I knew it was going to happen at camp because that’s what camps are—places where things happen. In every single young adult book I read as a teen, you had your first crush or your first kiss at camp. And I’m pretty sure half of the US population loses its virginity during Spring Break, which is basically camp for semi-adults.
So yeah, if Mark’s wobbly baby tooth was going to fall out, I was fairly sure it was going to happen at camp.
This is why, on Sunday night, I gave Mark yet another parent lecture that could have been called “seriously, don’t freak out when your first baby tooth falls out.” Key messages? It’s normal. It won’t hurt. It won’t bleed. You probably won’t swallow it. No, I don’t know when it will fall out.
It kind of reminded me when, as a tween, my friends and me were wondering when we were going to have our first period—was it going to happen in the middle of math class? In the middle of the night? Better not wear white pants, like ever. Twenty years later, I experienced that weird mix of excitement and fear when facing the ineluctable biological fact towards the end of the pregnancy—I was both scared of the grand finale and looking forward to it.
These are expected life milestones you can’t prepare for.
Yeah, it’s kind of freaky when you think about it.
The baby tooth finally fell out at camp, on Thursday. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t bleed although, according to Mark, you could “see a little bit of blood.”
“I’m so excited the Tooth Fairy is going to come!”
In France, it’s the petite souris (a small mouse) that brings kids a treat. The standard rate when I was a kid was a five-franc coin ($0.75), mostly because it was a cool-looking coin, the biggest of all. I think I had candies a few times too. And my mom always wrote me a note.
“I have to leave the window open. Otherwise the Tooth Fairy won’t be able to come in!”
“Nah, don’t worry, the Tooth Fairy always finds a way in.”
“Is it a he or a she?”
“A girl, I think.”
“Is it hard for her to bring me stuff? I mean, she can’t carry anything big… she’s kind of small.”
“Don’t expect a big gift!”
“I know. And no candies, right?”
“Yeah, probably not. Now remember, this is like Santa—you have to be deep asleep otherwise she won’t come.”
“But does the Tooth Fairy—”
“Mark! How would I know? Do I look like the Tooth Fairy to you?”
“Nope. You don’t have wings.”
“There you go.”
And then I put on my wings to rush to the supermarket to buy a small treat before writing my own letter.
Mommy by day, Tooth Fairy by night.
Don’t tell anyone.
And also, do I have to do that for every tooth? Because the second one fell out the following day…