It’s amazing how much hubub we parents make about our children’s teeth.
It begins even before they make an appearance, actually.
“She’s teething,” we say to onlookers in the restaurant, as we try to explain her unusual fussiness.
We give them cold washcloths and teething rings to gnaw on. We rub Baby Orajel on their swollen little gums, and give them Tylenol in hopes that it will soothe away the crankiness. We fuss over low-grade temperatures, and rush them to the doctor… only to be told that it’s probably … just … teething.
And when that first little nub of white pokes through, it’s quite a momentous occasion.
So I suppose it’s no wonder that losing your first baby tooth should be equally momentous.
For months, my daughter has been obsessed with losing her first tooth. She’d gaze jealously at the gaping holes in her friends’ mouths. It became almost a competition which one of her classmates would lose their teeth first.
She’d badger us with questions about the Tooth Fairy.
“How much will I get?”
“What does the Tooth Fairly look like?”
“Is the Tooth Fairy a boy or a girl fairy?”
So when that first tooth came out this morning, naturally, we made out like it was headline news. We took pictures, and had her pose with her mouth open. Because it’s a BFD when you loose your first tooth, you know.
And tonight, I readied the shiny gold dollar, inspired by my friend Sherri. I placed the Hello Kitty necklace (because the Tooth Fairy always brings something special for the first tooth) in the box by her door.
And I couldn’t help but think about that first tooth coming in.
What took months to finally emerge… came out in less than a minute. It’s the first of 20 little white vestiges of babyhood that will fall out over the next few years. I have to admit, I got a little sad.
Tonight, the Tooth Fairy will bring it on. And a little girl will wake up to find her tooth replaced by a little coin and cheap trinket.
I just hope the Tooth Fairy knows what a bargain he’s getting in that trade. Because it isn’t just any tooth.
It’s my baby’s first tooth.