Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Once upon a time there was a little boy who, at 6 years old was ready for the rite of passage all children look forward to. He was anxious for a visit from that enigmatic character he had heard all his snaggle toothed little friends talk about. He was ready to see the tooth fairy. Well, maybe not ready to see her, but definitely ready to see what prize she’d be leaving behind. So begins his quest to loosen a tooth.

At least once a week since Christmas, he will run to me and say, “I think my toof is loose. Help me pull it. Ohhh, I can’t wait to get this toof out. It really is ready.” I always oblige and check this alleged loose tooth. And I always find a tooth that is no closer to falling out than a monkey out of a banana tree. Regardless, I always look at him with excitement and say, “It’s very close. Just keep working on it.” He then runs off in a flurry of excitement. Usually off to tell his big brother about all the loot the tooth fairy will be bringing in exchange for this elusive tooth.

Each day I pick him up from school I can always tell when someone in his little circle has lost a tooth. He enters the car head down as he climbs into his seat never lifting his gaze off the ground. When asked how his day was he moves his gaze to the window and says, “Someone lost another toof. I’m gonna have these little teef forever!” He pays no attention to my speech about how all things happen in due time and we must not rush growing up and the tooth fairy is probably going to bring him the best surprise because he’s been so patient.  When I mention the tooth fairy, he immediately looks up at me and says, “I hate the toof fairy!” Then continues to ignore everything I say after that.

One afternoon as everyone finished homework I could hear my oldest talking to his little brother trying to offer encouragement. I heard something about tying a string and slamming a door before a pot on the stove began to boil over and my attention was directed elsewhere. I was knee deep in cooking before I noticed the boys had made their way upstairs and everything was quiet.

Now if you have children, especially boys, you know that anytime they are quiet it can mean one of two things. Either they are sleeping (at 4 o’clock in the afternoon I knew that wasn’t a possibility) or they are doing something they shouldn’t be. Honestly, part of me just didn’t want to know.  It has been a fairly uneventful day and I was in no mood to shake things up by seeing what new and exciting insect or reptile they had brought into the house.

Against my better judgment, I decided to check on my little miscreants. When I rounded the corner to my oldest son’s bedroom I heard him whisper to his little brother, “Now when you count to three, I’ll slam the door and that tooth will probably fall out. “ I of course stopped this. Apparently the only string they could find was dental floss and it was tied around his tightly implanted tooth. Having dental floss tied around his tooth apparently left an impression on my youngest. Now when I talk about a visit from the tooth fairy he says, “She’s gonna have to come in my sleep and yank it out herself because I’m not touching that toof. That string hurt!  And she better bring me a lot of cash!” I guess when it comes to teeth and global warming sometimes the truth is simply inconvenient.

You can reach Becky Andrews at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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