Toothless Wonder

Last week, our house had its first visit from the tooth fairy. Even though we had talked with Theo about how baby teeth loosen and fall out and adult teeth replace them he was still pretty panicky when he felt that first wobble. It wasn't until we reminded him of the tooth fairy that he seemed to settle down and get excited about his tooth coming out.

Being a third child, I knew the drill by the time I was five or six years old. If a tooth feels wobbly, you wiggle that sucker, to the point of pain, almost constantly until it falls out. It would take about three days, tops. Meanwhile, Theo's tooth took about two weeks before it finally fell out since he almost never wiggled it. Toward the end I started reminding him every evening to twist and loosen the tooth and eventually it came out.

Traditionally, children in Japan throw bottom baby teeth on to the roof and top baby teeth underneath the house. The children are told that this helps their teeth grow up or down straight. We felt it seemed a bit unmagical and, judging by a lot of the teeth we see, pretty ineffective so we opted to go the way of the tooth fairy.

Theo lost his tooth right before bed and placed it excitedly in an envelope under his pillow. In a sudden bout of paranoia, he made us remove the ladder up to his bunk bed so that William wouldn't climb into his bed in the middle of the night and put the envelope somewhere that the fairy couldn't find it. Later that evening, Dustin and I had to figure out an appropriate amount of money to give him. I remember getting about 25 cents per tooth when I was little and Dustin doesn't remember ever getting anything for his teeth. That could be a product of his very leaky memory or maybe his parents didn't do the tooth fairy thing. We finally settled on 100 yen (about 1$ Canadian) as an appropriate amount considering inflation in the past 25 years. Apparently a lot of parents back home are paying quite a bit more for their children's teeth, but since Theo doesn't really have anyone here to compare to, he'll never know!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

interesting! here in Madagascar they also throw fallen out teeth on the roof, with the same explanation. But no throwing under the house - i suppose they cant do such considering their houses are built directly on the dirt itself. I've heard from elementary teacher friends that there are childrens books that tell of all sorts of different practices having to do with lost teeth based on different cultures. So facinating!