On Tuedsay, March 16, Button lost her first tooth. It became loose the Wednesday before. She was fascinated by it that evening, but then totally freaked out about it Thursday morning. When Niki left her at school, she was crying inconsolably. I think she was just so beside herself, not knowing what was going on, if it would hurt, and why it felt funny to eat anything at all!

But then by the time she came home that night, she was sporting that tooth around like a pair of new designer jeans. “Look at my tooth!” “See my toofh!” On the way home from school, she declared that she wanted me to take it out that night. “That way the tooth fairy will come and leave me candy or money or a toy under my pillow!”

“Who told you about the Tooth Fairy, Button?” I asked.

“Nobody did. I just know it.”

Oh, the osmosis of our culture.

“Well, I have a secret to tell you. The Tooth Fairy isn’t real. There can’t be a Tooth Fairy because there’s no such thing as fairies.”

“Oh! Then why do all the parents tell their kids there’s a Tooth Fairy.”

“Because they want to do something special for them and they think it’s more special if they say a tooth fairy comes. But there isn’t a Tooth Fairy. Instead, while you’re sleeping, Daddy and I will come in your room and leave you a treat.”

Unphased, she said, “Ooh! Can it be a lollipop? Or maybe gum? Or money? Or chocolate? You know what? I like lollipops the most. Can it be a lollipop?”

I grinned. “We’ll see!”

“Can we take it out tonight???” she begged.

“We can try, honey.”

I had no idea how determined this kid was to get a lollipop. First we tried “mom’s fingers” – me pulling on the tooth. But no success. So then we graduated to the string around the tooth tied to the door handle trick. We tried that three times. The tooth was MUCH looser, but still hanging on. She was undeterred, though. “Get the tools, Mama!” Okay… so I went and got some pliers and laid her down on the bed.

I must admit, it looked a bit like a scene from a horror movie – me hovering over her with pliers wide open, and her cringing on the bed with her mouth open. We tried that three times, too, until she finally was too scared to continue. So, the tooth stayed in, but barely!!!

She was so worried about it hurting – and bleeding! – when it came out. But it did neither. It fell out when she was running in the gym at school, and she proudly presented it to me when I picked her up from school that day.

And I snuck a lollipop under her pillow that night.

And she ate it before Niki got her up and ready for school the next morning.

I love that kid!