Ali lost her fourth tooth in a month on Thursday night.


Okay, “lost” doesn’t accurately portray the traitorous and forceful separation of tooth and child that had to take place.

Unlike the three previous teeth, this one wasn’t eager to turn loose, and I didn’t exactly achieve stellar parental ranking by a) insisting on removing it from her gums, and b) requiring two takes to actually get it out.

But it needed to be set free – it was DIS-GUSTING. Her gums around it had turned a deathly shade of purple, the tooth was being propelled from her being by an adult tooth underneath and therefore it was sticking half a tooth above the rest, and when she bent the tooth over, the cavernous, half-detached underside mooned whomever happened to be watching.

So I ripped it out of her mouth right before bed, and of course it had to be a bleeder.

(More like a spurter.)

Which did not help her lack of endearment toward me.

But she dried up, quickly scrawled a note to the tooth fairy, and went to bed.

As always, instead of doing the responsible thing, which would include finding the needed fundage and writing my response right after I put her to bed, I didn’t remember until 11:45pm.

I stumbled downstairs, hurriedly typed out a sad excuse for a note, and began looking for five dollars in cash. But keeping cash around is not exactly listed in the strengths column on my résumé.

I did not have a five, nor did I own five ones. I had a twenty, but I wasn’t feeling that guilty about my aforementioned medical-treatment-without-consent.

So I hitched up my conscience and I stole $5 out of Ali’s bank. In order to give it back to her as a farcical creature that she is surely going to be upset about when she finds out that it was all A Lie.

Tooth Fairy

And I kinda intended to pay her back? But also assumed I’d forget. After all, I’m not good with cash.

I went to bed and slept like a baby. Because bent morals and Mommy-Guilt are feelings I’m used to combatting by now.

The next morning, Ali walked into my bedroom brightly, holding the note and cash. She silently handed me the note to read, then tenderly placed the five dollar bill in my hand.

“Am I allowed to give you my five dollars from the Tooth Fairy?”

“That’s sweet, honey! But don’t you want to put it in your bank?”

“I have lots of money from the Tooth Fairy in my bank. And I know you haven’t felt good this week. So I’d really like for you to have it.”

Children are tiny, often toothless, superior moral creatures.

And I. Am hideous.

(But I did sneak that money back in her bank.)

(So we’re even.)

(Except that she’s a better human than me.)

13 thoughts on “When Children Are Like Salt in a Wound.

  1. Not going to lie – this story made me cringe a little bit. Not for borrowing tooth fairy money, but because none of my baby teeth fell out on their own… they’d barely even get loose! My parents had to pull each and every tooth out with a pair of pliers. Thanks for the memories. ;)

  2. I was thinking the something as Breena, but I think she’ll stumble onto them a lot sooner than. 17. Kids now-a-days are so tech savvy.

  3. Oh, my! You are too young to be this jaded to the reality of parenting. I have walked those exact. same. steps. And yes, my kids are better people than me. After I have pilfered their piggy banks for cash for groceries… never a dollar on hand of my own.

    Oh, and my Gracie had the stuck tooth purple gums freaked out mom thing, too. Umm… we didn’t have dental insurance at the time, and I still chose to make the dentist the bad guy. He almost gave up… but in the last 10 seconds of the game…. after a stern “This is your job!” from mom…. Gracie sucked it up, and the tooth popped out – after much anesthetic, too boot. Just wait until they start push labor… just saying! So the dentist was the bad guy for a few years, but luckily he left and we have a new woman who never gets any back talk… it might be the jumbo HD TV’s over every patients chair with crappy tv they don’t get to watch at home and free reign on a remote… hmmm….

  4. My first dental visit came about because my permanent teeth were growing in as a second row above my baby teeth. (I definitely should have been to the dentist before age eight, but it was the 70s and we didn’t have a lot of money.) I thought my shark teeth looked awesome and enjoyed showing all my friends, but the dentist thought otherwise. He pulled three baby teeth (that were not at all loose) with no anesthesia whatsoever, and one of them was a spurter. Traumatized me for life. I recently decided to hitch up my big-girl pants and get all the dental work that I needed done, once and for all. It took three visits and a ridiculous amount of money, but my teeth are finally in decent shape now.

  5. Lisa….. I had EVERY single one of mine pulled as well- only by the dentist. I HATED dentists. With a passion. Until I was old enough to realise it was their profession not their goal to make me miserable. :)

  6. Bahahaha!!
    That’s too funny. I love kids. Such giving hearts.
    I can’t help but picture your face when she wants to give it back to you as a gift, and you’re sitting there with you conscience bopping you on the head. Lol. Love it

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