a toothy sort of tale

In my house, I am the puller-of-teeth.  Something about it gives Hubs the eeby-jeebies and he just cannot handle it.  I, on the other hand, posses the necessary personality traits to get ‘er done… namely, the ability to keep on yanking when I know that sucker is ready to come out, and tune out the wails coming from the wide-eyed child I’m face-to-face with. I’d say it’s my spiritual gift, but that’s not anywhere in the Bible, so I guess it’s just a blessing I bestow upon my family.  You’re welcome, kids.

Hubs?  He’s afraid of hurting them.

Me?  Pain = money under the pillow, kid, so deal with it.

Obviously there needs to be at least one puller-of-teeth in every family, and I am proud to hold that title.  Also, I am the unclogger-of-toilets, but that’s a tale for a different day.

Teeth.

I cried a little when my firstborn lost her first tooth.  It was momentous.  I pulled it, but then she took over and started pulling her own teeth shortly thereafter.  What can I say? She is my mini-me.

I didn’t really fuss much when my boys lost their first teeth beyond bemoaning the loss of the sweet little grins I had associated with them for the first years of their lives.  Adult teeth just don’t look right on a child’s face for a while.  I can say that and you know it’s true.  The freshly-lost-tooth look is cute.  The partially-in-snaggle-tooth-craziness can be a little rough.  I’m right, aren’t I?

Julianne lost her first tooth on January 11th.  I’ve known it was getting wiggly for a while, but didn’t mess with it much.  Truth be told, I was thrilled to see it wiggle since her dental x-rays indicated that she might have her adult teeth come in behind the baby teeth which would require a pulling by a more professional puller than I.  I checked on it periodically, and one day it reached critical mass.

Critical mass for Miss J looks different from the others.  The others?  They kept those bad boys hanging on my a string as long as they could (GROSS).  Her?  She was so overwhelmed by the feeling of the loose tooth I knew it needed to be gone.  Sensory input is a funny thing, and when a child doesn’t have much sensory input as a baby/toddler, things in the brain get a little out of sorts.  She both craves input, and also is easily over-stimulated by too much input.  It’s a fine line we walk, and this tooth was not helping things out.

So, that evening, after wound care time was over, she was fussing about the tooth.  I asked her if she wanted me to pull it out, and she said yes!  Woohoo!  I grabbed a square of sterile 4 X 4 gauze (the benefits of living with a fully stocked wound care closet), and went to work.  It wasn’t *quite* ready.  It took a little effort.  I know it must have been uncomfortable.  But she just sat there.  The same way she sits when a dead, dystrophic nail needs to be removed and she asks me to pull it off for her.  I pull, I check with her to monitor pain levels, and she tells me to keep going.  She’s the bravest.  Pulling teeth is pretty much like pulling fingernails.  Wonder if she’s going to start requesting a cash deposit when she loses a nail, too.  Hmmm…  I’d totally work that angle if I were her.

A few minutes later, my little nugget lost her first tooth, and to say she was excited would be quite the understatement.  Quite.  She was beyond out-of-her-mind thrilled and this video clip proves it. 

She was experiencing a first.  JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER KIDS.

She was getting to partake in the mysteries of the tooth fairy and the sweet pile of cash left in her handy little tooth-shaped pillow.

She felt different, more connected, more FAMILY in that moment, and truth be told, I felt all of those things, too.  More like her mama for having pulled that first little tooth out.  More connected to her via this experience, more FAMILY as we celebrated this occasion in her life.

Her personality is such that everyone in the room knows exactly what she is thinking.   The longer she is home the less of a filter she has.  She used to wear a mask to hide her emotions, but as time passed, she slowly let it fall away.  Now she’s an open book, and on this night, the book was reading like the best story ever.  A daughter, a mama, and a tiny little tooth tucked into a pocket waiting for magic to happen. Grins and giggles and that gasp when she realized the tooth was out.  Such perfection.

So thankful to be the one to experience this *first* with her.

juliannes-missing-tooth-1
tooth-free & loving it!

 

 

 

 

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