When I was about six years old, I got my first loose tooth.
This was obviously the work of the devil.
TEETH WERE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH! Like a nightmare, I was LOOSING my teeth. So, I would wiggle it with my tongue. I would push on it until it hurt. I would watch it move around in my mouth. And, on several occasions, I would accidentally bite down on it and experience the unexplainable feeling that comes along with such an act.
But – let’s be clear – I was definitely not going to pull that tooth out of my mouth. Not in a million years. Over my DEAD, COLD BODY!
Eventually, something happened and it fell out. Once I noticed, I spent a day crying and mourning the loss. Performed a funeral. Wrote a biography.
Then I got another loose tooth. And I was just as horrified.
With each loose tooth I got, I was no less appalled. I dreaded the pulling of the tooth, the begging from my mother to let her try, the taste of wet toilet paper as I tried to get a grip of my tiny tooth only to chicken out…it was all terrible.
So, about two years ago when my then five-year-old son got his first tooth, I was ready to bunker down. He was going to be afraid of the pain. He wasn’t going to want to pull it. He wasn’t going to let me try.
So, when he very nonchalantly said ‘Hey, I pulled my tooth out’ from the backseat as we were driving to the store, I was dumbfounded.
How is it possible that he inherited my innate ability to tell bad jokes, but he wasn’t afraid to pull his tooth out of HIS FACE?!?!
But the worst was still ahead.
That night, Tucker sweetly tucked his tooth under his pillow in a little box I gave him ‘so tooth fairy wouldn’t have trouble finding it’. He went to bed happily awaiting the magical money to appear.
I waited. I wanted him to be asleep.
So after successfully managing to forget completely and getting in my own bed, I remembered my maternal duty to trade money in for disgusting teeth.
I crept down the hall to his bedroom and opened the door. He had been asleep for a few hours and has been known to sleep through pretty much anything so I was in the clear. I stuck my hand under his pillow.
Where the frick was his tooth? I thought it was in a box!
I look under the bed. Nothing.
I dig again under his pillow. Nothing.
And then, with my entire arm still under his pillow…
He see’s me.
‘Mom? What are you doing’?
I say nothing.
My WHOLE ARM IS UNDER HIS PILLOW! I’VE BEEN CAUGHT!
I still say nothing. This is ridiculous.
So I open my mouth and all I can muster is… ‘No’.
No????? Did I just tell my half asleep son that I’m not his mother? Great, now he is going to be terrified. There’s a stranger in his room in the middle of the night.
Perfect. I’m the boogie man.
So, because I’m clever and a quick thinker, I add – ‘I think – umm – maybe, you’re dreaming’.
I think you’re DREAMING?! Come on, Hannah. What was that?!
I slid my arm out from under his pillow and backed slowly out of his room while his eyes followed me.
I closed his bedroom door and walked back to my bedroom. My husband, apparently not thinking I could screw up something so simple, inquired as to the whereabouts of the tooth…
‘I don’t have it’ I said.
‘You don’t have it?
‘I don’t have it. I couldn’t find it. He woke up, I told him I wasn’t his mom…I don’t know…it got weird’.
So Clint walked down the hall to have a go.
A few minutes later, he walked back in…no tooth in his hand.
The next morning, we awoke to Tucker crying in his room because the tooth fairy hadn’t left him money…
Clint, dollar bill in hand, stuck his hand under Tuckers pillow and made the switch then convinced Tucker he had just missed it.
So, here’s a recap:
Tucker looses a tooth.
I tell him I’m not his mother.
I try to convince him he’s dreaming.
Clint is unsuccessful.
Tucker cries because the tooth fairy hates him.
We convince him that HE IS THE CRAZY ONE.
If ever you were worried that you weren’t a great parent, let me assure you, the bar is pretty low.