Now before you go feeling too sorry for him, let me just tell you: he was THRILLED. On several levels:
- He missed half a day of school
- He knew it meant DOUBLE the tooth fairy money
- He thought the numb lip thing was awesome
- They put his teeth in a “treasure box” that he got to keep
I have always been a bit phobic about the dentist, so his cavalier (maybe even excited?) attitude about the whole thing was confusing to me. The teeth in question were just baby teeth that were already loose, so I guess it really wasn’t such a big deal. India, on the other hand, cried for a solid two hours prior to the appointment, because my brilliant husband announced the morning destination as soon as we all woke up. Apparently, he has never been around children before. I am of the opinion that appointments involving needles should only be announced to children when you reach the waiting room. Or when the vaccination tray shows up. True story: I tried to punk my kids by giving them their flu shots at Target this year. “Hey kids . . . we’re just grabbing some Band-Aids and multivitamins and ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE AND BE STILL.” Target’s flu shots are not mercury free, so alas the children were spared.
Once we got home, Jafta was full of questions about the tooth fairy. How does she get into the house? What does she do with the teeth? How does she know when to come? I know this makes me a big scrooge, but in my mind when kids start asking rational questions about Santa and the tooth fairy and the easter bunny, that’s when the gig is up. I just can’t bring myself to make up answers when it’s clear the suspension of disbelief has cracked. My usual response of “what do YOU think?” was not satisfying his need for knowledge. So . . . we had a little sit-down and I told him the truth. Which, in another chapter of Childhood Things That Should Be Awful But Jafta Loves, only made him more excited. Because now he’s in on the secret . . . the secret that the little kids don’t get. For the rest of the day he would talk about the tooth fairy while looking at me and winking with a self-important grin.
The day was not all smiles, though. At one point, Karis got ahold of the clear plastic box that held Jafta’s two teeth. She didn’t look closely at the contents, she just started shaking it and dancing . . . like it was a little cubed maraca. I asked her to stop, and as a two-year-old is wont to do, she ignored me and started running with her precious box. As she’s running, I yell to her to stop, because those are Jafta’s teeth. And suddenly, she got a good look at the things – two nasty, minimally bloody teeth in a box in her hand . . . and she FREAKED. Seriously. It was like she had just seen the gates of Hell. She’d tasted of the fruit of Good and Evil. God is dead, death is imminent, everything is meaningless, we are all mortal and the Kardashians have their own tv show. Her world came crashing down. Nihilism! Anarchy! These teeth scared the crap out of her. She cried the saddest, most profound cry I have ever heard. She just laid her head on my shoulder and wept at the humanity of it all. Later, in the middle of the night, she woke up screaming, and when I finally calmed her down, she shared that she was worried that her teeth were going to fall out.
Meanwhile, Kembe has been throwing fits at the unfairness of it all because none of his teeth have come out yet and Jafta got a dollar and he didn’t.
Life, man. It’s hard.