I don’t think the best of Hollywood could capture the range of emotions we experienced. There was shock, confusion, pain, delight, more pain, excitement and then outright euphoria. What triggered such a dramatic response? This scene was the result of a 5 year old losing her first baby tooth. I was about to read the kids a story when I looked up to a shocked looking Annika who eyes were glued to the tiny tooth that had somehow leaped from her mouth. After a few moments she realized that after weeks of her tooth being loose, it finally came out. Her initial excitement was tempered by the unexpected pain and blood that resulted from a tooth being ripped out of her mouth. I have never seen someone in so much happy despair in all my life. I did not know if I should celebrate or console. I kind of did both. Annika decided that the pain in her mouth needed immediate attention but after we got her cleaned up and she started sucking on an ice cube to numb the pain, she all of a sudden started erupting in her pent up excitement.
Even though it was bed time there was no way I could stop the frenzy that ensued. Still shaking we interrupted Lisa’s relaxing evening out by calling her on her cell phone. After she blurted out her story to her mom (and I translated), Annika led the twins into a series of happy dances (high speed erratic conga line). We had to stop and look for her tooth on a couple occasions as her hands were far too shaky from the excitement to hold onto to something so small. Finally I got the twins to bed and Annika was able to take a breath and come up with her tooth fairy strategy. Lisa came home just as Annika turned out the lights and after a few minutes of recounting the scene she quickly crashed into a deep sleep. All was quiet till the morning and she checked under her pillow.
I have always had an admiration for the tooth fairy. Santa Claus and the Easter bunny have similar gigs but I always thought the tooth fairy had a tougher job. First of all, the big guy and the rabbit sneak into the house but not in the bedrooms. They usually hide their treasures in the living room far away from where kids are sleeping. The tooth fairy is far bolder as she sneaks into your room and goes right under your head. That is pretty ballsy for a frilly looking fairy. Another thing that made Santa and cottontail’s job relatively easy was that they worked one day a year and they knew exactly when it was show time. The tooth fairy has to work every day and has to track every single tooth that has fallen out of children’s mouths. There is no time to work out a route and schedule she has to completely adapt to immediate needs. That is pretty impressive organizational skills. Even though I never complained about receiving toys or chocolate you have to admire the simplicity and practicality of cold hard cash. Yes, I was a fan of the tooth fairy, even though I would never admit it to other boys.
It has been a long time since I thought about the tooth fairy and what it felt like to lose your baby teeth. It is rather an immature and ridiculous tradition when you think about it but I must admit it was really fun to see this from a child’s perspective again. After seeing the pure joy in Annika’s eyes after such an accomplishment and her pride after her visit from the tooth fairy, I now have a renewed admiration for the role of that brave little fairy. I am not equipped to handle such an emotional rollercoaster on a daily basis but it was fun to experience this one crazy ride with Annika.