Tuesday, December 8
When I went to pick up WPD from school today, he was different. This is how growing up goes. One minute they look a certain way, the next they look older. Bigger. Forever changed.
As usual, he was in the playroom playing Legos with friends. When he saw me, he ran to me and I sat on a tiny chair so that I could hug and kiss him. We stayed like that for a little bit. A friend came over to talk to us, Aiden. And we talked about Christmas and songs we know, the usual.
Then WPD turned at looked at me at eye level and smiled.
And there was a huge gap where a tooth used to be! WUT.
I said, “HEY, YOUR TOOTH!?!?” And he looked like he’d forgotten about it but promptly stuck his finger in the hole and said, “Oh yeah, my toof fall out.” Yes, son, I see that. What the ever lovin’ heck! “Did you fall down or something today, and it got knocked out?!?” “Yes, I fehw down on it, and it broke and it hurt!”
Inspection revealed that this could not have been the case. If you fall on your face hard enough to knock a tooth out, you will have some other evidence of the fall. Scraped up chin, swollen lip, blood on your shirt. None of the above.
I then called out to the teacher in the room and said, “Excuse me, do you know anything about his tooth falling out? It was there when I dropped him off?” She was also taken aback, but she is not his regular teacher so she ran to find his classroom teacher. Instead, she found the principal, who also teaches, but in the big-kid class. She came and looked at him in great surprise, too! She called his classroom teacher back to the school, then she called the teacher’s aide and no one knew anything about the missing tooth.
Somewhere at about this point on the timeline I began to realize that this was not an accidental, early loss of this tooth. He was actually starting to lose his baby teeth in preparation for his adult teeth. My life sorta flashed before my eyes and I could see him leaving for college. He’s losing his baby teeth. He will next get his adult teeth that will (hopefully) last him until after I am dead. (Yes, my head goes there.) The baby is falling off of him right before my eyes. Deep breath. Breathe. Oh god.
Finally, WPD said he lost it while eating lunch. We all high-tailed it to the lunch room. We moved the tables and inspected the detritus left behind from lunch. No luck.
Our best guess is that it came out while he was eating his apple (a whole apple) and he swallowed it. He agrees with that, but then he agreed with me when I asked if he had fallen, so…
Everyone there, and later, asked if he was excited about losing his first tooth and the tooth fairing coming! He just looked at them blankly because of course he didn’t know about losing teeth or the tooth fairy in the first place!!
We did not expect him to lose a tooth at the tender age of 4.5. He is four and a half exactly! That is very young for losing teeth. But he started getting his teeth pretty early as well. First in, first out.
RD and I both brush his teeth, but we never felt a loose one. And I really think he would’ve said – Hey, mom, why is my tooth all wiggly – if it was, indeed, wiggly. So we were not at all expecting this and we did not prepare him for it either.
When we gave up the hunt for the tooth fairy bait, we made our way to the car and I realized that he might be a little freaked out that his tooth was out. So as I buckled him in, I let him know that it was normal for his tooth to fall out and that he will get one to replace it because this is all part of growing up. This greatly satisfied him and even made him a little proud of this holey smile – evidenced by his calling out to the electrician working on a light pole in the parking lot, “Sir? Sir? My toof fell out and it’s all part of growin’ up!” Yes, yes, it is.
So then I told him about the tooth fairy. He really wasn’t all the interested but he perked up when I got to the money part.
Did you know that people do all kinds of clever things to “be the tooth fairy?” Tooth pillows, and fairy dust, and tooth receipts? If you are on Pinterest, you know these things. I am on Pinterest. And I was not Prepared.
So I text Daddy, naturally, to save the day. Between the two of us, we glitterfy a one dollar bill (is that defacing federal property?), print out a personalized certificate for the loss of the tooth (from the tooth fairy, natch), glitterfy THAT, and shove these items under his pillow.
After the work put into procuring said glittery fairy dust and doctoring the certificate up, I was hoping for a big pay off. It went like this.
“Mom, it’s time to get up. (He sits up.) DID THE TOOTH FAIRY COME?”
Me – “You have to check under the pillows!”
Him – “There is just a paper.”
Me – You’re losing him! “Look in the paper, look inside! Look at the paper!”
Him – “The paper says sumfing.” Puts it down.
Me – Arrgh!! “Look and see if there is anything in the paper! Just look!”
Him – “Hey! There’s a dower! I can buy sumfing at the store!”
Me – “Yes,” I deflate. And that was the end of that. To all the people who said not to bother with all that fluffy tooth fairy stuff and just put the cash under the pillow: stop smirking.
The main thing is that I am still not ready to see him without his front teeth. I am not ready for him to look as old as he does, regardless of how many teeth he has. I am not ready for him to be as grown up as he is. I’m not ready!! My heart.