For the past month, our 6-year-old son’s loose front tooth had slowly begun creeping upward until it was sticking out from his gum at a 30-degree angle, morphing him into a hillbilly Jerry Lewis.
With a lisp.
It would have been cute if it didn’t appear to lower his IQ by 40 points every time he opened his mouth.
“It’s not coming out,” my husband whined one afternoon.
I shrugged, “It’ll come out. Just give it time.”
“Seriously. I wiggled it,” he said. “It’s stuck.”
Our son stood in front of us, giving us the evil eye and channeling his inner Clint Eastwood in a go-ahead-and-make-my-day kinda stance, daring us to reach in and pluck the tiny enamel square from his tender gum.
I caved. Shocker.
But my husband? Mr. Tough As Nails (as long as it doesn’t involve spiders)?
“I’m calling the dentist,” he blurted.
Four little words certain to instill terror into the heart of any child, if watching our son’s backside tearing down the hallway at Mac 3 was any indication.
Apparently Mr. Eastwood wasn’t feeling so lucky.
My husband turned to me and muttered, “Was it something I said?”
We made a deal with our son. No dentist, but he would have to keep wiggling his tooth and get the sucker out himself.
But sometimes Fate, after watching us mere mortals stumble through our daily lives without any real clue, will intervene and show us the universe just likes to screw with us.
Returning home from school, my son emerged from the car only to be scooped up by his dad with a “Hey, how was school?” full-on bear tackle.
They wrestled and laughed on the driveway like only those with an XY chromosome combo will do.
A few minutes later, my son walked into the kitchen, turned to me and said...something. I don’t remember because all I could see when he smiled was a BIG GAPING HOLE in his mouth!
Holy Bucktooth, Batman!
“YOUR TOOTH IS GONE!” I hollered.
His eyes got THIS BIG and he screamed, “Oh, no!”...then he ran right back out the door.
OK. Not the response I expected.
...then he was right back in the house. There he stood with his tooth, holding it in his little fingers like it was the key to the city.
“Dad knocked it right outta my mouth, Mom!” he screamed in delight. “I found it outside!”
The kid can’t see six days' worth of dirty laundry littering his bedroom floor but manages to spot a tiny little tooth among the sea of concrete that is our driveway?
If only we could use his special powers for good.
The little guy was getting ready for bed, and it was time to put the aforementioned tooth under his pillow.
I looked around the kitchen and quickly realized something.
It wasn’t where I had left it earlier that afternoon.
I pointed to the counter and asked my husband, “Where did the tooth go?”
He shrugged, “I don’t know.”
I - again - pointed to a spot on the counter. “Here. It was right here. I put it on a paper towel and left it right here.”
My husband? Just looked at me like I was speaking Swahili.
“Helloooo!” I waved a hand in his face. “Where did it go?”
His eyes slowly drifted toward the trash can, and his mouth formed the word, “Oops.”
The tooth was gone. In the trash with the paper towel because Mr. Clean can’t stand anything on his countertops for more than 5 seconds.
I walked back into the kitchen after putting our son to bed, whistling a happy tune. Which I can do, by the way. Unlike my son, I have all my teeth.
“So,” my sheepish husband said, “did you tell him we lost his tooth?”
I stopped whistling, “Are you crazy? No, as far as he’s concerned, his tooth was wrapped in the tissue he carefully placed under his pillow.”
My husband looked at me and asked with trepidation, “And it was actually....?”
I smiled and pointed to the dog treat canister on the kitchen counter, “A small, broken piece of Milk Bone.”
Moms. Who said only magicians can practice the sleight of hand?