I remember when my Sports Fanatic had his first loose tooth. He was late to the game, he had no "wigglers" until the summer after first grade.
This is tough for a kid. It's no fun to hear about Tooth Fairy visits from classmates. And to see teeth popping out at school.
This was also tough for me. I was ready for that Tooth Fairy visit. I was an impatient mommy ready to take on another important role.
I was so impatient I traumatized him asking him to "see" his tooth every few days.
He was no dummy. He knew "see" meant "wiggle". And he would run at the very mention of his loose tooth.
He imagined losing this tooth would be scary, and painful. He had no idea what it would feel like. And my obsession with him losing it made the anxiety worse.
Finally one day, the tooth had gotten so loose it was twisted backward. He ran to me crying. He was scared, and I promised him I would fix it. I told him I would gently twist his tooth straight again.
"You (sob sob) proooomiiissse????"
I gently turned the tooth to "right" it and it fell into my palm.
Now, my son was still squirming and holding back tears, fists clenched, waiting for pain. Or to hear that the tooth was "right" again. He peeked his eye open and asked if I was finished.
I told him his tooth was in my hands.
Minutes later he was squealing with delight, excited he would finally have a visit from the coveted Tooth Fairy.
That day was three and a half years ago. And since then we have experienced several lost teeth. At least 16, maybe more. The obsession to wiggle teeth is now far behind me.
All my energy goes into making sure they are brushed.
Two weeks ago, LLG ran to me and announced he had his first loose tooth. I asked to wiggle his tooth for the sole purpose of gauging how much prep time the Tooth Fairy had before her next visit.
The tooth was loose, but experience in the matter told me the fairy had a minimum of two weeks to prepare.
And today, that tooth fell out when LLG was eating carrots. He didn't even know it. We found it on the table, right next to the carrot bowl.
Naturally, there was much excitement all day surrounding the "lost tooth". We read the Tooth Fairy book, and the tooth is snug in place awaiting its departure.
I realized that my little guy never had a lick of anxiety about losing his tooth. There were no tears. There was no running from anyone in fear they would yank out his tooth.
He lost his tooth and he was nothing but ecstatic. His memories will be happy and painless.
I've learned those teeth fall out when they are good and ready.
And as with everything, it's easier to leave well enough alone.