falling out of a moving vehicle, and these two fears come from some pretty traumatic memories from childhood. For this post I’m going to be telling the story behind my fear of losing my teeth, so get comfy as I take you down memory lane.

When my brother and I were younger, my mom babysat a bunch of kids during the day. She would watch the kids of people in the church, my cousin, kids of family friends, etc. And before you start imagining 40 kids running around a single house, please let me interject and say that she didn’t watch every kid every day, but she did watch a bunch of kids for a bunch of people. This arrangement guaranteed that my brother and I always had someone to play with, and it also guaranteed that I was usually the smallest and weakest of the bunch. I’m currently 25 and stand a whopping 5 feet tall. Can you imagine what a four year-old Bekah looked like?

Effing cute - that's how.

Effing cute – that’s how.

During the day my mom would make sure to keep us busy, so there were always toys and movies and puzzles and books to keep us occupied. There was also this magnificent Little Tikes toy that was shaped like a massive banana on wheels with a tuft of red hair on top (think Beaker from the Muppets). Despite the underwhelmingly small amount of red on this wonderful piece of creation, we all affectionately called it “Big Red.” We loved this toy. I’m not sure why, but we did. We would all sit down on it at some point and let ourselves roll down the driveway for a bit, or push ourselves along the sidewalk outside – you know, the normal things kids might do on a rolling banana. But my little legs were too short to do much of anything but sit on it, so my brother and his friend Kyle would assist me like the gentlemen they were and push me around. I’m not sure why we thought it was necessary (or even a good idea) to have a two-man crew for this operation, but we figured “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Someone guided the front of Big Red while going backwards and then the other person pushed Big Red from behind while I probably giggled with delight because I thought it was the most magnificent way to spend my days.

At this point, I would like you to start considering potential problems with this arrangement. Think of the shape of a banana, then put it on wheels. Then have a young child pushing it from behind with a very low stance (I like to think that we were consciously using principles of physics whereby the more direct force you can put on the wheels, the faster you will go). Then add a kid in the front who has to move at the same rate as the person from behind, all while “steering” Big Red and running, and never being able to make good eye contact with each other. Then add in Bekah’s screams of joy and euphoria as well as her very small body. Banana shape – wheels – two kids – running – screaming – itty bitty Bekah.

We had performed this operation many times before. We knew the ins and out of the procedure, and we were gosh darn cocky about our display of talent. Until one day when physics decided to show us up for the unlearned, unschooled children that we were.

This particular day, Kyle was in the front and Jeremy was pushing me from behind. I was enjoying myself supremely – I like to go fast – always have, always will. I was sitting on Big Red, probably screaming, “Again, again!” in my squeaky kid’s voice, ecstatic at the prospect of rushing past our neighbor’s yard at speeds my mind couldn’t compute. And being the awesome brother/friend they were, they obliged me. We were on the straightaway of the sidewalk and I think my brother might’ve felt like he had something to prove. I’m sure he was determined to make this shot down the sidewalk one I would mentally note as the best Big Red ride I ever had, and as God as my witness he far exceeded his goal. We were carrying on at a pretty good clip with Kyle guiding and Jeremy pushing, when Kyle decided that he needed to stop for something. I never got the chance to ask him what his reason for stopping was, and I don’t think I ever really realized he stopped because one second I was sitting on my faithful banana Big Red and then the next I was arching through the air like a graceful – albeit amateur – trapeze artist. As gravity worked its magic though, it became a fall of panic. Before my little mind had time to process anything other than possibly, “MOTHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I was landing face first into the curb on the street. And not just face first, but also top jaw first into the curb. And more specifically two-front teeth first into the curb. What had begun as another thrilling ride on Big Red had in an instant become a nightmare of my bruised and bloodied face, bleeding mouth and the severing of the roots in my two front teeth. I don’t remember a lot that happened after that incident – I know my mom came and scooped me up and carried me inside to assess the situation. Thankfully there was no need for stitches, but irreparable damage had been done.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that childhood trauma always comes at an incredibly inconvenient time. Specifically, this came late in the afternoon on the day my mom was going to buy groceries. With my dad working late and no one to watch me and my brother, my mom was forced to take me to the store with her – bloody face, twitching cries, jacked up teeth and all. I recall many times where my mom said that she was sorry that it happened, but that she was more sorry that she had to take me into public looking like that given the long looks and sideways glances she received from her fellow shoppers. My mom took me to the doctor’s office and they said that there hadn’t been any damage to my jaw, but that the impact had killed the roots, so my two front teeth would eventually die and fall out. In one way this wasn’t bad news because they were still my baby teeth and I wouldn’t have them forever anyway, but it was bad news in that I would be walking around with two dead teeth – at the forefront of my smile – that couldn’t be pulled out without surgery because my permanent teeth weren’t formed yet. Which meant the gradual graying of my teeth and a premature loss of those very same front teeth. This meant an absurd amount of time waiting for my permanent teeth to come in because I had lost my teeth at an accelerated speed. Which then made for many interesting school and family pictures

Like this one.

Like this one.

Sadly, the teeth weren’t the only blatantly awkward things about young Bekah, and way too many Christmas jokes involving family members tauntingly singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…”

But as terrifying and painful as this experience was, it is also one of my favorite stories to tell people. Of course, this amazing tale doesn’t come without its mental scars. For instance, any time I come across any glaringly precocious stairs (ORU, anyone?) or don’t see a curb and kind of scuff my foot along the edge just hard enough to make me think I’m going to fall, the first thing I reach for is my two front teeth.

8 Comments

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  1. Leslie W. / Jun 17 2013 11:28 pm

    Losing teeth is one of my biggest fears too!! I think this is the first of your stories I’ve actually heard before they became a blog post…WIN.

    • kdubandbeks / Jun 18 2013 12:22 am

      HAHAHA! Yeah – I was running around today trying to get stuff together for a video for work so I had to phone this post in.. I’m glad you’ve been reading the posts before they were in blog form.. If this ever leads to a book by us, you’re getting the first copy hot off the press. 🙂

  2. RobiniArt / Jun 19 2013 9:14 am

    You poor thing! My dad was a dentist. He sometimes got after hours emergency calls for situations like this. Ugh. Scary!

    • bekbekbekah / Jun 27 2013 3:43 pm

      It was awful!! I spent a lot of my time at ORU (my university) trying not to draw attention to the fact that I was protecting my teeth while on the stairways. They were very precarious though – lots of weird angles, slippery stones, and solid concrete steps – and I spent 2.5 years praying I didn’t fall on them.

      • RobiniArt / Jun 27 2013 8:12 pm

        Awwwwwwwwww! I’m so sorry that I just sort of laughed. You brought out my meanness with your funny writing! But seriously, ouch. Boo.

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