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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

You Can't Handle the Tooth

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

You could summarize this week's highlights with a crooked tooth, birthday parties, basketball, and bicycles. But I'm not one for summaries...

To wrap up last week's mystery, I found out that Hannah was very far away on Saturday because an old roommate of hers was deep into a sort of Willie Wonka-style hunt. Some candy factory owner has apparently decided to give away a factory, and so he's left several clues for where he's hidden the "golden ticket," and Hannah's roommate had concluded that it was in Indiana. She offered to pay Hannah to go and hunt for it in a town a couple of hours away, so Hannah agreed, although she didn't find what she was after. Apparently the clues could be interpreted in a lot of ways.

The last part of Sunday was me putting together some oven-fried chicken with mashed potatoes for our food. Of course, the boys all shy away from foods out of their normal routine, so they were not interested (although Carver couldn't have the gluten anyway). That left more for the ladies and me, though. Actually, Merritt is a huge fan of mashed potatoes, which is why I haven't dropped him off at the fire department so far. Otherwise, it was an afternoon and evening of keeping the boys entertained. Luckily, they've been pretty good about enjoying board games together.

For family night lesson that evening, we talked about how a big part of a sibling's job is to set a good example for their younger siblings. The boys were especially receptive to this and had some good applications, and so I went a bit out on a limb to directly apply it to riding their bikes to show that it can be fun. That seems to have struck a chord with Carver, as we'll see later in the week...

Once they were in bed, we played Hand & Foot with Hannah. She and Avey beat Kira and me soundly, so we've been licking our wounds all week.

Monday was all set to be busy, as Kira had several clients lined up, and Hakan had his first basketball camp. He was very excited to go, and was sure he'd be ready for the NBA once he got home, so it seemed. He had a blast, bringing home a real jersey, a t-shirt, and a full-size basketball. It's hard to get him to disclose much about what they're doing, but I did piece together that they learned about layups that day.

With Kira gone, I tried to manage the other kids while also baking some cookie dough I had made the day before, and doing my day job from my laptop at our kitchen island. Merritt was pretty good about being entertained without the screen. I got him interested in our marble tower set and then he played some other board games. He was feeling rather crummy after having caught the apparent cold that Hakan and Carver had. Luckily, it's a short and relatively mild one, lasting about 3 days. Don't tell Hannah that, though, because she seems to have caught it, and it's taken a toll on her.


Once Kira was home from work, she took over the boys so that I could focus more on my day job (and my aching tummy after eating so many of my cookies). She's been battling headaches for most of the week, it seems - something exacerbated by the heat and humidity. After I was at a stopping point with work, I took Hakan and Apollo out on a walk, and we went by a house not far away where some school chums live to see if they could play. They were just about to leave, so we said we'd try another time, but Hakan and I had a good time on the walk. Hakan had a bit of a tumble when he was holding the leash and Apollo saw a rabbit. He darted after it, and pulled Hakan right off of his feet.

When we were home, Kira took a nap to try and regain some strength for her evening clients. I ran to the store for some essentials, and then she was off to work. I played some more board games with the boys.

Avey was excited with a good mail day. Now that she's 13, she could open a checking account and her debit card came in the mail. That will be a nice new way to manage her money, because we rarely have cash around, so we just keep track of her money she's earned on a slip of paper like it's 1921. This way, we can pay her digitally, and she can take care of her expenses without waiting for us to be available.

Tuesday morning Kira let me sleep in, and then I cut the grass. At some point, Hakan was chasing Carver around our TV room, and rolled over the couch, somehow clocking himself in the mouth with his knee. He hit himself so hard that he moved one of his front top teeth, and that seems to have really shaken him on top of the pain. It was hard enough that it's thrown off his bite so that he has to chew weirdly. Kira made him an appointment at the dentist for the next day, but the dentist said we should probably wait until the rest of the injury has healed and then see what we should do. The tooth may go back on its own, it may die and need a pulpectomy, or it may need to be extracted. So far, his tooth doesn't hurt anymore, but it's not moved back either. We'll see the dentist this week about it, but Hakan's been hesitant to eat with his bite so off.

Practicing His Creepy Face

Kira took the younger boys to a park Tuesday afternoon, and then I took Avey on a shopping trip so that I could get some sandals that were not falling apart. We made it to one of the stores just as they were closing, though, so that was dumb, and we went back the next day to get the stuff she wanted.

I let Kira sleep through breakfast on Wednesday, and then she took Hakan to his second basketball camp, where they worked mostly on passing the ball. While he was at camp, Kira took Merritt to a park and the library while I fixed up a lecture at home. I finished up and got Carver working on his laundry. He sorted out all of the winter clothes and we found a lot of summer clothes for him that we had in storage. The afternoon was the trip to the dentist and shopping with the kids. Carver had been invited to a birthday party on Friday, so we needed a gift.

That evening, right before dinner, Carver finally agreed to ride his bike with me after a very long time refusing. I frequently offer that as something to do, and he refuses every time, but this time he said "sure." I didn't want to react with too much excitement, lest I change his mind, so I just went with it. It was a little tough getting going again after so long not practicing, but he went around our block 3 times, and had a lot of fun. After seeing his example, Hakan even agreed to try his bike again, even though it had been a long time. He never did quite get going, but this is still a big step, and we're sure he'll get back in the groove in no time.

Carver's gone back out with Avey and me several more times this week, and so I'm very hopeful that this can be a new source of independence and excitement for him.

Thursday morning I just couldn't seem to get a few minutes of work in before a new interruption. Kira had phone calls with people in the branch, and so things slowly devolved into the kids playing Twister next to my desk. I did eventually finish the thing I was working on, thankfully. In the afternoon, I took Hakan and Avey to some more stores after Hakan had earned enough money to buy a little keychain rocket he coveted.

I got paid on Friday, so I was off to make our run to Costco, but Hannah had an appointment for a temporary crown, so she didn't come. At home, Kira took the kids on a bike ride, but Hakan had a tumble on his scooter and scraped up his arm. I came home to have the family help unload, and then I did a little of my day job before putting up some more shelves in Avey's room. Kira took the younger boys to a park, and Carver went to a birthday party that night, going to a movie theater and enjoying ice cream.

Saturday morning I went to the grocery store and a used furniture store. I bought some cabinets to replace some awful ones in my garage (I installed them today). I then cut the grass and fed the kids before we all went to a birthday party for one of Merritt's good friends, even though he's actually Hakan's age. The kids pretty much lived in the pool, and so Kira and I had to eat in shifts. But at least they had a good time.

Carver had a little trouble when he put his arm over the edge of the pool and got stung by a wasp on his pinky. Luckily, a little ice took the edge off while he distracted himself with chips.

Once we left, both Hakan and Merritt were nervous wrecks. Merritt was sobbing about everything and Hakan was brooding. It seemed to me they were tired from all of the fun and excitement.

Hannah had a good day, too, spying some baby squirrels at her house:

We were glad to get the kids to bed, and then we all relaxed with some TV before turning in.

Today there was a Linger Longer at church, and now Avey is set to babysit for a family in the branch while the dad is at work. We'll see how that all goes...

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