Two months ago you got your first loose tooth while eating a tomato of all things…
It was one of those parental moments when you realize that your children (despite their regular emotional outbursts)really are growing up. After all, you’re getting ADULT teeth now. Adult. Wha-?? It overwhelmed me for a little bit.
For days you delighted in showing everyone your loose tooth. Family, friends, teachers, the check-out girl at the supermarket – no one within a 10 foot radius of you was too obscure to share this glorious news with. It was sweet to see you so excited.
You know what’s not sweet? Fighting over said loose tooth with your child when it’s been almost a month and they don’t want to even aggressively wiggle it, much less pull it the heck out already.
Parent: Can I wiggle your tooth?
Parent: I just want to see how loose it is. It’s been three weeks and it’s still in there. Let me check it out.
Parent: Well, can you wiggle it for me?
Child: (barely touches tooth) There.
Parent: How about you just show me the tooth, ok? Just open your mouth real wide. No, move your lip. Now move your tongue. Seriously?? I can’t even look at it?
Child: You’re going to touch it!
Parent: Look, my hands are behind my back! I just want to see how fast the adult tooth behind it is coming in. Can I do that?
Child: (flashes mouth for 0.26 seconds)
Parent: Unhelpful. (reaches for child’s mouth to peer in)
Child: NOOO! Don’t pull it!!
Parent: I’m not going to pull it! I’m going to look at it! Calm down!
Parent: Stop thrashing! It’s just a tooth! Ow! Stop it!
Child: (unspeakable wails fit for persons losing limbs)
Parent: Stop it! Just stop it! It’s a freaking tooth!
And then you’re wrestling with your child just for a look inside their mouth and wondering if maybe you could just pull it since you’re basically sitting on top of her anyhow…and suddenly you wonder how you came to this place. Over a baby tooth. It’s demoralizing, really.
It was during one such incident that you neglected to remember who you were speaking to and you lost all children’s programming privileges until the Freaking Tooth came out. I thought for sure this would prompt you to pull your tooth within the hour. You did not.
For days you neither turned on the television, asked for a cartoon, or even attempted to sneak in a program. For days your father and I had full control of the programming selections. A solid week of hockey and HGTV! You didn’t bat an eye.
I should mention that during Tooth-Gate, which turned out to be a 2 month ordeal, you actually obtained another loose tooth and lost it within the space of 3 days.
So, we all knew that it was possible. The Freaking Tooth would not be with us forever. But it sure felt like it.
And so, we came to the point that the tooth had lost its roots. It flopped limply back and forth in your mouth. Inspection of the tooth showed that it was hanging on by a pinched bit of gum suctioned to the bottom of the tooth (lovely). The adult tooth was hallway up behind it already. The time for pulling the tooth had come and gone. Still, our stalwart child held annoyingly firm. No pulling. No touching.
Your father – wearied and stretched to the end of his nerves by the Freaking Tooth – numbly handed you a tissue last night and said, “Just give the tooth a squeeze.”
You gingerly held the tooth between thumb and forefinger and – lo and behold – it came out. Thank the ever-loving Lord!
I cannot describe the utter relief that your father and I felt after staring down that Freaking Tooth for over two months. Two months of coercing, negotiating, arguing, and disciplining you…for the smallest tooth I’ve ever seen.
That night you put your tiny tooth in your tooth cup at the end of your bed and went to sleep with dreams of the Tooth Fairy fluttering around in your head. You woke up this morning, reached your hand under your pillow and pulled out…nothing.
Ya, we totally forgot to do the Tooth Fairy thing. Sorry about that. I hope you enjoy this note she’ll leave you tonight…