Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Smile

A little over a month after it first started wiggling, Little A's first tooth fell out while I sat in the last workshop of a dozen that took place in the course of a three day seminar.

Now that things are slower at work, and it's nearly tax season, Big A decided my brain may as well get back in shape (and help us earn more money for Little A's breathtaking school tuition rates) by taking the Philippine Stockbrokers' Licensing Exam. We did meet in this industry, after all, so he figures I know the clients, the software, and everything but the actual nitty gritty of the stock market. Never mind that's been over a decade since I left and entered the exhausting world of retail.

Nothing a three-day workshop can't fix! This seminar is the prerequisite to an exam we sit in a month's time. Passing (70% of higher) means I have a broker's license for three years or longer, depending on whether or not I keep it active.

Near the end of three mind-numbing days of lectures in a hall that looked like a bomb shelter (the ceiling was falling in and the windows were covered in black paper for reasons I could not fathom and did not dare ask), I got a text from Little A's teacher informing me that he lost his tooth that day. As any typical parent who missed a child's milestone would, I bombarded her with questions - When and where exactly did it happen? Did he cry? Was the tooth sent safely home?

She replied in the way any mother of a toddler would - completely and without hesitating. He was working in small group when he approached her, tapped her on the arm, and held something out. When she took it, she saw it was his tooth, which had been wobbling precariously the couple of days prior. He opened his mouth and showed her that his gum was bleeding.

They iced the area for ten counts, all Little A would tolerate, and then showed him how to apply pressure with a hand towel. After that he would periodically walk up to them and show them the gap where his tooth used to be, but remained calm the rest of the day.

As I was stuck in the seminar, the Au Pair picked him up from school. She also sent a report - Little A held his tooth carefully in the car all the way home, and that I should expect a call from the other teacher because Little A also bit a younger classmate who stuck his finger in my son's mouth because he was curious about the missing tooth.

Since the biting was a reflex action and not intentional, this was quickly forgiven. As Big A and I had dinner out that evening, I saw my gap-toothed son very briefly, in which time I put his tooth carefully in an envelope. The Au Pair helped him put it under his pillow at bedtime.

When Big A and I got home that evening, I did the first of what will be many furtive exchanges any parent does when they take on the new role of Tooth Fairy. Next morning, I asked Little A where his tooth was, and he checked under the pillow and then promptly waved his money in the air.

One down, nineteen to go! My hope is that the rest come out as painlessly, and the new ones grow in straight. I suffered two painful years of braces after eight of my teeth were extracted from my too-small jaw. I pray my son doesn't need to go through the same. 

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