My five-year-old can still throw a tantrum that will rival any toddler I know. It's a bit of a problem. But he's come so very far in the last couple of years that I'm hoping and praying by the time we marry him off, he'll be past the tantrum stage. Yesterday, for ridiculously silly reasons that I won't get into, he pitched a colossal fit. It happened to be while he was eating his lunch. I was upstairs cleaning the bathroom so I just ignored him, certain that the hysteria would quickly pass. Within a few minutes he stopped crying and all was right with the world. For about 90 seconds. Then he started to WAIL.
"Are you REALLY STILL CRYING?" I called down to him.
He blubbered something or other about biting himself. He was REALLY crying so I headed down to him, assuming he'd badly bitten his tongue or the inside of his cheek. Through sobs and gasps of breath, he explained that he'd hit his bottom teeth with his top teeth--and hard. I calmed him down and told him that he was going to have to be careful with his bottom teeth (they were both loose) until they fell out given how tender they were.
Well, he didn't like that one bit.
So he set to removing the loosest of the two.
Which was ridiculous because, like I said before, at least a couple of weeks away and all that.
He wiggled. Five minutes later he'd present his mouth to me and ask me to see how much progress he'd made. "OH. EM HMMM. YES. FANTASTIC." I'd tell him, which was code for, "It is the exact same amount of loose as it was the last time you brought your face over here to me."
This went on for more than hour. Eventually, it did start to feel looser. Like, maybe he'd actually lose that tooth in a week or so. Finally, I explained to him that he'd have to "break" the tooth away from the gum in the back and the front before any level of losing was actually going to be accomplished.
He wandered away. Less than a minute he came back. "I think I broke it! I THINK I BROKE IT!" Y'all, I was growing a little weary of this tooth.
"Honey, you didn't," I told him.
"JUST LOOK AT IT!" he begged and all I did was glance in his direction and there it was, a tooth lying flat on his lip where before it stood upright.
"OH MY GOODNESS! YOU DID!" That sucker was bleeding everywhere. Now, at some point during this entire escapade, Garrett had hid himself under the bed. He is 100% squeamish around loose teeth. When he has his own loose teeth he pulls them out immediately. He cannot stand a pearly white tooth hanging out of a mouth by a thread. Neither can I.
Last year, when I was subbing for a teacher on maternity leave, I had a student with both top teeth so loose I could have pulled them out with nothing more than a warm hug. He refused to remove them from his mouth. This went on for several days. He'd click them with his tongue, twist them and turn them and still they hung there, askew and disgusting. Finally, I told him that I didn't think he was brave enough to pull them out. I was pretty sure that there was no way he could get them out by the next day. I was certain, in fact, that he could not prove me wrong and if, by the next day, they were still in his mouth, I would declare myself the winner.
The next morning he was top toothless. It was the best contest I ever lost.
So, from his hiding spot under the bed, Garrett yelled for Matthew to twist his tooth. This began the most terrible 60 seconds. Matthew moaned and groaned and howled like a woman dilated to ten with no epidural in sight. I wasn't sure where he was and feared that he was sitting on my off-white couch, blood pouring from his mouth. "Matthew," I called. "Where are you?" But, before he could answer, he suddenly screamed, "I LOST IT! I LOST IT! I LOST MY TOOTH!" He was sprinting toward me holding it in his hand. He grinned an incredibly bloody smile and nearly collided with me in excitement.
I shoved his head into the bathroom sink and took the tooth from him. The tooth that, though rootless in the back, sported a root almost as long as the tooth itself in the front.
For the rest of the day, he proceeded to tell us, no less than 89 times (and that is not hyperbole), "I CAN'T UHBWEAVE I LOST MY TOOTH." And if anyone tells him that it's believe and not uhbweave, I'll cut you. His wife can tell him. About the time he stops having temper tantrums.
I cannot uhbweave the sheer determination this kid has. When he sets his mind to something there is seriously no stopping him. He persevered through what had to be some pretty intense pain. He lost that tooth. Even though it probably needed another few weeks.
It's a good thing there's going to be another baby around here in a few months because mine are officially all grown up.