The Lost Lost Tooth
Maren lost her first tooth last week. Then, she lost her first tooth. Let me explain.
Maren has had a wobbly bottom tooth for several weeks; we predicted it would be out before the end of school. Last week, as she came in to say goodnight to me, I said, “Maren! When did you lose your tooth?”
In perfect teenager-speak, she said, “Mom, I didn’t lose it, it’s right here.” She’s pointing at the hole in her mouth where the tooth used to be.
“Um, Maren, your tooth is not there. You lost it. Where do you think it might be?”
She runs over to the mirror and sees for herself that she is, in fact, toothless. She immediately starts looking at the floor around her feet. She drops to her hands and knees and begins crawling back down the hallway.
“Hey, Maren… didn’t you just brush your teeth?”
“Yes,” she says, still crawling on the floor.
“Do you think maybe it fell out while you were brushing?”
She stands up and looks at me and says, “Well, there was actually something hard in my mouth that I spit out because I didn’t know what it was.”
It’s all I can do to not burst out laughing at this point. The kid feels something hard in her mouth, spits it out, and doesn’t even investigate what it might be?
We go together to the bathroom and look at the sink. “Well, Maren, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that I think your tooth went down the drain. The good news is that I know just what to do. Did you know that the Tooth Fairy accepts notes of explanation?”
When I was a little lass, I lost a tooth. I put the tooth into my tooth pillow underneath my big pillow and went to sleep. In the morning, I excitedly checked my tooth pillow and found… my tooth. The Tooth Fairy must have had a busy night, or so said my mom. The next night, we repeated the same thing, and the next morning… still the tooth. My mom said the Tooth Fairy must be really extra super busy, and perhaps we should write her a note reminding her to come pick up my tooth. So we wrote a note for the Tooth Fairy, which said something along the lines of “Dear Tooth Fairy, PLEASE STOP HERE. I HAVE A SHINY TOOTH FOR YOU. Love, Jennifer.” We then taped the note to the window (facing out, obviously, so she can see it when she flies by), and I was finally rewarded with an extra quarter the next morning.
I told Maren this story, and we sat down at the kitchen table and wrote our note to the Tooth Fairy, explaining the whole tooth-in-the-sink debacle. We taped it to the window, and voila! The Tooth Fairy delivered.
How is it that my little girl is my big girl who is losing teeth? Her smile is different now; it’s older. It still comes easily; I can draw her out without too much effort. She still loves to snuggle me, and she still wants me to carry her. Last night we couldn’t find her beloved blankie, so she asked for my dark pink fleece-y sweatshirt to snuggle instead. I’m soaking in all these mama moments with deep gratitude for this lovely life of mine.