The Parenting Fail that Wasn’t


Straight off the bus. Gap-toothed joy.

My son lost his third tooth the other day. For what seems like forever (about a month), his two front teeth have been creating a more and more obtuse angle, coming forward a little more each day to buckteeth proportions. Sure, the left tooth was wiggly, but not very much so. We figured it would be a while – another week or two – before he lost one and then the other of his front teeth. He figured out how to bite and chew with the side of his mouth, so really it was just about the waiting.

And then, around 10:30 on Thursday morning I got the call from the school nurse. “No emergency,” she assured me. An emergency hadn’t even registered with me – I thought it was a call about doing regular lice checks or something else equallyย ignorable. Instead, I was informed that my kindergartener had lost a tooth in physical education thanks to a classmate’s wayward hand and its contact with my son’s mouth. “There was some blood,” the nurse explained. “But he’s fine now.” A pause. “We haven’t been able to find the tooth.”

Oh no! The situation suddenly became serious. The nurse assured me that my newly gap-toothed kid had accepted the explanation that the Tooth Fairy would take the glittery tooth holder presented to my son despite no tooth to save inside it. Crisis averted!

I then asked some peripherally parent-like questions revolving around my son’s well-being, if he was upset, if the tooth came out cleanly…okay, great. Thank you so much for calling. Bye now!

Until the phone was back in its cradle, it didn’t even occur to me that I could have asked to speak to the center of the tooth emergency – my son! In my attempt to seem casual and less of a helicopter parent, I had pushed the most obvious question out of my consciousness – “Can I speak to him?” #FAIL

I needn’t have worried. As he got off the bus later that day, I was not greeted by an anxious, tearful, mourning boy. Instead, my six-year-old practically bounced down the stairs with a “Guess what!” and a grin that showed off his new gap. No trauma, just basking in the fame of having lost a tooth in combat. Best of all, some keen-eyed fourth grader had found the baby tooth in the next physical education class. Sometimes the kids don’t need big people to step in – even by phone – to offer comfort. And for that, the Tooth Fairy will be eternally grateful.

Take a sip of the moonshine that yeah write has this weekend. Calorie-free and good for the soul.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. #RESIST
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28 Responses to The Parenting Fail that Wasn’t

  1. Gina says:

    First of all… Could he be ANY cuter? Those eyes!

    Teeth wonderings at that time are so fun! Thank goodness he was thrilled by the “knockout” and if that kid didn’t find it, we’ve written a note to the TF letting her know. Then it’s “her” job to remember to sneak in the cash!

    • The nurse was so awesome – and the sparkly tooth container is a great trade-off for a tooth. ๐Ÿ™‚ I get the feeling I will need to encourage some note writing in the future though.

  2. What an ADORABLE picture! And, we have written notes more than once to the tooth fairy (for swallowed teeth!). She is very understanding.

  3. I am the most awful, terrible Tooth Fairy on the planet! Always forget the first night and have to come up with some excuse why she didn’t come…..Oy.

  4. Oh that photo! And what a great story. My son lost his first tooth while taking a bite of something and then swallowing, tooth and all. We have a very innovative tooth fairy here but she does not search for teeth once they’ve entered the digestive system, I can tell you. She just hands over the money and tiptoes away. . .

  5. That is a precious picture. Talking about how it hung on for so long, made me think of my now college freshman. There was one tooth right in front. It refused to come out and hung on by a hair for weeks. I’d drop him off for first grade and say a little prayer that made this would be the day that it would break free. My mom #fail with baby teeth was forgetting to let the toothfairy know she needed to stop at our house. Glad the tooth was found.

  6. I love this pic. And that story to go along with it is perfect!

  7. He is just too cute! Glad it came out cleanly. I get a call from the nurse almost weekly (my kid is a klutz) and u never ask to talk to him. Oops!

  8. “lost a tooth in combat”–lol. Cute pic!

  9. Bee says:

    He looks entirely happy in the pic! Gorgeous eyes — and those eyelashes — oh, I’m jealous! I have like, no eyelashes. lol

  10. Chrystal says:

    The whole tooth fairy thing has been my biggest parenting fail. NOT ONCE have I remember to swap money for the tooth the first night. I’m a horrible mommy.

  11. dberonilla says:

    Oh my gosh… that picture!! What a sweetie!
    I’m glad that it all worked out. Funny how life has a way of doing that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. What a great post this is. It’s in the second guessing of ourselves that I find we learn we are often too hard on ourselves as parents. Our kids are incredibly resilient, aren’t they? Maybe we had something to do with that. A little?

  13. 50peach says:

    What a trooper he is! Such a great post and love the picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Hilarious! At least you didn’t have the experience of one of my friends. Her daughter didn’t want to part with her first tooth, so she left a note for the tooth fairy and they found her frantically trying to hide it under her bed so she could keep it. Ha!

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