Children have many firsts when they’re little. But a big first for “big boys” is that first loose tooth. My son has talked and talked about when he would get his first loose tooth. He jealously watched other Kindergarteners come to school with a new hole in their smile. He wistfully spoke about when he would finally feel a wiggle in his mouth. And then, one day, a tooth came loose.
Three weeks later and that darn tooth is still holding on strong. What is a parent to do?
My husband and I remember getting our teeth pulled out by tying a string around the tooth, attaching the string to the door and slamming the door shut. I don’t remember it hurting. I don’t remember being upset. I do remember thinking my dad was completely off his gourd, but in a fun, exciting, thrilling way only dads can be. Could this actually work? Was this going to hurt to high heaven? What if the door just pulled me along with it? And where was my mother? Not at home. My dad was too smart to do it in her presence.
I can vividly remember the anticipation of waiting for him to slam the door. The scared, excited feeling one gets on a roller coaster. This was my dad, afterall. He wasn’t going to do something that was actually going to hurt me. So he tied up my tooth, wrapped the string around the door handle and let it rip. The tooth popped out like a mini explosion. Relief and amazement washed over me. I had a new tooth to put under my pillow.
As an adult, I asked my dad what he what he was thinking — ripping my tooth out like that. He replied it was just a novelty. Certainly every child is different. But I’m glad my dad took a walk on the wild side. It seems like a crazy experiment only fathers can pull off and kids will go along with. It made for a lasting memory of a dad I had total faith in who gave me the chance to live on the edge as much as a seven year old can.
EVOLVE: Do you remember losing a tooth? Tell us your story.