My children, having come out too early, have reached nearly every milestone pretty much late. Losing teeth has been no exception. At age seven and a half (and seven and a half plus a minute) Karl has lost exactly two teeth. Emma has, as of Thursday, lost three. (But see - she's older, so that must account for it.) And although their baby teeth are straight, all four of the permanent teeth are horrendously crooked. Thank-you Burniston genes. (My teeth are dazzlingly straight with nary a day o' braces. Look at these cuspids. Arrrrr.) John, by contrast, for much of his pre-teen years, had a mouth full of winches, pulleys and enough metal to construct a smallish car or office building.
Karl and Emma went to the dentist on Thursday for a check-up/cleaning. Emma's tooth had been precariously clinging for quite some time but she was not brave enough to let me pull it. (I think she thought the dentist might pull it for her, but when he didn't, she pulled it herself that afternoon at school.) But I'm getting ahead of myself . . .
We have a lousy dental plan that requires us to go to a dental "chain" - you know, the ones with the catchy names that reside in strip malls. I have no reason to doubt the competency of the place except for the whole franchise thing. It's kind of like the lawyers that advertise on TV. Plus, I find it suspicious that they don't want me to come back with the kids. I am required to wait in the waiting room. I suppose I could pitch a fit about it, but they do have People magazine . . .
Anyway, as we pulled up to strip mall, I reminded the kids that I couldn't go back with them so they needed to answer all the dentist's questions in a nice clear voice. Karl looked at me solemnly and said "If I don't answer the dentist's questions they'll have to put drops in my eyes!"
This, you see, is how well he remembers the trauma of eye appointments during his "too-stubborn-to-speak" years. But I explained that eye drops really wouldn't tell the dentist much about his teeth so perhaps he ought to just answer the questions in a nice clear voice. And so he did.
The hygienist came out to tell me the news. Emma needed a filling and they both were getting referrals to the orthodontist for the crooked/crowding issue. (No surprise there!) Oh, and she said they want to seal Karl's permanent molars.
I was really confused, because Karl hasn't lost any molars. She tried to convince me that he had lost FOUR teeth without me realizing it. She said sometimes kids lose them at school and don't tell their parents. Yeah right. A lost tooth is easy money, and there's NO WAY that Karl lost four teeth without anyone noticing. Finally she mentioned that the teeth may have come in behind the baby teeth, which seemed more plausible. I'll be quizzing the dentist about it next week.
And I told John to find us a new dentist.
Of course, our strip mall dentist is right next to Blimpie Subs, which made lunch quite convenient . . . but no, I still think a new dentist is required. As long as they have People magazine.
But that's not what today's post is about. Teeth - yes. Dentist - no. Lost teeth - yes. Found teeth - no.
Because we have a problem with losing lost teeth. It started last August with Karl's second tooth. I took him out in the backyard for a few photos. Here he is just seconds before, you guessed it, dropping the tooth in the grass! We searched, and we searched, but the tooth was gone. He was distraught. I told him to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation.
His note was succinct: Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth in the grass. Can I have the money anyway?
And the Tooth Fairy obliged. She always leaves notes with the money, and this is what that particular note said:
August 26, 2005
Don’t worry too much that your tooth’s lost, as such
Things happen quite often, you see.
Why just last week Ruth was missing her tooth
‘Cause she lost it while up in a tree!
Geraldine Moore dropped her tooth on the floor
And her dad stepped right on it and crushed it.
But what’s even worse was when Jeremy Hurst
Dropped his tooth in the toilet and flushed it!
Samuel Booth once swallowed a tooth
When he bit down quite hard on a carrot.
But that’s not as bad as Joe Trinidad,
His tooth was chewed up by a ferret!
I don’t have your tooth to put in my tote,
But you explained things so well in your lovely note,
That I won’t be upset and I won’t scream and holler,
See you next tooth, and have fun with your dollar!
The Tooth Fairy
The Tooth Fairy always says "See you next tooth" in her notes. It's the kids' favorite part.
Which brings us back to Thursday, and Emma's lost tooth. The school appears to be much more responsible than I am. They sent home the tooth in a sealed envelope with a nifty drawing of a tooth on it and the date. How nice!
Of course, I had to rip open the envelope and have Emma pose for a few pictures with the tooth in her hand.
The good news is that she didn't drop the tooth in the grass.
The bad news is that she dropped the tooth on our light-colored cream somewhat-speckled semi-shag carpet. *sigh*
We spent an hour looking for it. I even put a nylon over the end of the vacuum hose and went over the whole area, to no avail. Somehow that tooth vanished into the carpet, never to be seen again. Emma was distraught. I told her to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation. It was like deja vu. It was like deja vu. (See what I did there?)
Her note was slightly more flowery, but the brass tacks were the same - hey dame, can I have the cash? Emma, by the way, thought it entirely probable that the Tooth Fairy could find the missing tooth, since she's a fairy. Uh. Yeah. Ix-nay on the ooth-tay inding-fay.
So the Tooth Fairy dutifully composed another poem, or so I surmise. She may have been eating dinner with her family and thinking up rhymes. She may have ducked behind the counter, out of sight, with a post-it note and a pencil when inspiration hit. Or not. I wasn't there - just imagining how that might have gone down. In fact, while I'm imagining things, maybe she wrote up the note and wanted Mr. Tooth Fairy to read it before she left it under Emma's pillow. So maybe she left it on the kitchen counter and forgot about it. And then maybe Emma woke up the next morning and came bawling into her parents' room saying that the Tooth Fairy didn't come at all. Oh wait - that part is real!
Despite my groggy state, I reacted quickly, telling Emma to check the kitchen counter, which, as I explained, is the back-up location for the Tooth Fairy. She uses the kitchen when it's unsafe to go into a kid's room - like maybe the kid is sick or not fully asleep or snoring or has a guard dog.
The note said:
April 20, 2006
I got your note about the tooth,
I’ve looked but haven’t seen it.
When you say you “lost your tooth”
I guess you really mean it!
I heard that you were crying some,
But give yourself a hug,
What’s on the floor downstairs is not
An ordinary rug.
In fact, your carpeting has eaten
Many teeth. It’s true.
Billy’s, Sammy’s, Martha’s, Calvin’s,
Mary’s and Lulu’s!
Your rug is from a distant land,
He grew up in the forest.
In the days of dinosaurs
They called him “Rug-Tooth-Saurus.”
With all the teeth he’s stolen,
I think you should be thankful,
That even though he ate your tooth,
He’s never bit your ankles!
So I’m glad you wrote a letter,
It’s a good one. That’s the truth!
I’m leaving you a dollar for it.
Bye! (See you next tooth)
The Tooth Fairy
Emma was affronted by the Rug-Tooth-Saurus part. "I've read 3 books on dinosaurs and there is NO.SUCH.THING.AS.A.RUG.TOOTH.SAURUS, Mom!" I explained that maybe the Tooth Fairy was just making up funny stories for artistic effect. After all, I said, our carpet probably didn't grow up in a forest. More like a factory. But let's award points for creativity, shall we? Sheesh. Tough crowd!
Now, you've made it this far, so I'm rewarding you with a fun, fun opportunity to do a good deed and maybe win a prize for it. Karen Russell has organized a fundraiser and boy is it a good one. You must check out her blog for all the particulars, but basically you donate a buck through Karen to Women for Women International (check out this link to learn more about the organization) and for every dollar you donate you get entered into a drawing for cool scrapbooking prizes OR for a scrapbooker to scrap your photos. And she's got some big names on the "scrap your photos" list - Heidi, Becky, Ali, Cathy Z., Karen Burniston. (What? I'm huge in Europe. Heh) And hey, if you "win" a page by me I promise to use 424 eyelets on it! Bonus! (kidding)
But do seriously check out the fundraiser and considering donating to a worthy cause. It's something you can sink your teeth into! (Oy! I slay me!)
TPBQOTD (Well who says life is fair? Where is that written? Life isn't always fair!)