Sober Mama, Brave Bambino

This is Bambino. It’s nearly 12 years ago – Midsummer’s Eve 2007 to be exact – and we were on our way to the Swedish Church for celebrations with my friend E. I never put photos on this blog of anyone else, Bambino included, because I don’t think it’s right unless that person has expressly said it’s OK. In this case I feel it’s OK. Bambino doesn’t look like this anymore, except for his huge blue eyes. Now he’s a lanky 14-yearold with dark fluff on his top lip. I’d like to think I look exactly the same, but alas….


Unfortunately for Bambino, it would seem he’s inherited his teeth from me. Sort of like he was God’s last appointment that day, when God was tired and just wanted to get home and therefore just threw a handful of teeth in there. So he’s getting braces and because his gob is quite crowded, some teeth have to come out. He had two out this morning and back again tomorrow for another two. Let me just say I still feel sick. We both needed a lie-down after that ordeal. Can I just warn you right now that further down there’s a horrible picture of a horror tooth. It’s the devil of all teeth, I swear. The picture does NOT do it justice, it’s a mean son of a gun this one.

Now, Bambino is – in spite of his neurotic mother – a really resilient and robust little dude. He’s never been one to kick up a fuss. I sat with him at the hospital the time he’d banged his head at school and had a big gash on his forehead that the doctor had to stitch up – bit weepy and clearly upset but not a peep. He just got on with it whilst I couldn’t even look, bravely just dealing with it, his big eyes looking up at the doctor for reassurance occasionally. Then there was the time he was violently sick, he was five or six at the time, and retching so much he lost his breath, plus he had a raging temperature too. In between violent heaving that made his tiny little torso contract, he whispered “OK, it’s OK” like an instruction to himself. Bambino is an absolute trooper, so much braver than I’ve ever been, calm and with the endurance of a super hero. God, I admire my little man so much, he’s something else that boy.

He’s had a tooth pulled before and it wasn’t fun, but it was what it normally is – unpleasant but doesn’t take very long and once you’re nice and numb it’s rarely a matter of more than five or ten minutes to get it out, right? And who likes needles? But he’s done it before and whilst he wasn’t looking forward to it, he was as chilled out as always and there was zero complaining or worry on his part.

This was something else though. The first tooth to go was a molar and they had to get that one as it had a filling and better to take a “bad” tooth than a healthy one. The dentist said it’d be trickier to get out as it had roots that were bending outwards so Bambino was clear on that it’d go on for perhaps a little longer. He seemed more concerned about the needle beforehand, but just asked how long that part would take and was happy with the response of just a minute. THE DAMN THING TOOK 45 MINUTES TO COME OUT. As Bambino is underage, I had to be present and I’ve never fought so hard to keep a calm demeanour. Smiled encouragingly at Bambino any time there was a break and he sought my eyes but I felt like throwing up the whole time. When the dentist was at it, I had my eyes closed and tried to think about something else.

This tooth is very attached to you,” the dentist said as she once again had the nurse cleaning up a little saliva and blood.

Bambino got several more rounds of the needle to ease the discomfort. It was brutal and I was breaking inside. The dentist’s neck was blotchy and she was visibly stressed-out too. I expected her to go and ask for help at any minute. She had told us beforehand that there was a risk of the roots breaking off, in which case Bambino would have to go to a dental surgeon, but after much pushing and pulling and pained groans and whimpers from Bambino, the devil tooth finally came out. Now, my kid isn’t one for crying. When Bambino cries, you know it’s bad. He was white as a sheet and shaking, a few tears rolling down his lovely face as he shakily removed the goggles to wipe them away as the nurse was dabbing at his mouth. It was vicious, I feel like crying just writing this. And after that ordeal there was still one more to go, but this one of the more normal kind and although there were a couple more injections, ten minutes and it was over.

I was last out of the room and the dentist put a hand to her chest and mouthed “oh my God” to me.

Out in the car Bambino hunched over and cried. When my robust little trooper cries, it means there’s MORE than reason to and anyone else would have lost it completely. And he has to go back again tomorrow for another two. So, so brave, this little dude, and I’m so proud of him. And why talk about this on this sobriety blog? Well, because I was a good mum today. I was present and calm and I looked after my kid. I was at my full faculties. I was a good mum today because I’m sober. If I’d been hungover I would have fainted or had a complete breakdown. I wouldn’t have been able to be there for Bambino in the same way when I was still drinking. Sober, it would appear I’m a lot more like Bambino, actually: pretty brave and pretty calm and pretty strong.

Here’s the devil tooth – just look at that evil, evil thing:


Today I’m not going to drink.

19 thoughts on “Sober Mama, Brave Bambino

  1. OMG! Firstly … gorgeous, gorgeous picture, and no I’m not talking about the tooth … I still can’t quite bring myself to look at that! Your poor little brave man. Oh what a thing to have to endure. Sending hugs and a if I could, a giant tub of ice cream. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jesus God. I cannot believe the dentist did not opt for sending him to a surgeon. Totally unimpressed with the dentist. The dentist is supposed to have boundaries on their capacity to function capably without taking it out on the patient or the parent. A surgeon could have done it in a fraction of the time with virtually no discomfort to either of you. But, at least you got a column out of it, so there is that.


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    • I see what you mean, but I honestly think she did her best and didn’t strike me as falling short of professional standards – it was a tough tooth, that’s all (I think). I could tell she was stressed given the blotches on her neck and having to give Bambino more injections several times but all things considered I think she did the best she could all things considered. Surgery would have been easier in that Bambino would have been knocked out and then just had the soreness afterwards to cope with, but there we are. He was all chirpy and good again a few hours after we got home – he’s made of sturdy stuff, that’s for sure (unlike me)! 🙂


    • It wasn’t nice!! And I think you might be right – she is quite young (I’m guessing mid- to late 20s) and although she was trying to conceal how she felt and acted professional and calm, it was clear she was stressed too. At one point when she was reassuring Bambino she did say, in a really sweet manner, “this isn’t nice for me either, but you’re doing really good” – empathising with him and acknowledging it was particularly rough with this tooth. Bambino is back again this afternoon but as usual he seems worry free, so I think he’s taken it in his stride like he always does. HE is tough as nails, mama is positively dreading it. 🙂 xx

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    • Thanks! I’m sure it will – like his second one yesterday, the two going this afternoon are smaller and don’t have the huge roots that devil tooth did. There are nicer things to do but it’ll be fine I’m sure. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my. Thank god I didn’t read this one yesterday. I had an appointment I’d been putting off for ages to get a cavity filled. I was looking at the kids in the waiting room thinking, what brave little troopers… I used to be terrified of the dentist. It took far too long with needles. For cavities now, and even my root canal, I went without the needles. I can’t bear the process and the feeling numb afterwards. It never has hurt me as much as the needles did. Not even the root canal. I expect pulling a tooth like that would be a VERY VERY different matter though. Those roots! They are insane.

    I once had wisdom teeth out and that was at a dental surgeon. It felt amazing because the drugs were so good. I woke up and tried to tell the entire team that I was in love with them (it was like a drugged pink cloud I guess) but I my mouth was filled with gauze. I motioned for them to get me a pen and paper. I had to tell them how much I loved them and thought of them as my long lost brothers and sisters from another planet, and I had to tell them NOW! Thank god by the time they had given me the paper and pen it had worn off and I didn’t have to regret yet another love-soaked inebriated profession of my “deepest feelings.”

    You know what though, that tooth is gorgeous. What a trophy for your incredibly brave and beautiful son, and for his incredibly beautiful and courageous mama.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh God, you just made me laugh out loud – that’s how I react to anaesthesia too! Bit like with booze and I get these “deepest feelings” and just have to tell everyone how much I love them and how much they mean to me etc etc….. CRINGE!!!! I love how you insisted on pen and paper, that’s just too good and I would have been exactly the same. A friend of mine proposed to one of the nurses as he was coming to after some surgery, totally sincere at the time of course.

      Bambino has always claimed that he finds the needles the worst, is adamant they are super painful and that they don’t help (but this is when he’s had a filling and obviously not with extractions) – I wonder if you’re both resistant to local anaesthetic. Yesterday he claimed there was definite PAIN and not just the discomfort, despite countless injections. EESH.

      Thank you for your kind words and funny story, and yes – the tooth will be kept as a trophy!


      Liked by 1 person

      • ❤️❤️❤️aw that’s so cool. I think you and I would get on just fine 😆

        Yes for the needles it was not only the discomfort, and the fact that the waiting took so long (for the freezing to set in), but also that awful numbness for hours afterwards. I couldn’t stand it! Now my appointments are so much faster. I just relax and count the dots on the weird ET lights and zone right out. Two of my boys opted for no freezing on fillings and so far so good, for them, as well.

        I hope it went/goes better for Bambino the next time. Those will be some serious trophies! 🏆😘

        Liked by 1 person

  4. what an absolutely stunning child! How blessed you are! poor soul about the teeth, I myself have had a lot of dental treatment including braces over the years, even having a tooth out last year at 53! hopefully he’ll get sorted and then be fine x

    Liked by 1 person

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