So, Jacob's tooth is precariously dangling by a piece of rotting skin, really a stretched-out fleshy "gum tag" that is either suctioned to the tooth or attached by little teeth hooks or something. Or maybe it’s tape, or glue. I really don’t know; I didn’t bother to learn anatomy. Anyway, the tooth has been a shiny enamel mobile in my son’s mouth for over a week, and, no matter what we say or do, he won’t let ANYONE near him to yank the sucker out.
And this isn’t the first tooth he has lost.
Nope. No amount of money, idle threats, candy, promises of extra Wii gametime, NOTHING will get this boy ready for us to just reach in and pluck out the tooth. He screams, cries, and runs frantically in all directions, claiming the pain will be too excruciating and that he will suffer extreme blood loss and he will die. This might be the reason…
With his first tooth, we thought it would be so funny to put Jacob through the tried and true method of removing baby teeth, the tie-a-string-to-the-tooth-and-door-handle-and-slam-the-door-and-the-tooth-falls-out method. There isn’t a person in the whole wide world who doesn’t experience this, a total "Rite of Passage", right? The problem with this method is, we get so excited about trying it that we often do so when the tooth is, well, just not loose enough…right? Am I alone here? Am I?...
So, Jacob had his first loose tooth, and he was ready to get it pulled out. We were all excited and ready to participate in this life-changing event!
We tied the string to his tooth…funny!
We tied the sting to the door…oh how we laughed at the craziness of it all!
We got the door into position, and held Jacob still…
We slammed the door…
Suddenly, high-pitched squealing and wailing ensued as we now had a frantic, tethered child, desperately trying to make an escape like a trapped fox in a snare. The tooth was not budging, but bleeding profusely, and Jacob resembled a human paddle-ball that exploded red paint. Trying to talk to him over his howling got us nowhere as he ricocheted off the door repeatedly while we tried, without success, to hold him down and get the sting off his tooth. Fearful of losing my finger to razor sharp baby teeth, I cut the string from the door handle as Josh used all his force to hold Jacob down. We let him go and saw standing before us a traumatized, bleeding, 7-year-old with a long string firmly attached to a hanging, but determined to stay, tooth.
He looked at us, shaking, and began to slur and spit, telling us what horrible parents we were and that we were NEVER, EVER allowed to touch his teeth again! This tirade went on and on as Audrey sat in the background, half giggling, half grossed out, and 100% determined to grab a hold of that string.
Guilt does a weird thing to parents, and for a split-second, we looked at each other to confirm that we WEREN’T the worst parents in the world. That’s when Audrey leaped past us and grabbed the string.
Before we could even react, we had two screaming children on the ground, rolling around and struggling for control of that string. Jacob tried to go in for a hair pull or a jab to her nose, but he knew if he didn’t stop her determined hands from getting that string his life would be “over”.
We tried to stifle our laughter as we jumped in and pried our small, yet incredibly strong, 5-year-old off of Jacob. She was about to get a scolding for attacking her already suffering sibling, when she triumphantly held her hand high. In it, was the string! We then looked down at Jacob, who had a bleeding gap in his gum-line. The string was off! And the tooth? Next to his foot!
Immediately all the drama vanished and the kids laughed at how funny it was that his tooth was next to his foot. We laughed along with them, hoping he had already forgotten how he came into this predicament in the first place.
He hadn’t, and that’s why teeth now hang for weeks from his mouth before they fall out, and why grandpa now sends him 5 bucks for each tooth, a sort of punitive retribution for our terrible parenting skills.