Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

A Tale of the Tooth

Bonding over mutually missing teeth! (Property of M. McCottrell)

I noticed about a week ago that the princess’ teeth had been doing something strange. The spacing had begun to widen at the bottom, and the first teeth to burst through her gums were now starting to wiggle, signaling that my baby is really turning into a fortified “big girl.” Of course, I consulted the best dentistry advice the web had to offer (other moms on blogs and WebMD) and realized that although she is a bit young, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. It’s normal.

Last night, when we got home from a marathon church session, the girls asked for some candy. They had done really well with their behavior, so I decided that some Sixlets wouldn’t hurt. Plus, I had already eaten some myself on the car ride home and would feel like a total hypocrite if I denied them a small sweet snack. After eating her portion, M. said, “Look, Mommy,” pointing at one of her lower front teeth (I could take the time to figure out the proper terminology, but I won’t because you know which ones I’m talking about). The one on the left side of her mouth was lying nearly horizontal, itching to be pulled out. When she winced a bit as I wiggled it, I decided to allow it to fall out on its own or let M. wiggle it out herself. A few moments later, she was placing her first baby tooth in my hand.

I could lie and say that this moment meant absolutely nothing to me, but I won’t because I’m sure I’m not the first mother to tear up at the sight of her oldest child’s first tooth sitting innocently in her hand. And while the pirate lost a tooth herself last year, the fact that she did it riding a bike down my brother-in-love’s steps, resulting in blood all over her mouth, the steps, and subsequently, my husband’s t-shirt, left little room for sentimental feelings (unless you consider outright fear sentimental).

So there I was, sitting on the pirate’s bed with both girls looking down at my hand with a tiny white tooth squarely in my palm.

“What are you going to do with my tooth, Mommy?” M. asked.

“I have to call the Tooth Fairy to let her know that I have it. She’s supposed to bring you a little gift and place it under your pillow.” Okay, in all fairness, I wasn’t exactly prepared for this. I thought I had a little while longer to plan for my Tooth Fairy story, and because I actually want to keep her teeth (is that as weird as my husband thinks it is?), I didn’t want to run the chance of her losing the tooth by playing with it before she fell asleep.

“What’s she going to bring me?” Money, was my first thought, but we just put the last two dollars we had in the offering plate during the afternoon service, and I didn’t think a check would be as meaningful to her.

“What would you like her to bring you?” I countered, hoping that what she wanted was in abundance in the house.

“Teeth. I need some more now, right?”

Yes, you do. But where in the heck am I going to find those by tomorrow? Maybe there’s a coin or two stuck in my purse somewhere.

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4 thoughts on “A Tale of the Tooth


  2. I keep my kids teeth too 🙂

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