Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

I loved teaching the primary grades.

For the most part.

I didn't mind the constant tugging on my pant leg.

I was not fazed by hearing my name called 8 million and 1 times a day.

However, there was one thing I couldn't stand.

Those darn wiggly teeth.


Granted I am a squeamish gal in general. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy or ER and I debated getting married out of state because my state required a blood test to get a marriage license. But, loose teeth are at the top of my list of things that give me the eebie-jeebies. A close second is a tooth that has already fallen out.

You know the ones.

They are presented to you on an open palm with a toothless grin beaming in the background.


As a third grade teacher, I don't have to deal with too many loose teeth. By 8 and 9, they simply grab a baggy and put it in their backpack. And I like it that way.

So imagine my dismay when one of my friends got all up in my face and asked, "Does my tooth look loose?"

As he feverishly jostled it back and forth from the one thread that secured it to his gums.

Between dry heaves and dramatic gags (which I am quite sure were perceived as overacting, but in all honesty were a genuine reaction), I reminded him of my "I don't do loose teeth policy" (along with my "do not disturb my small group unless you have caught fire" policy) and sent him on his way.

It wasn't all that long until he once again was up and at my side. "I lost my tooth," he said...with an urgency in his voice.

I remained remarkably calm for someone whose guided reading lesson had been interrupted and said, "Get a baggy from the drawer and put the tooth into your bag."

He responded with, "No, you don't understand. I actually lost my tooth. It went flying and I can't find it..."

And although it is only Sunday morning, I can't get over the thought that tomorrow I will need to be alone in the classroom and could possibly stumble upon a lone tooth. It's consuming my thoughts.

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