I found that in The Onion one day a few years back, and I've just been holding on to it. Today, it's oddly appropriate.
I read somewhere when my kids were little that children will lose teeth on approximately the same timeline as the gained them. I've found this to be eerily accurate. For example, 1of3 cut his first tooth at 5 months and 3 weeks, and lost his first tooth at 5 years and 3 weeks. 2of3 woke up one morning when he was 6 months old with a mouth full of teeth, and the day he lost his first tooth, at age 6, he lost 2 in the same day.
Why yes, that did suck, thanks for asking.
Both of my boys have a few loose teeth right now. 2of3 has had 3 working hard on wiggling for a while now; those two on either side of his foremost incisors, and the bottom left canine. The two on the top have been just the slightest bit wiggly, and the bottom canine hasn't budged at all, but the adult tooth has started coming up through the gums behind it. He's got a wickedly small jaw, so his teeth always come in behind the babies and push them out.
Wednesday morning, 2of3 tells me his top right tooth is really loose. I wiggle it, and it's like a week from now loose, which is progress. By the end of the day, he had that tooth under his pillow. That boy can get anything done when he sets his mind to it.
Thursday morning, $5 richer, he tells me that the bottom tooth is really loose. I wiggle it, and it ALSO is about a week from now loose, maybe two weeks. It's no where NEAR ready to come out. I tell him to leave it the hell alone already. All day he messes with it, and all day it doesn't come out. By dinner time, however, he's got it to the point where he can spin it all the way around. He can't eat, because it hurts too much, and he's messed with it so bad that his gums are all swollen. He tries everything to get that sucker out.
Not only did that fail, it really hurt. And it was my last apple. I almost had him convinced to do the dental floss/doorknob thing (because, come on, I've always wanted to see if that works) but he opted for less barbaric, if not more unhygienic, measures.
Um gross? I sent him to bed and reminded him that tooth fairies do not look in tummies or in poop for teeth, so he'd better not swallow it.
Friday morning he awakes, and still has his tooth, and gets his butt off to school. Where he looses his tooth before lunch. He is the happiest kid ALIVE. Saturday morning I am awoken at 8 in the morning on a goddamn Saturday with a very bouncy, "She came! She left me $5 again!" At 10, when I got out of bed, I discovered that she, in fact, had left him $9 under his pillow.
Maybe the Tooth Fairy's lovely assistant had thought she'd forgotten, and so added money? I asked the Tooth Fairy's lovely assistant, and the lovely assistant had NOT added more money. But there our child stood, with a fiver and two toonies. Huh.
Welcome to the next installment of "Our Kids Have Us By Our Collective Balls." I mean, it's not like we can say ANYTHING here, not after the whole debate about the Tooth Fairy being real that we'd JUST had. Color us screwed.
I badgered a confession out of him later, by staring into all his yellow eyes and telling him to put on his truth hat*. And then I just asked him. And he just told me that he found $4 on the table. All of this happened just in time, too, because he soon got bored and when he gets bored, apparently, teeth come out. He came to me right before dinner and said, "Hey, mom! Check out my tooth!"
My, what dirty teeth you have! No, that's not dirty, that's the BACK. Of the tooth that was almost not loose the day before. Seriously, child. By the end of last night, that tooth was under his pillow.
And this morning, he was thrilled to wake up to a tooth still under his pillow.
Wanna stop your kid from ripping teeth out of his face? FORGET TO PAY HIM TO DO IT. Works like a charm.
We spent the better part of the morning kicking ourselves in the asses shifting blame around consoling him and trying to figure out what the hell happened. Was The Tooth Fairy just totally bombed last night? Had she come so many times this week already, she thought our wish was a repeat? Was she upset that he'd stolen from his parents? What the hell happened? And then he said the one thing that's made the past 10 years of parenting worth it....
"Maybe it wasn't clean enough, mom."
I have told my kids from the time they had teeth that The Tooth Fairy A) exists and B) doesn't take dirty teeth, so you'd better brush and sit still at the dentist, yo. We have never tested this theory. And just like that, my shitastic parenting paid off. Those kids are suddenly petrified of having dirty teeth. He ran right upstairs, brushed the lost tooth, brushed the attached teeth, and I swear to GOD ON HIGH, she's coming tonight with Five. More. Dollars.
I hope he buys me something nice with all his new-found riches.
The Truth Hat is an imaginary hat that goes on, and if truth comes out after it, no punishments are given. It's the best thing I've EVER thought up.