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Snaggle Tooth Story


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Before I Was A Mom

Snaggle Toothed Story

My daughter was a Christmas baby. By Easter she was teething. I'll never forget that Easter day 1996. I think it was one of the longest days of my life. Nothing soothed her swollen gums. She cried. I rocked. She cried. I medicated. She cried. I walked. Then we drove down country roads frightening all the little Easter bunnies. Finally the energy she expelled in screaming for what seemed like five days must have worn her out. She fell asleep. I pulled into the yard and parked the car where the sun would keep us warm. Blessed peace. Her sweet face in slumber made me smile even though my head was throbbing.

I've often thought teething must be a terrible aggravation for an infant. I know it was to this adult. Along with sympathy and the feeling of not being able to make everything better, came physical pains. I'm talking about the pains that start at the base of a parent's neck and shoot out through eye sockets like lightning bolts that zap you hard on both cheeks before jumping back in and sending erratic shock waves to temples.

Daughter Missing Babytooth

My daughter, now a kindergartner, and I suffered through some hard days trying to get those blinding white porcelain beauties to burst through what must have been gums of reinforced steel. But I guess those folks at my daughter's school didn't know exactly what we'd been through. That may have been why they stared so intensely last week when they saw my daughter and I on all fours scouring the dirt, grass, and rocks for the tooth pulled at school that day.

Granddaughter Missing Babytooth
"Mommmmmm, I lost my tooth."

"Well you sure did."

"No, mom. I really lost my tooth. I can't find it anywhere. It fell out of my book bag and this second grade boy kicked it out the bus door."

"Oh. Where was the bus door when this happened?"

"It was at school. We were on our way home today."

Well, of course, we have to go to the school to find this rite of passage so we can place it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. Right? How hard could it be to find this well-cared-for bright white porcelain beauty in four acres of grass and dirt? Tooth FairyYes, I'm one of them. My cup is always half-full. We have to pick her brother up from football practice anyway, so we head out early in high hopes of bringing the tooth fairy her due.

When we arrive at the school, my daughter runs in front of me to the bus stop. She surveys the sight trying to decide the exact spot the bus was parked earlier that afternoon. She picks out about three possible locations.

The loading area is not paved so we first look in the sand. There must be 100 tiny rocks in the small area we are searching. All the rocks in the orange loose sand of ruts have been run over thousands of times by incoming and outgoing buses. Most of the rocks are just the size of a baby tooth.

While I was losing hope we'd actually find the original tooth, I thought I might be able to keep the tears at bay when I came upon a rock that looked for the world like a tooth. The only difference was it had an orange tone.

"Look honey, is this it?"

"Yes mommy. I think it is."

Sisters Missing Babytooth

A little girl a few years older than my kindergartner came to see what we were doing. The two girls discussed the situation then began another search. I thought it must be a fun game, thinking my daughter had been appeased with the rock tooth in my pocket. Then I overheard a whispered conversation.

"Mommy thinks she found the tooth. It's in her pocket. Please don't tell mommy if she tries to show it to you -- but it's really a rock."

I told them to have fun playing and walked to the teacher's bench, thinking about my little girl trying to spare my feelings while I tried to spare hers. It was a most pleasant and enlightening moment. It was a keeper.

Tooth FairyOn the way home, my daughter and I came clean with each other about the rock tooth and decided to write the tooth fairy a note explaining the events leading to the unfortunate loss. We discussed how we hoped the fairy would understand that mistakes sometimes happen. My daughter said she sure hated to tell the tooth fairy she lost the tooth, but guessed a note would be okay.

It's funny how life just works out sometimes -- even when you've accepted that you've lost your tooth and have to explain all that to a beautiful fairy. When we arrived home and checked the messages my daughter's face lit up at just about the wattage that I previously ascribed to the tooth. Here's what was on my answering machine.

"Hello… This is Ms. Debbie. I taught you in my pre-school last year. Remember? My little girl was just about to do her spelling lesson for tonight…and guess what!!!! When she opened her spelling book -- a very white baby tooth fell out. She described a little girl to me who sat with her on the bus today. I thought about you. Sweetie, if you lost a tooth today, just give me a call. I'll keep it safe until you can come and get it."
Baby Tooth
My daughter and I placed the white porcelain beauty under her pillow the next night.

Her snaggle-toothed smile the next morning was another keeper.

Snaggle Toothed Story by, Vyvyan Lynn

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