And then there were 19

I didn't lose my first tooth until I was almost 7 and in second grade. I was definitely a late loser. On the other end of the spectrum, Michael was barely 5 and still in preschool when he lost his first tooth. By the time he was 7, he had lost eight teeth.

Ben was taking after me. Two months short of 7, he hadn't lost a tooth yet. Until today.

The tooth started wiggling a couple weeks ago, but just yesterday, it got really loose. The poor kid had to learn for himself how to avoid chewing with a seriously loose tooth without being in pain. As a result, he barely ate yesterday, and Lori had to cut a pizza into little bitty pieces that he could just pop into his mouth rather than bite into.

(And for the record, I can remember the first time I bit into something with a crazy loose tooth and yelped in bloody pain -- I was with my dad helping my cousin Sharon move into a new house; she had a gumball machine, I chewed and could not believe how much it hurt. After the first loose tooth, you figure out how to eat with the next one).

Ben got to school today, ate lunch (Lori made him a quesadilla and cut it into small pieces, just like yesterday's pizza), and made it to second recess when it finally fell out. He showed me the baggie with the tooth with the biggest, albeit incomplete, smile on his face. He declared: "This is going to be my best day ever!" and said how he was looking forward to the $2 the Tooth Fairy would bring.

With Michael, he's the older son. I look forward to the milestones with him, though I wish they wouldn't happen so soon sometimes. Ben is my little dude -- I'm more protective of him and sometimes don't want him to grow up so fast. We got a little lucky the first lost tooth took so long. But the milestone arrived, just like other milestones that are rapidly being reached.

I managed to extract the baggie with the tooth from under his pillow and exchanged it with two dollar bills. I hid the tooth in my sock drawer. It's another little piece of his childhood that fell out, with more and more little pieces ahead. At least this one I can save.


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