She’s going to give the tooth fairy a hernia

At Helena’s last dental appointment, her dentist observed that as Helena was almost ten years old, she would soon begin losing another round of baby teeth in the coming months, specifically those baby teeth located immediately next to her barely used adult teeth. After a minute during which my skin crawled up one side of me and down the other, I nodded silently and mentally prepared myself for the waves of horror, gagging, hysterical sobbing, emotional turmoil and all around psychological trauma that usually accompanies the shedding of deciduous teeth in our house. Then there was Helena’s reaction to think about as well.

Turns out, my kids are totally OK with having body parts fall out of their orifices and pretty much rank the whole process of losing baby teeth right up there with Christmas and snow days. In fact, they’re not above buying Chiclets and hot gluing them onto their gums in order to prolong the entire disgusting cycle.

I don’t do teeth. I mean, I don’t mind my own and I don’t mind looking at other people’s teeth if they’re shiny and white and permanently affixed in a smile that is at least two feet outside of my personal space but loose teeth? Or teeth that are wobbly? Imminently rootless? Have we met? I don’t feel an affinity for anything that falls out or is yanked out or is spewed out of my kids’ mouths unless it sounds like I love you or YAY! It’s my turn to do the laundry! But stuff like spit, vomit, excuses, teeth, and the words “boogar,” “fart” and “Oh yeah! I forgot! I need to make a pioneer costume and bring in 12 pounds of churned butter by tomorrow morning for school,” are enough to make me gnash my own teeth right down into my liver.

By the way … did you know that puppies lose their teeth? Why did no one tell me this before we brought Oliver home? THIS IS WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHO YOUR TRUE FRIENDS ARE.

I couldn’t remember the details of this second phase of baby teeth shedding from my eldest daughter Zoe, having successfully blocked out the entire episode with loads of therapy and Xanax so with Helena, I had no choice but to assume her second set of deciduous teeth would be much like her first. I mean, we all know the drill, right? First comes an excited hollering of MY TOOTH IS LOOSE, MOMMY! LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT accompanied by a tiny little movement barely noticeable to the naked eye. Then comes a slightly bigger movement that could actually constitute the beginnings of a wiggle. Then comes a full fledged wiggle, followed by a bigger one and then an even bigger one until one day, the tooth is suspended outside the child’s mouth by a thin, bloody, sinewy, stubborn membrane which is then poked and prodded 24/7 by an overeager tongue attached to a six year old who has already spent the tooth fairy money six ways to Sunday in her head.

The entire process takes about three to four weeks until one day the six year old comes running off the bus yelling I LOST MY TOOTH, MOMMY! LOOKIT, LOOKIT, LOOKIT and flinging her backpack onto the kitchen table whereupon she proceeds to yank everything out of it, including a cheese stick from three weeks ago. She continues to desperately search for the tooth which, as best you can understand from the hysterically happy shrieks now bouncing off the ceiling, is secured inside a bright yellow, plastic, mini treasure chest, courtesy of the school nurse. And no sooner do you get this piece of information when you see a flash of bright yellow whiz past your face as the mini plastic treasure chest flies through the air, plummets to the ground and breaks open at which point, you can do nothing more than stand there in frozen horror as the tooth in question rolls out, grows fangs, cackles and then scampers across the floor to plant a big, wet, juicy, french kiss on your big, bare toe.

I’m a little fuzzy on what happens next but I’m pretty sure it consists of lots of yelling and screaming and crying and scrubbing of feet with bleach before you eventually pass out from the grossness of it all and ultimately winds up with your six year old standing over you with concern written all over her face, over which she has scribbled MOM! ARE YOU FINISHED? I’M NOT ALLOWED TO GET COOKIES ALL BY MYSELF, YOU KNOW.

But I’m here to tell you that the second phase of deciduous teeth is nothing like the first phase so be forewarned. First of all, that adorable six year old who labored for an hour over a colored picture to hang in her bedroom window to help the tooth fairy find her bedroom in the dark of night? She has turned into a 9¾ year old who uses the tooth fairy’s OCD tendencies to her advantage when negotiating the fair market value of her tooth, based on three sound principles: (1) time is money; (2) every minute the tooth fairy does not have to spend in a hazmat suit while using salad tongs to retrieve a tiny piece of dead enamel from under a pillow increases the value of that dead enamel exponentially; and (3)  a tooth that can be thrown down the garbage disposal before witnesses is worth far more money than one that simply vanishes into thin air one day, only to magically reappear one week later in the most unlikely of places like, say, atop the tooth fairy’s cream cheese bagel, coincidentally on the same day that the 9¾ year old was grounded earlier for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was practicing psychological warfare without a license.

Second of all … the teeth themselves are a whole different animal. These teeth can do in thirty seconds what it takes the first set of baby teeth three weeks to accomplish. Like this past weekend when Helena walked by me and said in passing Hey mom, I think I have a loose tooth and I managed to keep my skin from crawling out the door while responding Are you sure? Which one? and she stopped dead in her tracks, slapped her hand to her mouth, turned to me with blood gushing down her chin and replied DA ON AT JUS  ‘ELL OUT O’ NY NOUTH and sure enough, there in her hand lay the bloody remains of a tooth that had indeed bit the dust at warp speed.

And then there was last night when Helena sat down next to me with 23 teeth in her mouth, got up to get ice cream and sat back down with 22 teeth and a gaping bloody crater in her mouth.

I’m not sure what’s going on but we’ve got cream carpets here so I re-purposed Helena’s Easter basket by making her walk around with it hanging from her nose at optimal level, just in case.

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24 thoughts on “She’s going to give the tooth fairy a hernia”

  1. We’re still in phase one of the shedding of deciduous teeth at my house, and as my 6 and 3/4 year old is trying to save up money to buy the Littlest Pet Shop set of her dreams (which costs FIFTY FREAKING DOLLARS which is precisely why I’m not forking over the cash for it, cheese on toast!!), she’s desperately trying to convince herself, her mouth, her father, me and the world at large that she has loose teeth which are going to fall out and be cashed in by the Tooth Fairy any second now but there is nary a hint of a smidgen of a wiggle.

    I suppose if I tell her that by the time she’s nine and three quarters, the teeth will just come flying out, that wouldn’t be much comfort to her, would it? It *would* be revenge for all the hours of my recent life in which I’ve been subjected to hearing Who Let The Dogs Out on endless repeat, though………..

    Oh, and btw? I *know* I told you that puppies teethe. I seem to recall telling you how my mom’s poodle puppies, all teething en masse, would swarm anyone who walked through their area and chomp on stuff, including my then brand-new Air Nike sneakers, giving me squeaky sneaks that I hated wearing even though they were otherwise totally fine. Didn’t I?

    But in any event, don’t worry – there is no canine Tooth Fairy. 😉
    .-= Heather @ nobody-but-yourself’s last blog post is here ..How to April Fools’ prank a six year old =-.

  2. I expected to have more tooth loss at this point, with a 6 & 7 year old. But combined they have only managed to lose 4 teeth, 2 of which I pulled out because I got sick of the tooth wiggling.
    .-= stacey@Havoc&Mayhem’s last blog post is here ..Spring Break =-.

  3. Sooooooooo glad we don’t “do” tooth fairies. And our puppy is double-toothed–he looks like a dang shark!

    Thanks for the advance warning on the 10-yr old teeth. Allen’s are still taking several months to get off their tushes and take a flying leap…
    .-= Heather T.’s last blog post is here ..Easter Hopping! =-.

  4. OMG…you have me laughing so hard my co-workers are beginning to wonder about my sanity level!! Gosh…something to look forward to with my 2 little boys. Can’t wait!

    Can’t Nate just handle all the icky tooth stuff so you don’t have to take out a second mortgage just to buy enough bleach, Xanax and therapy to cover your various ‘eeewwwww” issues? LOL Good luck with it all…just remember, after Oliver and Helena are done with their tooth (teeth) loss, you won’t have to worry about it ever again…(until grandchildren come along! Now, doesn’t THAT make you feel better??!!)

  5. Thank you for this one, because Michael has been losing teeth like there is no tomorrow and it’s the same thing – Katy has one loose for a month, Michael’s becomes loose after Katy’s and falls out way before hers does. He literally lost 4 teeth in about 2.5 weeks last month! The Tooth Fairy was getting ready to take out a 2nd mortgage just to have the funds to pay for all those teeth, but thankfully it seems to have stopped. For now.
    .-= Mary Ann’s last blog post is here ..Angi’s Perfect Photo Search =-.

  6. I am SO not looking forward to tooth fairy time. Mainly because I had such a hard problem with losing teeth myself. I got so grossed out by it.

    And by the time my daughter who is 18 mos old is old enough to lose teeth the going rate will be more than my cell phone bill.
    .-= Katie’s last blog post is here ..Parent’s Choice $avings Calculator =-.

  7. My 2 daughters are at phase 2 and of course my 5 yo just can’t wait – he asked the other day if he could eat lots of sweets and not brush his teeth so they would rot and fall out…..I informed him the tooth fairy here does not pay as much for yucky teeth, much preferring perfect pearly white offerings!

    Which reminds me I have had an order for janmary designs for a black/cream necklace for a wedding. She specifically requested no round pearls but how about some “mother of pearl” chunks/nuggets. I duly ordered some and when they arrived the looked just like the tooth fairy’s hoard! They looked so creepy I could not use them. So how much will you pay me NOT to create a customised tooth fairy trophy necklace?!!!

    Just had a thought – I could send them to your daughter who could pop one in/out of her mouth at frequent intervals and make a fortune!

    Ps now back ‘up north’ so will you be my BFF again?!! Photos of the Dublin trip now on my blog so you may wish to avert your eyes!
    .-= Janmary, N Ireland’s last blog post is here ..Home Exchange trip to Dublin =-.

  8. Just wanted to mention that one of my kid’s classmates came up to me at school yesterday and proudly showed off the double hole in the front of her smile where until the day prior, a tooth had happily resided. I admired as expected by first graders of grown-ups, ooohing and aaaahing over the gaping space in her upper row of teeth. I then asked her what the Tooth Fairy had brought her.

    “A five dollar bill and a toy.” was the response.

    Once I’d climbed back up off the floor and into my chair (which, thankfully, wasn’t too far off the ground as we were in a first grade classroom and those chairs? Itty-bitty!) I asked her if that was for something, you know, special and her response was no, that was the usual TF reward for teeth.

    And these people have FOUR children. FOUR. All under the age of 10 at this point.

    Apparently they value the TF over such mundane things as mortgage payments and grocery shopping…
    .-= Heather @ nobody-but-yourself’s last blog post is here ..Wordless Wednesday: It’s tough being a cat… =-.

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