One of Kallan’s baby teeth fell out this morning. It has been spectacularly loose for a while, but I have not been allowed to do more than marvel from afar at the horror of it. Every time I tried to look more closely, she would shriek and run the other way. And then, from across the room, she would demonstrate how she could push it with her tongue so that the tooth pointed forward and out of her mouth.
I was tempted to sneak in while she was sleeping and yank the silly thing right out. And then I imagined Kallan waking to a mouthful of blood and Monster Mom holding her tooth in triumphantly upraised hand. Not good.
So I didn’t do that.
But this morning, I think the adult tooth underneath got tired of wearing a stupid baby-tooth hat. It gave a mighty adult-tooth heave, and a small shiny baby tooth was suddenly loose in Kallan’s mouth. And then rolling in her palm.
As Kallan leaned into the bathroom sink and spit bloody water everywhere, she made plans. Plans with dollar signs.
I have mentioned before that Kallan cannot save money. She recently saved up $10.00 in hopes of getting to the $13.00 she needed for a pair of sparkly shoes. But then we happened to wander through a gift store, and she bought a $9.99 miniature notebook encased in a tiny silver jeweled case.
A completely pointless purchase that I could not dissuade her from making.
One of the few purchases she has ever regretted, as it turns out. She came to me the evening of the purchase with a sad face and the tiny notebook in her hand.
“Why didn’t you tell me not to buy this?”
“Oh, sweetie, I tried to tell you it wasn’t a good idea. But you get to make your own purchases and spend your own money, and this is what you chose.”
“But now I don’t have any money.”
“Yes, that’s how it works. If you spend your money, you no longer have it for other things.”
“But it’s just a paper and a pen in a silver box. I thought it would be more fun, but it’s boring.”
“Sorry about that.”
“Is there any chance you want to buy it from me so that I have money again?”
“Nope, no chance. I do not need a tiny silver notebook.”
She went to talk to her father, who was in rare form.
“What you have there is a thought-o-graph,” he told her.
“A what?” She looked at her purchase doubtfully, hoping that perhaps she had missed something.
“A thought-o-graph, in which you can record your thoughts and dreams. You’ll have them forever! Written down in teeny tiny letters. Such an excellent purchase.”
“Mom! Daddy’s being sarcastic again!”
I looked up from my computer, “That’s why I love him, babe.”
She sank to the floor between Mark and me, opening and closing the little silver notebook. Snap. Snap. Snap.
She looked up at us, “I don’t suppose there’s any chance that you guys would just buy me the shoes because you love me so much?”
I laughed and patted her head, “We do love you, soooo much, but we’re not buying you the sparkly shoes.”
“Hmmmmmmph,” and Kallan tossed the notebook on the ground in front of her.
“Hmmmmmmph. I wish I hadn’t bought this dumb thing. Now I don’t have any money and I will never get those shoes. And by the time I do have money, they won’t have the shoes anymore.”
Mark stopped typing and interrupted her sulking, “I have a great idea!”
“Why don’t you take out your notebook and write yourself a little note about how you shouldn’t buy dumb things the next time you have money? That’s exactly the sort of thing a thought-o-graph is designed to record.”
As she stared angrily at Mark, I suggested, “You should also write in there about how you need to remember to fix your bed in the morning.”
I high-fived Mark over her cranky head.
“See, Kallan? You bought something wonderful! A thought-o-graph, in which you can remind yourself to do things differently next time. Plus, you can keep track of chores!”
She ran angrily screaming from the room and I called after her, “I will never have to tell you to put your clothes away again! Make a note, Kallan! Make a note!”
Sometimes parenting kicks ass!
Back to this morning, and Kallan spitting the last traces of blood from her mouth.
She spoke gleefully in between spits, “Once the Tooth Fairy comes, I will have plenty of money for the shoes!”
Ummmmmm . . . what?
“Kallan, the Tooth Fairy isn’t going to bring you $13.00 for sparkly shoes.”
“Why not? She knows I want the shoes.”
“Yeah, but the Tooth Fairy generally brings $3.00 or $4.00, maybe $5.00 for a really troublesome tooth. Not $13.00.”
Her face clouds over with anger and the certainty she is about to be cheated, “But one time Maj got $25.00 for a tooth. I remember! One time she got $25.00 from the Tooth Fairy.”
“Yes, baby, I remember that too.”
She crosses her arms in challenge across her chest, “So why won’t the Tooth Fairy bring me $25.00?”
I cross my own arms and stare back at her, “Hmmmmm. Let’s think. Because this tooth didn’t come out when your sister pushed you down and smashed your face into the kitchen tile floor, that’s why.”
She wilts, “Oh yeah. I forgot about that part.”
She lowers herself off of the bathroom counter, and heads off glumly, tooth in hand.
“I am never going to have enough money for those shoes. Never.”
From the closet comes Mark’s voice, “Hey, Kallan!”
“The way you’re feeling right now? Go write it down!!”
Kallan stomps off and Mark calls after her, “Write it in your thought-o-graph!”