Throughout your life, there are milestones that you look forward to...and those you don't. Once you have a child, you become more worried about making their milestones fun and memorable, than thinking about what milestones you have left to reach. There is the first word...the first step...the first night slept through...the first haircut...and of course...the first time they lose a tooth.
Our family has had two big milestones happen in the past couple of months. Both of which were not exactly ideal - Isabella cut her own hair...and Ava swallowed the first tooth she has lost. Swallowing the tooth did not match up exactly with what I had envisioned - Ava loses her tooth. We put the tooth in the special tooth fairy box I had gotten for her, and I tell her the tooth fairy story with lots of fan fair. We put the box under the pillow, her giggling the whole time- going to bed so excited that the tooth fairy was going to trade her tooth for a little bit of money. I had not put that much thought into it : )
When she told me her tooth had finally fallen out, I was so excited. It had been hanging on for dear life for a week. I looked the whole house over, and finally realized that the only possibility was that Ava had swallowed her tooth while she ate her after-school snack. I sat down and let myself be bummed.
That is when I had to ask myself if it really mattered that the tooth was missing. Does it really matter beyond letting go of what I had envisioned? I look back to when I lost my first tooth. I was seven...and like Ava I had let my tooth hang on, until it was ready to come out by itself. My grandpa asked me why I didn't pull it. I didn't want to seem afraid in front of my grandfather, so I couldn't tell him I was scared to pull it, but he knew. He said he could have it out of there in two seconds. I said OK. He reached his big fingers into my mouth, grabbed that tooth and pulled. I instantly tasted blood. My grandpa looked down at his fingers and looked surprised...and then he told me I had done a good job. My mom got me some ice and a paper towel to help it stop bleeding. Not until a couple hours later did I realize that his fingers were so big, that he had pulled two teeth, one of which was not loose. To this day, I give him a hard time about it.
So even though that situation was not ideal either, it is actually a good memory for me.
Ava has lost her first tooth. No matter what happened to it, it's gone. And she feels great about it.
So this is what we did- I told her that the tooth fairy knows she lost a tooth, she does not need to see it. I asked her to write the tooth fairy a letter and we would put it under her pillow so she would know what happened to her tooth when she came to collect it.
This is what she wrote:
Even though I struggle for words when things do not go as planned, Ava never does : )