"And don't let Buck anywhere near that!" I say to Brahm as he disappears into his bedroom.
"Buck" is what the little grandkids call my dad. He and my mom are due for a visit and Brahm's tooth is loose. This is a bad combination. When I was a little girl with a loose tooth of my own, my dad would say, "Here, let me wiggle it just a little," then pop it out of my mouth before I knew what was what. Somehow he knew that I would be too stunned by what he had done followed by complete absorption in the tooth itself to be too mad. And he was right (though I still give him a hard time about it to this day). So, having given Brahm a fair warning, I go to bed that night resting easy.
A loose tooth is a milestone in childhood. You wait for your first one to give any sign that it's on the way out and when it does, you can’t stop fiddling with it. Brahm’s first tooth came out a few months ago by accident when he and his brother were wrestling on their bed. Now that the second tooth is loose, it’s a big deal since it’s the first time he gets to go through the process start to finish. Like most kids, he’s excited to lose it but he’s also afraid it’s going to hurt when it comes out.
“Why don’t you tie it to the doorknob with some floss then slam it shut?” This was a popular technique with me after I got wise to Buck’s method. Brahm pulls a face to let me know he won’t consider it. I try a more a humane approach, also drawn from my childhood. “You can always tie it to the ladder by your bed. That way, as you toss and turn during the night your tooth will be pulled out without you even knowing.” He’s definitely open to this one and walks away considering it.
That night he announces his decision: he wants to tie it next to the bed and asks me to do the honors. We’re all on hand to witness the spectacle: Oliver agog practically on top of him, me tying the knot and Brooks with the camera. Once it’s done, I say good night and ascend to the kitchen.
It’s half hour later, however, that I hear a commotion and not two second later see Oliver and Brahm rush into the kitchen, with Brooks a few feet behind.
“His tooth came out!” Oliver yells preemptively.
“Well?” I ask.
The boys are too busy examining the tooth so Brooks filled me in.
“Brahm said he couldn’t sleep because the string in his mouth was bothering him. I went to untie it but decided to wiggle it a little first. Before I knew it, I had pulled a Buck on him.”
“You did what?” I blurted, caught off guard.
He shrugged his shoulders a little and that was that. I looked over at Brahm who was happy and relieved so I let it go. He was obviously way too absorbed in the tooth to care.