Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Injustice and The Tooth Fairy's New Client

Poor Hannah, sometimes slow and steady doesn't win the race. Life can be so unjust.

Naomi lost six baby teeth several months after she turned five years old, but Hannah has had to wait...and wait. Last year Hannah detected the tiniest amount of wiggle in a tooth, but twelve months later, at the old and moldy age of six and a half, that tooth is still clinging to its stubborn root. For the last two weeks her family and friends, and sometimes strangers, have been hearing daily updates on the state of her loose tooth.

She wiggles her tooth for me when she wakes in the morning and asks for my best prediction of when it will finally fall out. She complains at lunch about how it hurts to chew or how impossible it is to eat a sandwich. She asks me to look in her mouth at night to see if I can see the adult tooth coming in underneath the loose one.

"I think it will fall out today," Hannah predicted at breakfast this morning. "It's soooo close. It has to fall out today. I'm going to wiggle and wiggle all day long, no matter how much it hurts."

"You might be right," I agreed with Hannah, taking my daily assessment of the wiggle-ability of her tooth. "It can't be long now."

Ah, but we were wrong. Hannah's mouth still contains twenty baby teeth, but even worse is the cruel twist of irony this evening.

I had just taken Elijah upstairs with the intention of putting him to bed tonight while Matt was brushing the kids' teeth, when Matt yelled up at me, "Kathy! Did Emma lose a tooth today?! Ha! It's missing! Emma what happened to your tooth?"

I flew back down the stairs, worried at first that my toddler daughter had been the victim of some horrible accident. But after assessing a completely healthy-looking hole in Emma's mouth, and reminding myself that Emma was five years old now, and that Naomi had lost six teeth at that age, I concluded that Emma had simply beaten Hannah to the prize, fair and square. And, in typical Emma fashion, had absolutely no idea at all what had happened.

She laughed, walked over to the mirror, inspected the bloody spot in her mouth, and concluded, "Ha...yep...it is missing."

I know Emma had all twenty teeth when I left to take Hannah to ballet class tonight and gave Matt instructions to serve the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. All we can figure is that the tooth got stuck in the peanut butter and popped out, never to be seen again. Odd, ironic, and even a little cruel, but true.

The tooth fairy will be paying her first visit to Emma's bed tonight, and I have a feeling Hannah will be wiggling harder than ever tomorrow.

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