Sweet face and an empty space

28 Jan

At 7.5 Alex finally lost his very first tooth lost naturally.  Does that make sense?  He had one pulled a long long time ago and has a spacer and now he lost one of his lower front teeth.  He was both elated and disgusted by the sensory aspects of the experience and as he was sleeping in my room he suggested that we leave the tooth in the kitchen for the Toothfairy as she is “THE” Toothfairy and would know where to look.   Love his logic!

Here’s my baby boy:

I was just thrilled he finally lost one as on the morning of the day that he announced his tooth was loose I was telling his Dad that we need to make another dentist appointment for him and I was worried that he hadn’t yet started losing his baby teeth.  I lost my first one at a restaurant in Provincetown, MA at age 5.  It fell out in a bowl of rice and my mom cut apart each piece of rice to try to find it.  Baby teeth really are tiny and somewhat rice like.

The second tooth, that I lost, happened in school.  I was in Miss Kelly’s class:

(I’m in the back row, third from the right…Blond with bangs)…

We were having show and tell and I brought in these nifty German handpuppets- I believe one was a fox and the other was a bunny.  I still have them- they are those stuffed creatures with the little button/earring -Steiff makes them…

Anyway, I did not like having attention paid to me by the whole class at once.  The idea scared the daylights out of me then and now.  It’s probably good that I veered away from teaching after a rocky start in my studies.

So my tooth came out right before I was supposed to go on.  I didn’t want to call attention to my predicament so I went on as scheduled and pretended to do voices for my puppets (which isn’t really something I ever had done as I wasn’t big on making them have conversations aloud). Mumbly voices- one high pitched and one lower.

I can’t remember what I made them say but I do remember feeling relieved when my time was up and we headed out of the building to the playground.  The playground had a jumpy bridge- planks of wood connected by chain that rattled and bounced when a kid would jump on it.  The jumpy bridge was always my first hurdle on the playground.  If I could stand in the middle and jump a couple of times then I could definitely stand at the top of the fire pole intending to slide down but never doing it because aside from the swings, I was not a fan of having nothing under my feet for even a brief moment.  I remember that I would smell my hands after grabbing the pole so hard that my palms were a shock of white and reddish pink.  The smell was metallic and to this day when I smell that watery metallic smell I’m right back there at the top of the pole, not feeling defeated because I knew I would try again the next day.

The little slide was wet so I turned around and went back over the bouncy bridge.  I stopped in the middle and jumped and gulp.

I swallowed and as I swallowed I remembered that I still was concealing that little tooth in my mouth and down it went.

I thought I was going to barf.  I worried that there would be a scene if I did and then the janitor would come and sprinkle that weird Pepto Bismol pinkish dust on my embarrassing puddle of barf and tooth.  I always thought that the Pepto Bismol would have helped more if they gave it to kids before they barfed but now I know it’s not really Pepto Bismol, but it was that weird pink.  That weird Pepto Bismol meets 1980’s ceramic bathroom fixture mauve-y pink.  It’s also the color of the upholstery on the exam tables in many OB/GYN offices. Not that I have been to enough to really extrapolate with any accuracy.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the offices I have been to, and pretty much everywhere I have been that medically deals with human vaginae, hospitals, offices, etc…, prefers that color.

Anyway.

Oh the tooth.

So I freaked a little.  I was very upset about the tooth and my face, normally a vibrant pink blush, had taken on such pallor that the teacher did send me to the nurse.

I didn’t confess anything to her.  I liked her. She was a good school nurse, very kind and a good listener. I was the weird kid so I spent some time in her office at least once a week. Not because I was sickly or anything, I was just strange and preferred talking to adults if I had the choice.

I did confess to my mother.  I was upset that because I had not swallowed by pride but I had swallowed my tooth.  I had this dreadful sense that The Toothfairy would not be making a stop at our home in the woods because there was no tooth under a pillow to beckon her.   I thought putting the tooth under my pillow was kind of like the Batman Signal being activated.  No tooth, no signal, no toothfairy money or little five piece pack of Trident.

So I wrote a letter, hoping it would help.  I even included my phone number in case she needed directions or had to send someone else for this particular unusual case.  I was hoping that she could accommodate me and the tooth that was somewhere in my guts, hopefully avoiding my appendix.  I had just reread the Madeline book where she gets her appendix out and I was a bit concerned.

You can tell how truly upset I was because my spelling was abysmal.  I was reading at an adult level at age 5 and my spelling was pretty good thanks to the Stephen King that I was reading (that no child should ever read).

Here’s my letter:

and here is a self portrait.  Rainbow dress and high heels at 5 years old…  I think that style wise I was the opposite of me now.  Now I’m all about jeans, black v-neck, charcoal grey hooded sweater/cardigan/fleece… Don’t worry, I’m my own best customer and I almost always have some fantastic glowing piece of my art on me somewhere.  But here’s how I saw me in first grade:

Bright colors and all girly and smiling huge.  Clearly this was before the 2nd grade destruction of self-esteem.  But we’ll get to that another time.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of the tooth of my youth.

If you have a funny loose tooth memory please share in the comments or blog and post a link in the comments here!

Happy Weekend!

Oh and there are a couple of new pieces up in my shop just clickety click here!

XO

Bek

 

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