I absolutely love the little surprises I encounter in my day-to-day life as a mother. Sometimes it’s crayons in the pockets of blue jeans, hopefully found before they hit the washing machine, sometimes it’s the I-need-an-elf-costume-tomorrow-sorry-I-forgot-to-tell-you-sooner dropped on me at bedtime the night before the big day. And sometimes it’s that sweet smile with a hug that comes even when they don’t want any money from us.

One of those recent surprises in the Maysey house in- volved a tooth.

Noticing Abby’s first loose tooth last year, I began worrying that it would come out and she’d lose it, or that she’d choke on it. When she approached me one afternoon and said, “My tooth fell out,” and then took me to the exact spot on the carpet where it lay, I decided I’d gotten myself all worked up over nothing.

Of course we made a big deal of this milestone and explained the concept of the Tooth Fairy to our daughter. I’ll never forget her excitement over finding money under her pillow the next morning.

We went several months without another tooth incident, and then over Christmas break we finally discovered Loose Tooth #2.

Surprisingly enough, Abby allowed me to pull that one for her — on a day she was scheduled to spend the night with my parents. She seemed fine with having the Tooth Fairy visit her at Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s house, so we sent the tooth with her.

“Mommy!” she said on the phone the next morning, “the Tooth Fairy gave me two moneys!”

Since at least six months passed between Loose Tooth #1 and Loose Tooth #2, we hadn’t thought much more about teeth lately — except to brush them, of course.

And then The Tooth Surprise hit. Since we didn’t see it coming, it would be inaccurate to call it Loose Tooth #3, even though it did turn out to be the third tooth Abby would lose.

That Sunday began like any other. Everyone slept in a bit, Jeff and I read the paper, and then the kids began rising one by one. I made Abby her usual oatmeal, and Jeff stationed himself in the regular spot for feeding her. (Yes, she’s 6 and doesn’t feed herself — just one of many repercussions of the neglect she suffered before her adoption.)

Only half paying attention to them, I started listening when I thought I heard Jeff expressing a bit of excited confusion.

“Abby,” he said, “open your mouth and let Daddy see something for a minute.”

“Oh, my goodness, Alisa,” he said, no longer addressing Abby. “She’s lost another tooth.”

At that point I decided a mother’s touch was needed to get to the bottom of the situation. “Abby, where’s your tooth?”

“I put it under my pillow at Mawmaw’s house. And the Tooth Fairy brought me two moneys!” she said.

“No, Sweetie, not that one. You’ve lost another tooth, and Mommy needs to know where it is,” I pleaded.

After searching her bed and the rest of the house, I called our friends whom we’d visited the night before. Abby had fallen asleep on their couch when our canasta game went longer than expected. I was hoping they’d find the tooth on the couch or in the carpet. No such luck.

Even though Abby doesn’t seem too upset that we can’t put the tooth under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy, I’m a little bummed about losing Tooth #3. Of course, if it’s where I think it is, we might get another little surprise when it turns up — or out — in a few days.

Contact Alisa Maysey at alisamaysey@yahoo.com.


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