Yo-Yo Boy lost his first tooth yesterday.
That’s right, I said his first. Yes, that’s right … he will be turning nine years old on Thursday. Yes, that’s right—he’s a late bloomer. It’s not my doing, okay? It’s not like I’m scotch-taping his teeth to his gums, refusing to let them fall out.
Actually, I’m with you—it was about time, if you ask me. His mouth was beginning to resemble a falling-down split-rail fence! His two bottom teeth were both loose (I think his top two are also loose), and his second teeth had grown up behind them. We even made a special trip to the dentist to see if everything was okay, and the doc assured us he was just fine. He explained that because Yo-Yo’s new teeth were preventing his tongue from naturally bumping up against the loose ones, it might take extra long for the first teeth too fall out. He sure was right about that.
Then yesterday while the kids were resting and I was sitting at the computer, deep in a thought-filled stupor (that’s what happens to me when the blissful, post-lunch quiet descends upon the house and I have just slurped down a large cup of café con leche), I heard Yo-Yo throw open his door (it creaks) and pound down the stairs in his annoyingly flatfooted way. He sprinted towards me, his hand outstretched before him, at breakneck speed. “My tooth fell out!” he half-stage whispered, half-squawked. He widely grinned at me, revealing a mouthful of blood. I sent him to the bathroom to wash up and when he came back I oohed and aahed over the little piece of enamel. We put the tooth in a glass, to save for the Tooth Fairy I reminded him.
“Aw, mama! That’s you. I know that!” he said.
“Really? Hmm.” I said.
He had to call Grandmommy and Grandaddy to tell them the story, and he couldn’t wait for Mr. Handsome to come home so he could fake him out by putting the tooth back in and then pretending it fell out again. There was much speculation over what the Tooth Fairy might bring. “It can’t be big,” I warned. “The fairy is really small, you know.”
As I shooed the kids up to bed after the bedtime stories, I told Yo-Yo to make sure he left his window open a crack so the fairy could get in. “Mama!” he said, exasperated. “There is no Tooth Fairy. I’m talking to the Tooth Fairy right now!”
“Huh,” I said. “I don’t know about that … I don’t think I look like much of a fairy.”
Mr. Handsome ended up spending part of the night in the boys’ room because The Baby Nickel woke up. He said that Yo-Yo kept waking up, too excited for the fairy. He even asked Mr. Handsome if he could look under his pillow and Mr. Handsome said no and Yo-Yo boy didn’t look.
Yo-Yo came running down the stairs at 6:30 this morning. “Look, Mama! Look what the Tooth Fairy gave me! And she wrote me this note and the writing is tiny because she’s so small. Come read it!”
Several minutes later he said, “I know it was you that gave it to me.” I think he was trying to convince himself.
When it comes down to it he does know that I am the Tooth Fairy, yet for those few minutes the line between reality and imagination wavered. If I had my way, I’d keep that line blurry for just another few years. Or at least long enough to let the Tooth Fairy collect her precious baby’s pearly gems.
And I won’t use any scotch tape. I promise.
Dear Yo-Yo Boy,
I have been waiting and waiting for that tooth of your’s to fall out. Once in a while I would even fly into your room and peek into your mouth while you were sleeping, just to make sure it was still there. I almost never see a tooth hang on that long, especially with another tooth behind it pushing it out, and especially in an almost nine year old. (By the way, happy birthday ahead of time!)
Now, you get busy wiggling that other tooth. It will soon fall out, mark my words.
The Tooth Fairy
Ps. I hope you like the little car. Maybe if you crash it into your mouth (on accident, on purpose) it will knock the other tooth out.
Pps. I hope it is not too difficult for you to read this. It’s just that my typewriter can only make small letters since it is so tiny, but you know, that’s just how it is for a little Tooth Fairy like me.