It's been a banner day in our house-- Schnickelfritz has lost his first tooth! The last ten days have not been easy ones to say the least. Fritz does not take "the unknown" well. I assured him that it wouldn't hurt, that the roots and nerves of the tooth had disappeared because the new tooth was pushing up from underneath. But do you think he'd take my word for it? After all, I'm a grown up, how the heck can I remember what happened or how it felt so looonnngg ago? He apparently wanted to discuss it with someone for whom the milestone event had more recently occurred.
Well, as is often the way of children, sharing experiences leads to exagerating, which leads to ones-up-manship which leads to the stuff of urban legends! One night last week we heard Fritz sniffling in bed. When asked what was wrong he burst into tears, "If your tooth falls out and you swallow it you can DIE!!!" Daddy had to lie down with him until he fell asleep that night.
This morning we had just gotten the phone call that swimming lessons were canceled and I called for Fritz to let him know. He emerged from the bathroom wide-eyed and dismayed--he had been wiggling the tooth and now it stood an eigth of an inch higher than all the others and it was bleeding. I tried to dab it with a wet cloth. "Don't touch it. DON"T TOUCH IT!!" he cried. At least that's what I interpreted because he was no longer letting his teeth touch to form consonant sounds. He then swore off eating crunchy foods and then all foods until the tooth had fallen out. I wasn't too worried about his starving because that was imminent. but I did want to relieve his suffering. I had half a notion to grabbing his arms, pinning him to the bed and plucking the tooth out before he knew what was happening. Motherly love preveiled though and I simply said "I bet if you wiggled it one more time it would just come out."
And mothers are always right, you know. The tooth was between his fingers when he took them out of his mouth. Now he knows it doesn't hurt (another thing I was right about) and there really is nothing to worry about ---- until the next tooth starts to wiggle.