Four and a half loose milky teeth ago, my now 5-year-old daughter had her first loose tooth. Losing teeth is one of those experiences parenthood doesn’t prepare you for. We assume we only need to contend with soiled diapers, fevers and the all too famous terrific two’s. Those million mommy blogs hardly talk about us having to pretend to be brave and cruelly pulling out teeth. I contemplated booking Pesh at the dentist’s but wondered how it would be spoken of. I, Mama Pesh- the Bold, took her daughter to a dentist to get a dangling, almost falling tooth to be pinched out.
Squints* Not so impressive
If only her father was around. This would not be an issue to break my back over.
Then suddenly a brilliant idea came to mind. I could have someone do it at a cost and still not be seen near the dentist! I would not only have created temporary employment for someone, my dear Pesh wouldn’t have to watch her supposed pain reflect on my face! I felt so bright I could feel the burn!
I got it done very well and then, we had a new problem. We got the tooth out..so what do we do with it? Pesh held it tight in her hand so it wouldn’t fall and get lost. “Hun, have you ever heard of tooth fairies?” I asked suddenly excited with my continued brilliance. “Like Thumbelina?” her eyes opened wide with curiosity. “Yes,” I explained “but Thumbelina has brothers and sisters who you don’t see on TV but live around us” Thank God there is no commandment on lying because this would have jetted me straight to hell. Or maybe number 9 is? “When you are so brave like you are right now-, “ I continued wearing my sweetest smile. “They put your name down and come at night to hunt for your tooth.” She suddenly frowned and pulled her hand away hiding the tooth wrapped in her palm under her armpit. “Why?” she whimpered. “Well, so they can reward you!” I hoped she would brighten up…and she did. “If they find your tooth they pick it up and reward you with a coin to buy yourself a gift.” she was elated and brought the tooth back to light.So together, that night, we hid the tooth under her pillow, said our prayers and my two daughters went to sleep. I sat and watched them both in admiration and remembered back in the day when our brevity during such events were rewarded with stalks of sugarcane we could hardly bite into. At times we were asked to hide the teeth under our pillows and when my parents couldn’t get a coin they would throw the tooth away while we slept and promise us that good luck would follow us. It never occurs to a child why good luck must follow people but hey, our parents had spoken!
I slipped a Kshs 20 coin under the pillow Pesh lay her head on and pulled out the tiny incisor we had placed therein. My husband and I promised to give our children the best childhood we could and this was going to be one of them. That morning Pesh woke up and immediately checked under her pillow. She was thrilled to see a shiny coin in place of her tooth. ‘Looks like you were very brave, the fairies got pleased with you!” I teased, “I never got any coins when I was young.”
“No? What did you find?” Pesh asked wearing pride and content. “Nothing” I replied, almost tasting blunt sugar cane juice in my mouth.
“ I was not as brave as you are,” I went on worried a little about Hell- Jet. “ I cried ever time. Even when I felt no pain. I hope you now I’m proud of you, sweetie,” and a hug sealed this fairy conversation.
Three more times Justin and I ensured we replaced the teeth with coins and had the same excited reaction in the morning. Innocently she knows the fairies are proud of her and she will do everything not to fail them. Now, I can only hope she wont hate it when she discovers there are no real fairies…that her tooth fairy is me and that we did it all to give her an exciting childhood.