A while back, I wrote about how the Monster’s starting to have his adult teeth come in (see Well That Bites), at least the front two on the bottom. We’ve been watching the baby teeth in front of them get more and more loose, and trying to figure out what to do when he gets to the point of losing one.
Last night, he let the wife tie some floss around the more loose of the two and pull it free, since it was just barely hanging on.
The rationale was simple – if she left it in, he’d be likely to swallow it or something during the night, and so it made far more sense to extract it before bed. The other loose baby tooth isn’t yet coming out, so she wasn’t worrying herself with that one.
Of course, I wasn’t home for it – I was at curling, like most Monday nights – but I could easily enough predict what was going to happen next. He has a thing for everything being where it “belongs” (usually the last place where it was prior to being used/touched/whatever), and tried to insist to her that she put it back. Obviously, the tooth wasn’t going back in, so she had to placate him and distract him, and a lollypop seemed to do the trick for the time being… and by this morning, he wasn’t even really seeming to be concerned about the fact that he’s now short a baby tooth.
We did have a discussion after I got home about the idea of the tooth fairy. Where the Monster is, developmentally, neither of us really see the purpose of bringing it up. We’re not sure that he’s noticed the Sesame Street episodes where the concept is mentioned, nor has he really shown interest in money (aside from recognizing what a coin is), and I don’t know that there’s a positive purpose to trying to get him into it, since… well, I don’t think that money is a motivator/relaxer for him towards losing other teeth. The wife’s larger concern on that is that R will, at some point, notice himself that the tooth fairy doesn’t visit the Monster and ask why.
Where I’m sitting, I’m not worried about that. I can’t really worry about what R will and won’t notice, and whether he’ll ask the question… because I think that by the time R is asking the question, we’ll probably be having discussions with him about the Monster’s Autism, about how his big brother is different, and that whether or not the tooth fairy is visiting his big brother’ll be the least of our worries…
Nice post! My son, like your Monster, also is very particular about everything in its place. That’s why, for us, the tooth fairy concept worked, because it gave him a ritual for what to do with the teeth once they came out (we used a little basket next to his bed instead of under the pillow because my “princess & the pea” wouldn’t be able to handle that!) We used little toys or treats instead of money, and when the teeth were replaced with something he liked, all was right with the world again. 🙂 The tooth fairy also left him a little note to explain and congratulate. I don’t know if my son ever “believed” in the tooth fairy, but it was really the ritual that mattered. Your blog takes me back, thanks!