Stephen lost a baby tooth this evening. It’s always a big shock for me when he loses a tooth. This particular one was the very first of his molars to go. It feels like a little mini-milestone. I have to admit that since he’s twelve already, it doesn’t feel like there are too many of those left so I take what I can get.
I remember losing my first baby tooth when I was in Kindergarten, but it’s been a completely different experience for Steve. The dentist has been saying all along that my son is “dentally delayed” by about two years. He didn’t lose his first baby tooth until he was in the second grade, years after many of his classmates at school had lost their first teeth. His various teachers would always make a big deal out of it when one of the kids would lose a tooth at school, but Steve was always left out. When he did finally lose his first, it happened over the summer, of course, so no fanfare at school. And…he ended up losing his very first tooth during a sleepover at his aunt’s house, so I was a little bummed to have missed the whole first “tooth fairy” experience. (Also, apparently the “tooth fairy” in his aunt’s neighborhood is wealthier than the one in our neighborhood; I think Steve got more cash for his first tooth than Mike, Brian, and I got combined for all of our teeth. The “tooth fairy” at home is on a limited budget. )
Because Steve started so late and lost teeth so infrequently, we hardly got to do the “tooth fairy” thing much at all. I crocheted a little tooth fairy pillow with a pocket to put the lost tooth in, but I don’t think it got more than two uses before it was tossed aside because he didn’t believe anymore. However, now that little brother Tobin is old enough to be aware of all this “tooth fairy” business, we have resumed going through the motions for at least for his sake. I have no idea where the little, blue yarn pillow is, but Steve is generally good about putting his tooth under the pillow and feigning surprise the next morning when the tooth is gone and money has magically appeared in its place…except for those times when Tobin is faster than Steve and gets to the tooth fairy riches first…which is nearly always now that I think about it. (Honestly, it resembles a snake striking out and grabbing its prey…lightning quick.)
Today though, Steve didn’t even tell me this one was loose until it was nearly out. I was a little concerned because it was bleeding all over the place, and Steve isn’t terribly fond of blood, even if it’s his own. But he didn’t need dear old mom fussing over him this time around, and he didn’t seem to mind that it was bleeding. He’s been falling asleep on the couch every night this past week while watching DVDs, so I’m not sure he’ll even remember to/bother to put his tooth under his bedroom pillow tonight.
I could patiently wait for Tobin to start losing teeth. I can console myself with the knowledge that in few short years, I can start playing “tooth fairy” again. However, he has informed me in no uncertain terms that he is never EVER going to lose any teeth. As stubborn as that child is, I think I almost believe him. If anyone could get his teeth to remain in his mouth via sheer determination, it is Tobin. Which lasts longer, Tobin’s belief that he can control the uncontrollable through his very own willpower or his belief in the magical power of the tooth fairy, remains to be seen…