Several weeks ago my oldest child (nearly 5 1/2) came to me claiming she had a loose tooth! “Oh Geez,” I said. “Don’t touch it! You’re too young for that, something’s wrong.” Well, I didn’t say it like that, but that’s what I was thinking. So I ran to my Emergency Information Station (the internet) and looked it up, and wouldn’t you know? She IS old enough to lose teeth! I can’t believe it’s possible.

Anyway, a little background. When I was of teeth-losing-age, my mother was… bothered… by loose teeth (or dealing with them) and always admonished that I go show Grandma. Grandma is a whole series of blog posts, but suffice it to say that she was a No-Nonsense School Nurse. Invariably she would soothingly say, “Let me just take a look… I promise I won’t even touch it.” One second later she was proudly holding the wobbler in her fingers and I was bleeding at the mouth and hurting at my young trust being so unabashedly abused. The really odd thing is how long it took me to “learn my lesson.” Now, by those PhD types who do such things, I was considered very, very intelligent. However, I believe there must be different categories of intelligence, because that supposed intelligence was absent regarding my teeth, because there were at least a few more rounds of the above interchange before it dawned on me that if I wanted control over this issue, to keep my mouth shut (firmly) if my pearly-whites were migrating.

A while after my daughter showed me her tooth, Infamous Grandma was coming for a visit. She suffers from macular degeneration, but in all ways is still as feisty as she was a generation ago. I told my daughter, “Gi-gi (great-grandma) is coming tomorrow, and you may show her your loose tooth, but don’t let her touch it unless you want her to pull it out. She might say it will be ok, but if you want it to stay there longer, DO NOT let her touch it.” She heeded my advice and the tooth survived that weekend. However, Gi-gi came for another visit and I had flashbacks when, while I was distracted on the phone, I looked over to find her cradling my daughter on her lap, white dishtowel in hand, crooning in that same sweet, hypnotic tone. Without looking too entirely distressed, I halted my phone conversation and said, “Don’t! Don’t.. don’t.. don’t do that, Gram.” My daughter snapped out of her trance and decidedly removed herself from Gi-gi’s lap. Gi-gi warned me, however, that if I didn’t get that tooth out, she’d swallow it in her sleep one of these days.

I am happy to report that that did NOT happen!

The tooth was VERY loose on Monday the 26th. So loose I was sure I could nudge it out without hurting my daughter’s gums or psyche. I told her to go look at it in the mirror upstairs, and while she did that I got a white dishtowel damp and a fruity snack for my 2 year old. Kinda like a gooey, linear, organic fruit roll-up. Of course I portioned some out for my daughter. She got to the table before I could tell her what we were going to do, and ate a bite of the fruit stuff. I brought the towel over, and said, “I think we can get that tooth out really easily, open your mouth.” She hurriedly popped the last bit in her mouth, chewed quickly and swallowed. Then she opened her mouth…. “It’s gone!” I yelled. “Where is your tooth?!?” She felt the gap with her tongue and said, “maybe it’s upstairs?” Of course it was not upstairs, but in her belly. I offered puking as a way to retrieve the special tooth and she declined. She cried in disappointment, that she would have to wait for the next loosening tooth to figure out the whole tooth-in-water-equals-coins thing (haven’t used the ‘tooth-fairy’ phrase), and my Mama’s heart cried for my first child’s first lost tooth being eternally lost (I’m not willing to seek it out IF it could survive her digestive tract).

So we will be patient for this next tooth, though maybe a little less patient than I was with this one…