Christopher lost a tooth last night. It was time. The tooth that came out had been wiggling for three weeks or so. I commented on it nearly every night, as I helped him floss his teeth.
“Christopher, you want me to help you pull it out?” I asked.
Christopher would wiggle it, make a pained sound, and say, “Not yet, Daddy. It’s not ready.” We would finish his teeth and hope for the next day.
A few minutes later, after that scenario played out once again, Christopher came running back to me, “Daddy! Daddy! Blood! Blood!” Blood ran from Christopher’s mouth. I looked inside it and saw the tooth as the source. Christopher had apparently tried to wiggle it some more. It was ready. We went to the sink in his bathroom for him to rinse out his mouth. I got a tissue and helped him clean off his chin. Christopher looked at himself in the mirror and opened his mouth to see his teeth. He grasped his tooth, wiggled it a little more, and pulled it out…then accidentally dropped it in the sink.
“Daddy! Daddy! I dropped my tooth.” I tried to grab it, but was too slow and grimaced as the tooth went down the drain. I looked in and thought I saw the tooth, sticking to the side of the drain plug. “Daddy, can you get it?” Christopher asked.
I thought for a second and thought no way. Yet, I couldn’t let him down. Knowing that we still have Christopher’s baby teeth saved, I went and checked in our bathroom, opening the drawer where I stuffed most of the envelopes that had once been under pillows. They were gone. I headed downstairs and explained to my wife what had happened. “What did you do with their baby teeth?” Mo had cleaned out the drawer and put the teeth in a pillbox. I was relieved they hadn’t been tossed.
I went to the garage and grabbed the bucket I normally put under the drains for those times when Liquid Plumber won’t fix the clog. “Christopher, please wait a few minutes.” I then headed to our bathroom and grabbed a spare baby tooth. With Christopher watching intently, I made a big show of removing the pipes. “Don’t worry Christopher, we’ll get it.” I eventually used some sleight-of-hand pulled the baby tooth from my pocket. “Got it!” I said. I then put the pipes back on, tightened them, and washed off the tooth. “Here you go,” I said. “Don’t drop it this time.” Christopher was excited. “Daddy, get an envelope. I need to go to bed or the tooth fairy won’t come.”
One day, Christopher may realize what I did. For now, I just know he went to sleep happy.