A few mornings ago, Michael bit into a bagel and announced that his tooth hurt. Upon closer inspection, it was found to be loose - quite loose actually. I tried to talk to Michael about how all the teeth in his mouth were baby teeth and that they get loose and fall out to make room for big teeth that will grow in. He began to freak out! Poor Michael who likes to be prepared for everything was caught completely off guard. But who knew we'd have to prep him for loosing teeth while he was still 4 years old. My recollection is that a few kids loose teeth at 5, but most start at 6 or 7. However, here we found ourselves a full month before his 5th birthday. So I continued to talk calmly about the whole process and luckily when I got to the part about the tooth fairy he remembered a story he had read at Grandpa's about a bunny putting her tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy. With that small thought to latch on to, everything started to seem ok to him. He then wanted to know all the whys, so we talked about how teeth have roots and that the roots of the baby teeth get old and and start to dissolve until the tooth falls out. So every time he would wiggle his tooth and it would move more he's announce, "Mom, it's losing more roots!"
The tooth has fallen out now - in fact it fell out at Jon's party - and Michael received a quarter from the tooth fairy. Now he can't decide whether to put it in the change jar that we are filling as "Chucky Cheese money" or to spend it on something more immediate. And to make the decision even more fun, he has a second loose tooth he plans to put under his pillow soon.
Tim and I just look at each other and think that we weren't expecting to be playing this parenting roll quite so soon!