I can handle most of the gross things that come along with parenting pretty well, but wobbly teeth is just not one of them. My daughter has been tormenting me with a wobbly front tooth for months now. Since well before Easter it’s been wriggling away and I’ve been trying to avoid it.
The other night after dinner she and her little brother were being their rambunctious selves jumping around on the couch. Yes, I know I should probably do the whole “the couch is not a jungle gym” type line, but there are some times in life where a moment of peace (not quiet peace mind you) is worth the price of deflated cushions.
This was one of those times. My husband and I were enjoying an uninterrupted conversation amongst the screams and laughter that was growing in volume. And then, silence.
If you’re a parent you know that sudden onset silence is one of the most suspicious. It usually means one of two things: mischief or injury. The latter is typically followed by a loud scream breaking the silence. That didn’t come.
I looked at my daughter and she had a strange expression. She was making a comic like gulp. She looked dazed.
“What happened?” I asked, waiting for her to unleash about her brother.
Nothing. Just shock. Her hand went to her mouth.
“I think I swallowed my tooth!”
“What do you mean you swallowed your tooth?” I asked as I tried my hardest to suppress just how grossed out I was feeling by this. “How did that happen?”
“He stepped on my face. I THINK I JUST SWALLOWED MY TOOTH!”
We looked around for a while between the cushions, over our floor that was in desperate need of a vacuum. Nothing. She disappeared to the bathroom. I kept searching to no avail. Oh no. The tooth that has taken months to dislodge has gone missing.
Surely I could find it. I had to find it. How were we going to manage the disappointment of a six year old who has been waiting in anticipation for months to deliver her prized front tooth to the Tooth Fairy? On top of that, the thought of her swallowing it was too disgusting to cope with. Must. Find. Tooth.
Back she came from the bathroom.
“Are you ok?” I asked, ready to console her about how swallowing a tooth is normal and not something to worry about.
No consolation was necessary. She broke out her gappy smile and had pen and paper in hand ready to write a note to the Tooth Fairy and tell all her friends.
Life’s like that sometimes I think. Waiting for what feels like forever for something to happen. Allowing nature to take it’s course. Learning to be patient. Then every now and then something comes along like a little brother stepping on your face to accelerate progress whether you like it or not. You can’t always control the circumstances, but I suppose you can control your response.