Shark teeth

Grant recently had his first adult tooth growing in behind his baby teeth. We call these shark teeth, because they’re in rows. In due time, one of his bottom teeth became loose and wiggly. On our vacation, he was deeply concerned about this tooth, because he’s never lost a tooth before. At night time, when I was putting him to bed, he’d tell me that he was scared. Scared that his tooth would fall out and he’d lose it, scared that his tooth would fall out and it would hurt, scared that the Canadian toothfairy wouldn’t be able to find him.

His bottom tooth became wigglier and wigglier. He would walk up to me and bare his bottom teeth at me so I could inspect it. The tooth itself would be lolling to one side, like a drunk. I’d look at the size of the adult tooth behind it and think, “no way will that big tooth fit in this little gap.”

I asked Grant to wiggle the tooth out, but no dice. He was really worried about it hurting. He had no idea what to expect, and he couldn’t remember what it was like for Henry and Eleanor to lose teeth.

One day, Grant, my father-in-law, and I were in the Georgian Bay, wading in the water. The Georgian Bay is massive, and attached to Lake Huron. By itself, it looks about the size of Lake Ontario. There is a lot of water. But it’s very shallow thanks to ever-shifting sandbars, for quite a long way. So we waded further and further out into the bay.

Earlier that day, we went to the local rip-off souvenir shop that we visit every year, and Grant spent a long time choosing his toy. He picked a beer can float, shaped like a peacock. He put a bottle of water in it, and was walking with it and watching it float. It has no bearing on this story, but he named the peacock Ice Cream. The water got to the level where the head of Ice Cream was level with Grant’s head, so he had been gnawing on the soft, inflatable head. Suddenly, he rubbed his hand over his mouth and said, “mom, what is this? Is it cheese?”

He had not only lost his tooth in the middle of the bay, but he neither swallowed it nor lost it in the water. He tipped it into my hand, and I told him, “it’s your tooth!” and he showed me his gap so proudly. My father-in-law suggested I put the tooth into the bottle of water, which I did. We floated Ice Cream back to shore, and carefully filtered the tooth out of the water (and discarded the water).

That night, the Canadian toothfairy left a toonie under Grant’s pillow. In the early hours he slipped into our room and whispered, “mom, she came and I got my coin!”

He later spent it at the arcade, with much joy and delight. And for what it’s worth, the adult tooth looks like it will fit perfectly in the gap.

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