Christina M. Currie: Sweet tooth
November 2, 2007
Craig — Ever since 7-year-old Katie had the miraculous discovery that her two front teeth were lose, part of our bedtime ritual includes me wiggling them and then predicting when they’ll fall out.
The problem is that Katie doesn’t understand the concept of a prediction. When they didn’t fall out the day I said they might, she was a little perturbed.
Now, I’m going to tell you that my prediction was right on. If it had been my teeth, that is.
Me, I would’ve worked those puppies until a deep sigh knocked them out.
Katie’s letting nature take its course, which is a much longer process. And watching it was driving me crazy. So I’m going to admit, masochist that I am, that each night that I wiggled Katie’s tooth, I added a few extra little yanks just to loosen them up.
Hey, you want a timeframe, I’m going to be as accurate as possible. Besides, feeling loose teeth and not doing anything about it is pure torture for me.
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Is it any wonder that when they were on the verge of falling out, Katie wouldn’t let me get near her with the pliers I brandished?
But she wanted them out, and I was the only one (between the two of us) who had any experience with loose teeth. I guess it was like getting medical advice from the mortician. Not your first choice, but you’re reluctant to go without.
I now know the full meaning of the phrase, “like pulling teeth.”
Before Katie, it seemed like an easy enough process. Either work them loose or invest in good drugs and a professional to take them out while you’re under the influence of said drugs.
Nope, my daughter is the reason that phrase was coined.
Her teeth were loose enough that I could have just tied a string around them, but I couldn’t get it looped before she jerked her head.
So, I got out the pliers. You should try to get a pair of needlenose pliers in the mouth of a 7-year-old who doesn’t want them there.
Except every time I said “we’ll just let them fall out” (a lie, I was dying to pull a tooth), she cried more and said she wanted them out.
There was kicking. There was screaming. There was crying and tossing and turning.
In the end, I finally got a firm grip and yanked.
Katie’s eyes popped open, and she was shocked and amazed when she saw I actually had her tooth.
She also was overjoyed and had to check out the mirror and show her sister instantly.
She couldn’t wait for school the next day.
But despite all that, she wouldn’t let me have a go at the second one.
Losing a tooth a day before Halloween is great timing, in my mind. I just wish the other elements of the holiday were as easy.
Maybe they are; just not for me.
I was proud of myself. I’d managed to pick up costumes far enough in advance that Katie had time to rip hers and 6-year-old Nikki had time to acquire a few stains.
But hey, we had costumes.
We even had costumes packed and ready to go (mostly) when we left for school Wednesday. As I was driving down the road, rummaging through the papers in Nikki’s backpack, I found the one that said all kindergarteners should come to school IN costume.
We were halfway to school when I yelled at Nikki to start undressing. We were at the school when I hauled her naked butt out of the car and proceeded to dress her on the sidewalk in front of the school.
Another mother stopped to chat saying “Now I don’t feel bad about being the only one.”
She, the story goes, signed up to bring candy bags (there was a sign-up sheet?). She ordered them in advance, but when she started stuffing them, discovered that the company had only sent half the decorative bags. So, she had to buy the other half, and they weren’t the same as the first ones.
I’m standing on the sidewalk pulling on my daughter’s tights and she didn’t bring matching candy bags.
Oh yeah, she’s not the only one with problems.
Seriously, was I supposed to bring anything?
This is same mother who organized a fabulous pirate-themed birthday party complete with a scavenger hunt for buried treasure who has the nerve to tell me, “I don’t have it together.”
If she doesn’t have it together (I’m sorry Officer Wade if anyone identifies you by that subtle description, I’m trying to be discreet) then there is absolutely, positively no hope for me, as a mother, to ever, ever, ever have it together.
I’m the mom who brought her daughter late to her own birthday party.
I’m the mom who stole candy from her babies when little trick-or-treaters came knocking at the door.
I’m the mother who tried to pull out the tooth she promised she’d only wiggle “just a little bit.”
But I’m also the mom who took her daughters trick-or-treating, and when you’re that age, having that much candy in your possession makes all your mother’s shortcomings disappear.
Candy is just as sweet, even if you have one less tooth to enjoy it with.