T.'s loose tooth is still hanging in there--practically by a thread. Since its appearance we have had many conversations about teeth, and the tooth fairy, and I used her loose tooth as a chance to pull out my own tooth-related anecdotes from when I was a girl, because that's part of your job as a parent, isn't it? To pass onto your children those stories from your own childhood, even if they make them squirm? I told her about how my dad once suggested we tie a string to my tooth and then connect the string to the doorknob (Scott has a similar story--must be a generational thing), and while I'm not sure any child has willingly gone for that plan, I know T. wishes her tooth would fall out already.
I remember feeling that way about loose teeth when I was little. Once the thrill of having one wears off it's a pain to have that feeling in your mouth every day, to chew your food on the side of your mouth, to worry about when it would come out, and where, and would it get lost? And then there's the matter of the tooth fairy--when will she come? What will she leave? Will she find the tooth? To take her mind off things, we've been reading books about loose teeth.
Like this one:
and this one:
And this old favorite of hers:
As luck would have it, we went to a fall festival fundraiser at L.'s school on Friday and T. won a gift basket containing two tooth fairy/tooth related books and a Make Your Own Tooth Keepsake Box kit. (She also won a cake at the cake walk AND a raffle for a Barbie doll--she cleaned up that night, I tell you.) One of the books she received was this one:
all about tooth fairy traditions from around the world, and I've been enjoying reading through them with T. Who knew there were so many traditions? Members of the Native American Yupik tribe apparently wrap the tooth in meat or bread and feed it to a female dog with the instructions to "replace this tooth with a better one". Lots of traditions involve tossing the tooth to the sun, or throwing it onto the roof; in Mali, apparently, children can throw their tooth into the chicken coop. Sometime during the night the tooth is replaced by a big, fat, hapless, chicken and the next day the mother will cook up a big chicken soup to celebrate the milestone.
Although there are many, many universal customs we all share when it comes to what to do with those lost teeth, I think it's fun to invent your own along the way. L., for instance, never wanted to part with his actual teeth, so our tooth fairy is careful to leave the teeth behind, with a scrawled note in fairy handwriting instructing him to take seriously his job as "Keeper of the Teeth". T.'s not sure yet what she wants to do--generous girl that she is, she's told us she wants the tooth fairy to keep her teeth, so she'll have something to remember her by.
What do you do about loose teeth in your house?