Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tooth Scary

My daughter finally started losing her baby teeth. My son lost his first two within a day when he was 5, and they literally fell out of his head at an alarming rate, followed closely by the permanent replacement. My daughter, on the other hand, has been holding onto those babies for dear life. I've been watching, nervously, as they get smaller and smaller and worrying about whether there was going to be enough tooth to grab onto when the time was right to pull it.

It finally happened about a month ago. She was scared of pulling it -- first timer, not a big fan of pain, doesn't much like change. I finally convinced her and then realized that, as it turns out, she was more afraid of the tooth fairy than pulling the tooth.

Huh??

Who's afraid of the tooth fairy?? THAT'S the best part! Golly, I'm wishing I had some teeth to pull of my own right now -- I've been dying for some Frye Campus Boots. Remarkably, she fell asleep, soothed at the prospect of not having to actually see the tooth fairy. Lots of questions, like "how does she get in my room? how long will she stay? what does she look like? does she have long hair? what color is her house? i don't want her to touch my things and tell her she can't go in my closet" (???). We finally convinced her and she was surprised and delighted to wake up and find $5 under her pillow.

"See, I told you that she's nothing to be afraid of, sweetie!"

"It's not a she. It's a he."

My son, in his honorable efforts to comfort her, told her the tooth fairy was a man. And, surprisingly, she was just fine with this.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed another tooth that looked wonky. Sure enough, it was wiggly, but she didn't wiggle it, didn't jiggle it, didn't even touch it...it was like it didn't even exist for her. She ignored her brothers' daily chorus of "pull it, pull it!" and my pleadings to let me pull it before it fell out of her head during the night and she aspirated it.

Last week, Mother Nature took pity on the poor thing (I mean the tooth) and it fell out of her head, just like I knew it would. Thank goodness she was not asleep. But then panic struck.

Um, yeah.

To offset her panic, I offered to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining that she/he/it could find the tooth under Mommy's pillow. And that's where she found the dollar bill he/she/it left her the next morning. I taped the note to her door that night. She made me shut the door, so that the fairy would not accidentally enter, and lock all the windows in case the tooth fairy should enter by window instead of the front door. The closet door was closed, toys were all inspected for placement and prayers were said that the tooth fairy would find the note. AND NOT HAVE TO COME IN HER ROOM.

She got a dollar. And she lost the dollar. Which was just another reminder that, no matter how big they are on the outside, sometimes they're still little on the inside. It's also a gentle reminder that, no matter how much I think I have that child figured out, she's always going to prove me wrong.

She's been doing it for 6 and a half years.

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