Saturday, January 30, 2016

Teeth, Door Knobs, and Chandaliers

Take my teeth—NOW!
A few years back, when Porter’s first loose tooth started to wiggle, he became incredibly nervous.  It makes sense.  Something as solid as defined as your teeth, that you worked so hard and so painfully for through the infant/toddler stage, shouldn’t just fall out!

That’s insane!

Also, Porter is a bit of a worrier.  He’s always been a good rule-follower, wants to be on-time (or early) to everything, and he’s still the teacher’s helper.

Yeah, he’s that kid.

He was still worried when the tooth finally fell out.  There was a lot of tears and comforting him.  There was more concern when he told him his other teeth would come out as well.  This kid was working himself up to an early ulcer!

Writers write.  It’s not always the solution—although Jane Austen would tell you otherwise—but it can be a solution.  Also, by the time Porter’s first tooth started to wiggle, I had two younger boys.  There was an opportunity here to set some expectations about losing your teeth that might not just ease the process for Porter, but for his younger brothers as well!

I took a pen in hand and wrote on a blank, unlined piece of paper a letter from the “Tooth Fairy”. 
Yep, it's gone!

Dearest Porter,

I was so excited when I heard that you were about to lose your tooth.  Your first tooth is incredibly special, and I have had big plans for it.  I will take it away to my castle and it will become the doorknob on my front door.

Thank you so much for sharing your tooth with me!


The Tooth Fairy

I crumpled the page repeatedly until the paper became soft like tissue, and then baked it so that it took on a parchment-like color.  The note accompanied the requisite coins, something like a dollar in loose change and the whole package went under Porter’s pillow—mostly standard practice.

There’s probably a cautionary note here that children will believe pretty much anything you tell them—good and bad.  In this case, everything worked like a charm.  Porter was extremely thrilled by his note, and more so by the silver coins he received.  A big win.

But the biggest win was still several years in the making.  A few days ago, Tristan’s first tooth started to come loose.  As nervous as Porter can be, he’s still extremely logical about things.  Tristan is a kid who wears his emotions on his sleeves and sticks his arms into open flames!  Tears started early, and even when he was comforted, there was a note of fear in his voice about the whole process. Until I remembered the seed I’d planted.

“Porter,” I said, “tell Tristan about the letter you got from the Tooth Fairy!”

The Tooth is Out There!
Porter recounted the entire event, including that his tooth was now a doorknob at the Tooth Fairy’s castle.  Tristan’s eyes couldn’t have been wider with wonder.  Not all of his concern went away, but excitement replaced most of the fear.  The tooth has now fallen out, and the Tooth Fairy has already prepared her letter for tonight’s leaving.  I have it on good authority that Tristan’s tooth will become the center of chandelier in Tooth Fairy’s Great Hall.

I expect my youngest son, Xavier, might start trying to pull his teeth out.

One problem at a time! ;)


  1. A lovely story. We have similar visits in our house but one time the tooth fairy forgot. My tearful daughter woke me at 6am on a Saturday to complain. Quick thinking, I suggested that because she didn't settle off to sleep till late, then kept getting up and coming in our bed, the tooth fairy hadn't been able to visit. She ran back to bed giving us a nice weekend lie-in and the fairy chance to leave her coin.

    1. Well done! We had a similar situation happen with my oldest son, and I was able to "find" the Tooth Fairy's gift just in the nick of time.