Friday, January 18, 2013

Scary First Tooth

Many kids are terribly anxious to grow up. JD is not. There are many times he does not want to be taller, doesn't want to grow older, doesn't want to move to the next grade in school.

He is Mr. Status Quo.

I have discussed the inevitability of losing teeth periodically with him. He brushed it off.

Wednesday 1/16, there was nothing to brush off.

Unbeknownst to me, he had a loose tooth. And it decided to come free during the latter half of the school day. And JD was none to pleased about it. Here were some of his problems with the occurrence:
-his mouth was broken
-he would not be able to eat or drink
-he would not be able to brush his teeth
-he looked silly
-the tooth needed to be replaced immediately

The student teacher read a book with him about teeth and he received other special attention. He was hysterical and inconsolable for a while, I am led to believe, which did not surprise Wife or me in the least.

After school on Wednesdays JD has speech therapy. I gave Miss Emily a heads-up to the situation so that she could prepare to work with him. After all, part of his emotional distress was the inability to communicate his fears. Remember, part of the communication circle is receiving information. While he was clearly able to send information about his distress, receiving and rationalizing feedback from those around him was challenging. 

Miss Emily, in her infinite awesomeness, began the session by talking to him about losing his tooth. Then they walked around the facility talking to the other therapists and kids receiving services asking if they had lost teeth. Some kids had, some had not. The realization that this was not a unique situation and that his peers really had gone through similar circumstances helped him deal with his fears. 

Throughout this process, we talked about the Tooth Fairy. At bedtime, he feared that the Tooth Fairy would not be able to get to his tooth if he put it under his pillow, so we put it on top of an overturned basket in the middle of the living room. He also wanted to show the Tooth Fairy his "guys" (action figures). We explained that she worked at night and had to visit many houses but that she would leave a present for him.

As soon as he woke up he asked if the Tooth Fairy had some. I said that I didn't know. He ran downstairs to find a $1 bill. He was not happy about it. He wanted a replacement tooth. Yes, we discussed, medically, how the whole new tooth pushes the old tooth out, blah blah blah. Sometimes I think I sound like the teacher from "Peanuts."


  1. It sounds like your JD is a very practical child. I would want the problem solved pronto.

  2. He has completely gotten over his anxiety about this tooth and loves to show it off. I think he said to somebody, "Look! I look new!" Now we'll see how he handles the next tooth, which should be coming out in the next couple of weeks.