The Waiting Game

My friend’s 5-year-old daughter (let’s call her “M”) has a loose tooth. For months, this child has been relentless, demanding her parents tell her when she would lose her first tooth. Now that it’s loose, well, now that’s a different matter.

As my friend explained this scenario to me, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison to when you first find out you’re pregnant. That growing child inside you consumes your every thought, “When will I start to show?” “When will the baby come?” And then, you’re 9 months pregnant. The realization that this baby has to come out somehow begins to dawn on you.

This sudden realization – that her long-awaited loose tooth must come out – has suddenly sunken in for “M.” Instead of the questions of, “When will I get a loose tooth?!” she’s now asking,

“How is it going to come out?”

“Will it bleed?”
“Will it hurt? What happens if it wiggles loose in my sleep and I breath in at the same time. MOM THEY DON”T dissolve in tummies like food! I DON”T WANT MY TOOTH TO GO IN THE POTTY! What does the tooth fairy REALLY look like? I believe she looks like the fairy on the front of my ‘Good Fairy Book.’ (Brian Froud)”

When my friend explained to her that there are really only two ways about it – patience or yanking it out – she had some very serious reservations about her options. To yank or not to yank is the question.

So, now, while we wait, “M” has become grumpily obsessed, much like an expectant pregnant woman, with when her day will come. Instead of eating basil and driving over railroad tracks, “M” may have a few days (or weeks) of apple eating and slamming doors with a string attached ahead of her.

At least when her day finally comes, she’ll only have a visit from the Tooth Fairy to look forward to and not hours of labor… And by the time her second tooth is loose, she’ll be an old pro. And much like a woman pregnant with her second child, she’ll foolishly think she’s prepared.


EDITOR’S NOTE: She has since lost her tooth. Drama over. For now. Until next time…


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