Friday, August 1, 2008

Tooth or Consequences

Zak lost his eighth tooth yesterday. And I mean "lost" literally. Fortunately we eventually found it on the stairs -- it had apparently fallen out of a tiny hole in the plastic bag we had put it in as he was carrying it upstairs to put it under his pillow. But of the eight of his baby teeth that have come out so far, three unfortunately DID disappear before the Tooth Fairy was able to redeem them.

He was delighted the first time one of his teeth started to wiggle. He constantly pushed it around with his finger or tongue, just fascinated. We kept telling him to be sure to hold on to it when it eventually came out so he could put it under his pillow.

Then one night when we were having dinner at Nana's house he froze mid-chew. His eyes got wide as saucers and I asked him if anything was wrong. He silently nodded. I asked him if it was his tooth, and he nodded again. So I asked him where his tooth was, and he slowly pointed to his stomach.

He looked like he was going to burst into tears at any second, and it was all I could do not to burst out laughing. We assured him that everything was all right and that we could just leave the Tooth Fairy a note to explain what happened. So when we got home he drew a fantastic picture of a mouthful of jagged teeth with one hole, a big circle below them representing his stomach, a little gray rectangle inside the circle and a red line from his mouth to the rectangle signifying the tooth's tragic path.

The Tooth Fairy accepted the proxy, and we stashed the picture away in a memory box. But he wasn't done making his baby teeth's exodus memorable.

Two of them I've pulled out at his request, going with the twist-and-pull technique each time and unfortunately also failing on my first attempt each time. But he just stood there stoically, mouth agape, and insisted I try again. He obviously inherited Danelle's tolerance for pain.

He was holding onto one in the car on the way home from soccer practice and dropped it. We sifted through the pieces of popcorn, Goldfish cracker crumbs and myriad other things that look an awful lot like teeth on the floor of my car for quite a while before eventually giving up. Another tooth lost.

We had another in a Ziploc bag on our kitchen counter that just vanished. Danelle insists I threw it away in a cleaning frenzy; I blame our cleaning ladies. Regardless, if we hadn't found last night's that would have been exactly half of his teeth so far that never made it under his pillow.

Thankfully we did, and his plastic bag had two dollars in it this morning. The Tooth Fairy apparently doesn't do silver any more; Zak even commented that a friend of his named Ben gets five dollars for each of his teeth.

A Tooth Fairy that forks over that kind of cash sounds not too bright. I wonder how much we could get for some of those pieces of popcorn...

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