08 October 2010

Pulling Teeth

The kid had another loose tooth. Every time one gets that way, we joke should we tie it to a string and a doorknob and just pull it out?

Well, I went in to brush my teeth the other night, and discovered a length of dental floss on the sink. The small person doesn’t floss, yet, though sometimes she uses one of those pre-strung plastic gizmos thanks to the dentist who gave her a dragon shaped one. And my tidy husband knows to discard the floss in the trash.

Upon questioning the next morning, it turned out that, yes, she tried to pull her own tooth out. It didn’t work. Did it hurt? I asked. She nodded sheepishly.

Clearly she’ll be taking out her own appendix in the arctic one day.

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Yesterday afternoon, the tooth was out and she was more snaggle-pussed than before. At bedtime, we read some of Ivy and Bean, and she settled down to sleep in my bed, the tooth still on my bedside table.

At about 10, I headed upstairs and found her asleep in her own bed, the doorway curtains drawn and tied, the nightlight lit, the tooth under her pillow. I smiled to myself and went back down for a report to her father, and to retrieve a dollar. I slipped the dollar under the pillow, extracted the tooth, hid it in the archival jar of all baby teeth, and went to brush my own teeth.

When I was done, I was horrified to find her back in my bed sobbing where's my tooth? She hadn't been asleep at all, just faking it exquisitely.

I am a heel and the tooth fairy does not exist. Santa Claus is still sacrosanct though. He's not a fairy. The Easter Bunny was not discussed. Is the Easter Bunny a fairy?

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As of this morning, she still loves me, and informed me that if I go to Target and buy fairy wings and a fairy dress, for me that is, I am still allowed to be the tooth fairy.


kathy a. said...

my kids always first heard about parents playing the role of the various icons of nighttime generosity from their friends.

i never confirmed nor denied, but suggested they wait to see what happened.* and they never pressed too hard, even years after i knew they knew, because they loved the presents.

we always stashed the tooth in a baggie, so it wouldn't get lost; the tooth fairy always stashed her coins in a baggie, too.

* as to santa, the most important of the crew of gift-givers, there were oblique discussions of how we can all give to others. and we always did -- gifts to the toy drive, dollars and change to every salvation army pot, etc.

Julia said...

Oh, sadness!

What color wings are you getting?

Anonymous said...


I know a lot if us question how to approach these fantasy figures when we have kids. I loved magical ideas and fantasy so much as a kid, it really threw me off when my first born was so skeptical. Perhaps when she found out that the tooth fairy is as much of a cheapskate as dear ole mom, it all added up. Though it still didn't deter her from some persistent wiggling and premature removal of two teeth this summer.

FreshHell said...

Much, much sadness. We haven't faced this yet but Dusty (at almost 10) is pretty sure Santa's just parents but she's not willing to give up the ruse yet, esp since she's got a younger sister who still believes. Whether or not she thinks I'm the tooth fairy (and she did once comment on the fact that the TF's handwriting is very similar to my own) she hasn't said. I think they like keeping as much magic as they can for as long as possible.

PS - Love the Ivy and Bean books.

kathy a. said...

is she really going to expect wings?

on the totally different subject of the easter bunny, i ran a dorm once, and someone left candy around on easter weekend, in the night, and a completely untrue rumor started that i hopped and wore a bunny suit.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That's a sad day--in our house, for all but the littlest one though, it was a signal that they now got to be the Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny.

The littlest, like your daughter, just had to deal.

painted maypole said...

And that would be why we have always been straight with The May Queen that the tooth fairy and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are all fiction.

The Library Lady said...

Right now JR is in the process of losing her 12 year molars and several times has yanked the loose tooth on her own. Bleh.

She now knows there is no tooth fairy aside from me. But the running joke is that the tooth fairy is going to do her "interpretive dance" when she takes the tooth, so she'd better go to sleep so she doesn't have to see me do it!

Hey,we probably still have a pair of fairy wings around here somewhere. Perhaps I should wear them for the dance...

Kyla said...

Awww, that is sad. I'd be sad for ME if I got caught. I love these magic part of childhood.

My little 9 year old SIL tried to tell my kids the TF isn't real, but my kids weren't buying it.

Jody said...

Awk! But I'm charmed by the wings.

mayberry said...

We are still livin' the lie over here, even though the last time, the girl said the next a.m. "I might have been dreaming, but I thought Daddy came into my room last night."

Lady M said...


My sister and I still technically believe in Santa Clause, because if you don't believe, you don't get gifts from Santa. And that's what I'll tell my older son when he figures it out, so that he'll have fun playing along too.

Hey, my word verification is "sants me" - ha!

leanne said...

Oh, no. It had to happen at some point, I guess. Though I still don't look forward to the day when my son doesn't believe.

Though I have to say our Tooth Fairy is a little lazy. She doesn't have to actually go IN to the child's room. I decorated a basket just for the Tooth Fairy that sits on the kitchen table when needed. Tooth goes in, Tooth Fairy visits to remove the tooth and deposit the money during the night, and so far no one is the wiser.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Awwww. I am so glad that a would-be childhood trauma was diverted and that she is so sweet to her mama and wants her to be the tooth fairy herself. :-)