Danny lost a tooth today. He’s been losing it for the past week and by Sunday it was sticking straight out from the bottom of his jaw. He still wouldn’t let me near it. I’m sure for some parents the whole tooth loss event is emotionally significant. Since this is about my 65th little boy tooth, I must admit I’m getting a bit tired of coaxing the kids to let me get those little wobblers out. I know, bad mommy. This morning when the boy couldn’t close his mouth anymore, I put my foot down.
“Danny-get over here,” I bellowed. “We’re going to get that tooth out.”
“Ba I don wan ew Mommy, e will hur”. Danny replied, not able to pronounce his t’s since he couldn’t close his lips.
“Not as much as you spearing someone in school with that thing Dan.” I fussed.
Of course at that point all the boys have to chime in how we can get the tooth out.
“Tie it to the dog mom.” one suggested
“Get a string for the door.” said the other.
Surprisingly, none of these suggestions quelled Danny’s fear. After much cajoling I was allowed to reach in and get the tooth out.
“Let me have it Mom. I want to take it to school with me.” Dan pleaded.
In a flash my mind went back to the last time we lost a tooth in the house. Benjamin was carrying his tooth around all morning and then came to me and said:
“Mommy, I almost, accidentally got my tooth stuck up my nose.”
Like you, I paused at those words. Why don’t we look at that statement for a second.
“Almost”, meaning he was able to retrieve said tooth from his nose before it got too far up there to capture.
“Accidentally”, as a “safe word” so when I yelled at the top of my lungs
“WHY DID YOU PUT YOUR TOOTH UP YOUR NOSE”? Benjamin could say:
“It was an accident.”
And of course the culminating statement gives me the visual of this child putting a tooth he’s just lost up his nose and then having to insert half his hand up there to get it out. Now my boys are a proboscis endowed bunch thanks to their daddy’s handsome genes. They don’t need to expand any aspect of their breathing apparatus.
Why would a kid do that? I’m convinced it has to do with the mystery that is their noses. If there’s nothing up there to pick they’ll put something up there just for fun. I came out of a movie one time horrified to see Danny’s nose “bleeding”. I had his brother rush him to the bathroom to wash off the “blood”. When they came back, Danny was doing the “walk of shame” and Sammy was looking at him with that faux daddy disappointed look.
“Tell her Danny.” Sam demanded.
“Tell me what” I asked, “are you okay Danny?”
“Yes mommy, I put my Skittles up my nose before I ate them.” came Danny’s reply.
“YOU WHAT?” I said incredulous at the idea of the boy sticking candy up his nose.
“It tasted terrible” he added.
I guess I should just chalk it up to a child’s curiosity. But where does it stop?
“Danny, where’s your fish”.
You see where I’m heading with this don’t you?
So I told Danny that no, mom would be holding on to his tooth. Then tonight we can tuck the tooth under his bed pillow and for the 65th time the “tooth fairy” will wake up at some point in the middle of the night (cause God knows the Sandman won’t wake up), and sneak in to exchange the lost piece of childhood for a dollar bill. What happens to the tooth? Well the boys have another 15 that will come out at some point over the next 5 years. Invariably one will get lost before it makes it to the pillow stage, so mommy has started saving one or two so we can magically “find” the “missing” tooth before bed.
Not the most nostalgic approach; but necessity has become the fairy god mother of invention.
Parenting Tip of the Day: When babies are cutting teeth, they will often develop ear infections. My mom used to blow cigarette smoke in my ear to relieve the pain of an ear infection. Of course that is passé, but my friend Mary has devised a good alternative. She pours warm water on paper towels in a cup and then she drains the excess water. Parents can then hold the cup to the child’s ear and they will receive the benefit of the warm, moist air which reduces the swelling and the pain. Of course an antibiotic will be the ultimate answer but this may help you get through the night.