About a month ago, as we were vacationing up at the family cabins, we noticed that something looked a little different about Joy's smile. One of her two lower front teeth was just slightly displaced, poking forward just a fraction.
Her first loose tooth! At the age of 6 1/2, the time was right.
I had wondered how this was going to go. What would Joy think? Would it bother her? Would she wiggle it all day and night? Would she even notice? Would she swallow it in her sleep?
Her experience was so different than mine. I was a mega-wimp about my first loose tooth. I had an over-active imagination and was terribly afraid of pain. Those jokes that grown-ups always make, about getting out the pliers or tying a string to the tooth & doorknob, scared me silly. I ended up going far out of my way to keep that wiggly tooth from notice, wouldn't let anyone touch it, barely touched it myself. Eventually it got so loose it came out when I bit into a grape. (Update: the caption on the first picture in my Nov. 8 post, in my old photo album, says that my second one came out on the same day as the first, and I brushed it out with my toothbrush. Doesn't mention the grape. Amazing what we remember, and don't.)
Joy, on the other hand, didn't seem to notice much. I helped her wiggle it a bit from time to time, but figured that nature could take its course.
And then I saw the adult tooth pop through. Behind the baby tooth, like a shark, rather than underneath. Arggh. I immediately had visions of an extraction at a dentist appointment, complete with sedation.
So I started wiggling harder. Several times a day, I'd tell Joy "wiggle, wiggle!" and see if I could get into her mouth to loosen that tooth. It turned out to be one of those moments when sensory-seeking worked in our favor. She soon learned to echo "wiggle, wiggle" and open up for me -- and let me really wiggle it good, sometimes even bloody. More often than not, after I gave it one good wiggle, she'd reach for my hand and show me that she wanted me to do it again!
The tooth was stubborn, but it did get looser and looser. Last night, as I was giving it the big wiggle treatment, it finally popped out.
Look at the spike that thing still had on it!
And look at the big-girl grin afterwards:
We're not doing tooth-fairy. It just doesn't make sense with Joy at this point. We are doing a special homemade waffle breakfast with home-grown frozen strawberries, though. Which I'm about to go and prepare, for my big girl and her proud sister.