Paige spent a goodly portion of first grade mourning the pace at which teeth are falling out of her mouth.
"Everyone in my class has already lost their two front teeth!," she wailed to me several times late at night. "It's not FAIR!"
As of yesterday, Paige had lost only her two bottom teeth and she wasn't happy about it. It's sort of like a juniors version of Judy Blume's famous young adult book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. But instead of praying to her Godless Universe for boobs and her period, she just wants to spit a couple more baby chicklets into her breakfast and have the Tooth Fairy show up with some ducats. Not that she believes in the Tooth Fairy. ("I know it's you, mom"). It's hard to get anything past this kid.
This morning, Paige and Isaac were mercifully watching their Saturday morning cartoons while I was lying peacefully in bed, trying to recapture the three preceding hours of sleep I had lost through Isaac kicking me in the back of my head since 4:00 a.m.
Suddenly, our supposedly-locked bedroom door sprung open violently and the kids came charging in like a SWAT team on an episode of The Wire. Paige turned on every light she could find.
"MOM!!!," she said breathlessly. "I LOST MY TOOTH!!" I tried to orient myself to what was happening. I opened one eye to Paige's face two inches from mine, one tooth lighter and featuring a bloody grin from ear to ear. Her fingers were carefully pinched around her third bottom tooth, which she was holding dangerously close to my only open eyeball.
"That's great honey!" I mumbled. "Go put it in your Tooth Fairy box." Translation: "I'm really happy for you and I need to go back to sleep immediately."
But when I tried, I couldn't, so I just got up and made some coffee. Because I was honestly happy for her. After all, the older you get, simple pleasures like losing your baby teeth are few and far between. You have to wait for things like unexpectedly large tax refunds; a good interest rate on a car loan; or the discovery of not-yet-expired Percosets in your medicine cabinet to prompt the sort of reaction Paige had to losing her tooth this morning.
And the longer those little things make her happy, I guess, the happier I will be. Even if it means being subject to the equivalent of a kiddie no-knock warrant on a Saturday morning.