Thursday, June 3, 2010

Like Pulling Teeth

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’” Matthew 5:38

I heard a commotion in the kitchen. I knew what the conversation was coming to. “Quick, get me a paper towel. It’s almost out!” As I hide, little brother obliges by climbing up on the countertop to reach the paper towel dispenser to aid his brother in one of life’s more gruesome moments – the pulling of teeth.

Now I haven’t always felt this way about baby teeth. When I had a full set of my own, I used to enjoy getting them to where they were barely dangling in my mouth. I used to show my friends how I could flick them with my tongue and sometime I could even feel the underside of the rim of the tooth that was the telltale sign that the tooth was ready to be dislodged. I remember twisting and turning them and how sometimes they would make a crunching sound in my head. My mom and stepdad used to get in on the action and we used floss, doorknobs and handfuls of paper towels. Whatever it took to pull the tooth out!

I also had several that had roots clear to my ankles that had to be extracted by the dentist. They gave me a little plastic tooth saver and I proudly wore my teeth around my neck like some kind of tribal member (I am Cherokee, for the record, but I’m not aware of any tooth customs). And then, of course, the Tooth Fairy would come and leave me a quarter or fifty cents under my pillow, or maybe she wouldn’t for several weeks. The Tooth Fairy was kind of hit-or-miss at my house. But she always left me my teeth.

I put them in a little ceramic container that I kept in my desk. Every now and then, I would get them out and take a look at my teeth. There was one silver capped one, four with long roots, a couple with fillings, and the others. I don’t know why I kept them, but years later when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I brought along a baggy to take my teeth home, even though the Tooth Fairy had long since taken me off her visitation list. I guess I needed a souvenir for the pain and suffering. Plus, I wanted to see what they looked like! They were a part of me, after all. I grew them!

So, you would think that after all my tooth experiences, I would be immune to dental aversion. Nope. Something about having my own child pull out his own tooth makes me ill. His even talking about it occasionally makes me need to lie down with feelings of faintness. And the bloody pearl that is the final outcome goes straight into a sandwich bag and right under his pillow so that this Tooth Fairy doesn’t have to look at it all day.

My son’s Tooth Fairy does, however, carry on the tradition of saving baby teeth, even though she is disgusted by them. My medicine cabinet currently contains eight frontal baby teeth of my 7YO all in their own individual plastic baggies (I’m not touching them) just in case it turns out that my son wants to look at them later on.

I can’t imagine him ever asking for them.

Maybe I’ll save them for his wedding gift.

“But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:12


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.