Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rite of Passage

My 86 year old grandmother still has all her teeth. So does her 91 year sister. They actually take pride in showing them off and tapping them so you can see how strong they are.

I'm thankful for good genes but some times they can be a real pain in the butt!

At age 7, Nick still hadn't lost a single tooth. The dentist told us that it was good thing- that he had strong teeth and bones, but try using that to console the only kid in his class with only baby teeth. I sympathized with him and I often wonder if this is just another one of my footsteps that he'll follow.

At the ripe age of 16, yours truly still had baby teeth. Actually, they weren't going anywhere. They were fused to my jawbone and required oral surgery to remove them. The whole roof of my mouth was cut open and an intricate maze of wires was connected to two adult teeth which had settled nicely without any indication they were ever going to come out. I had braces for almost 6 years including biweekly trips to the orthodontist to tighten said wires in an effort to pull the teeth down. They finally did come out but imagine having braces your whole college life just because of TWO teeth.

So again, I sympathized with him when, in kindergarten, he asked when his teeth would start falling out and why, now in 2nd grade, he still hadn't lost a single tooth. So although his dentist told us that health wise his teeth not falling out yet was an ideal situation, I actually thought it was doing him more harm than good. The poor kid was suffering from baby tooth-itis!

He wasn't the only one. I wanted to see some tooth fairy action too. Parenting is bittersweet with many joys and sorrows but the greatest joys come from reliving your own childhood memories through your children. I felt a bit robbed watching friends with younger kids displaying toothless grins and what-not. When was I going to get a chance to sneak into his room and stealthily steal his tooth and replace it with cashola?

Luckily, I don't feel robbed anymore. Guess who lost his 1st tooth yesterday? Oddly, it looks as if his adult tooth pushed it out because the sucker is already visible.

Oh and I would make a horrible stealth anything. I stepped on some toys, said a bad word, tripped on a shoe and almost landed on top of him. What's more? I was so nervous that I'd wake him that I forgot to take the tooth. I had to make up some sh*t about how the tooth fairy leaves your first tooth but takes all others when asked why his tooth wasn't taken.

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A wise friend once told me that the key to happiness was to 'Say what you mean and mean what you say'.