This morning, we have a beautiful, new jack o' lantern lighting up our house, just in time for Hallowe'en…
Yes, Child Number Two has finally lost her first tooth, and her resulting bright little grin is better than any pumpkin I could ever have carved.
There is an Issue regarding the big event, however…
For early, early this morning, I opened my eyes to discover a tearful Child Number Two at my bedside:
Child Number Two: (snorfling) Mama!! My tooth is GOOOOONE!!
Me: (sitting bolt upright and shaking the sleep from my head) Sweetie!! Congratulations!! That wiggly tooth finally came OUT?!
Child Number Two: (tears beginning to fall) It’s GONE, Mama! It’s not in my mouth, and it’s not in my bed!! I can’t FIIIIIND it!!
You guessed it, folks. That tooth fell out while she was asleep, and the poor thing must have swallowed it.
This is not the first tooth-swallowing incident in our family. When it comes to dental issues, the girlies and I are ALL chickens. We can wiggle and wobble those little baby teeth, but do we have the guts to actually give them an almighty YANK, when the hanging-by-a-thread stage is finally reached??
Child Number One used to become so completely freaked-out by the final, wobbly stage, she would even refuse food. She just couldn’t stand the feeling of ANYTHING in her mouth, once the falling-out became imminent. I resorted to extreme bribery one day, and dragged my starving seven-year-old to Dairy Queen, where I figured that the urge to consume ICE CREAM in massive quantities would be irresistible, and provide the needed calorie intake in a hurry.
She was half-way through a massive chocolate sundae, when we discovered the offending dangly tooth had mysteriously disappeared.
Yes, there were hysterics. In public. But at least it wasn’t ME who was sobbing… I was just so relieved to have the extensive experience finally over with, it was all I could do to keep from jumping to my feet and performing a little jig, right there in the middle of the restaurant.
The Issue we have with tooth-swallowing has nothing to do with the potential health implications of ingestion. Heavens, my children have accidentally-on-purpose swallowed far worse foreign objects, and I have every confidence that everything will “come out all right” on that front.
The Issue is the Tooth Fairy.
Child Number Two: (breaking down and sobbing) My tooth is GOOOOONE… Now the Tooth Fairy won’t come for SUUUUURE!!
Me: Oh, sweetie pie, of COURSE the Tooth Fairy will come!! I’m sure the Tooth Fairy knows ALL about it. After all, you’re not the first kid in this family to have swallowed your tooth…
Child Number Two: (hiccuping) But it’s my FIRST TOOTH… And it’s GONE… And now I’ll never be able to have a puppy…
She doesn’t seriously think that the Tooth Fairy deals in ANIMALS, does she??!
Me: (firmly) Darling girl, I am absolutely certain that the Tooth Fairy knows that you have lost your tooth. And she knows ALL about kids who swallow their teeth, or lose them by accident… But she does NOT, I repeat NOT, bring PUPPIES.
Child Number Two: (suddenly belligerent) How do YOU know? She MIGHT bring me a puppy… Specially since now I swallowed my tooth, and I’m so sad and so BRAVE and everything…
Me: (attempting to nip. this. in. the. bud. once and for all) Ooooooh, NO. No puppies!! I’ve already got you three girlies, two guinea pigs, ten guppies, seven snails, three betta fish, a crazy cat and YOUR FATHER to look after… The Tooth Fairy just simply WOULD NOT do that to me. NOT. She fears for my sanity as it is!! Got it?!! She MIGHT bring you a little bit of extra money, this being her very first visit to you and all, but she will NOT be bringing you a puppy. GOT IT??!
Child Number Two: (eyeing me suspiciously) Mama… are you sure there IS a Tooth Fairy?
Me: (hugging her tightly and hanging on for dear life) Oh, absolutely, sweetheart. I am really, really sure.
Child Number Two: (hopefully gazing up into my face) Do you think she’d bring me TWENTY DOLLARS??
Ummmm... It's still too early to sign this kid up for law school, right?