One of Susie’s favorite jokes came from Playhouse Disney awhile back.  “When is the best time to go to the dentist?”  “Tooth-hurty.”  That’s a joke that heads the list of “So funny I forgot to laugh,” but Steph is laughing at it even less since early Thursday morning.

That was when a tooth in her right lower jaw began hurting with a vengeance.  She needs a root canal in that tooth, but the oral surgeon who would perform it wanted us to pony up $600 upfront (and this is with insurance!).  Since I have frequently found myself rolling pennies to buy Diet Coke, you know how likely being able to pay for root canal would be.

Steph had headaches all week.  They were annoying, but manageable.  They weren’t anything like the migraine bouts I had as a teenager and as a young adult.  (If you want to simulate a migraine headache, take a huge bite of ice cream and swallow it.  Imagine that brain freeze lasting for days.)

Thursday morning, Steph woke up in pain that was driving her crazy.  It worsened during the day, although she had a brief respite from it by swallowing about half a drugstore full of Vicodin.  (Are you listening, Mr. Limbaugh?  Oxycodone and Vicodin are not recreational drugs.)

I left work early on Thursday and took all of Friday off so that she could go to the dentist.  He pulled the offending tooth and gave her some antibiotics.  The pain is still there, but OxyContin and regular aspirin seem to keep the pain at bay.  She had to keep a wad of gauze in her mouth most of the afternoon, but it was better than the pain.

I’m a stage father-to-be yet again.  On Tuesday night, I took Susie to audition for Kabuki Sleeping Beauty at the Davis Fine Arts Center.  The director seems to want the kids to experience what adult actors on Broadway go through–she hasn’t called to say yes or no one way or the other.  I thought Susie did a good job.  I half paid attention to her during the audition.  I alternated between watching her and roughing out the first drafts of some poems.  I also read some of Gravity’s Rainbow.  (I’m at the beginning of one of my periodic Thomas Pynchon binges, possibly because he’s rolled out his first book in about a decade, Against the Day.)

Last night, Susie and I went to the Davis to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I can truly learn from Susie.  She auditioned for the play and did not get in.  I would be so bitter about that I wouldn’t want to go to the play.  I probably would consign my Chronicles of Narnia boxed set to the basement.  But she wanted to see it, and to root for the people who did get in.

I am sorry to report no new Shayla news.  I got caught up in a project at work Thursday morning, and even though I worked on it with one eye on my watch, I got down to the lobby of the building too late.  I saw no school bus in front, and then I glanced down Spring St. just in time to see it round the corner.  I’m afraid Shayla will think I’ve bailed on her, just as her other tutors have.  I’m sending her a kids’ Christmas card c/o her kindergarten class next week.  I won’t see her until 1/11, so I think I’d better let her know she’s on my mind.

Steph and I are watching Prairie Home Companion on DVD tonight.  Due to this whole tooth business, my total shut-eye hours since Wednesday can be counted on one hand, so I hope I can stay awake for it.

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