I Lost It Because He Wasn't Losing It!

Why one mother lost it over her son whining about his tooth that hadn't fallen out yet.

I’m Losing It

The Tooth

I lost it because he wasn’t losing it!

-Stephanie Elliot

child missing a toothI lost it this weekend.

And so did my son.


But not without a fight.

You see, his tooth was loose.

The top one. You know which one I’m talking about. The straggly one that hangs and hurts, and dangles by a thread of a piece of whatever it is that keeps the teeth from falling out. That one. It hurt him, and it was ready to come out, but, of course, he wouldn’t let me touch it.

I told him that if he would just stop his crying and screaming, if he would just let me take my one finger and push it gently, that his tooth would come right out and his (and my) misery would be over. Nothing doing.

I bribed him.

“I’ll give you $5, plus whatever the tooth fairy brings you tonight, if you let me get it out for you.”

“Ten,” he said.

“Fine. Ten.”

I took out $10. Showed him the money. I. SHOWED. HIM. THE. MONEY. He considered it, and then cowered further into the corner in the bedroom and shook his head.

He didn’t want the money.

Instead, he cried and screamed more.

Which, in turn, made me cry and scream more. I hate these standoffs.

We decided to go out for a while, to enjoy the beautiful fall day. He was miserable; I was miserable. As we were getting into the car, with the other two children in tow, he continued his fit about his tooth.

I lost it.

I kicked the recycle bin. I screamed. I said FOUR-LETTER WORDS. I yelled that I wanted to throw things. I THREW THINGS. My kids cowered in the car. My oldest put his hands over his ears. I was a bad mom. I knew it. I started to cry.

I got into the car.

The tooth still hung on.

No one was happy.

We started to drive off toward our destination.

My oldest said, “Thanks for taking us out today, Mom.”

“Don’t thank me yet,” I answered.

No one spoke a word.

We arrived at our destination, and I was glad to be away from our house. Away from just sitting there, waiting in misery for that tooth to depart itself from my youngest son’s mouth.

We all tumbled out of the car and sighed. I think we were all happy to be out in the fresh air. Away from the crying, yelling and swearing.

As we walked toward the park, toward the beautiful fall day, I had hopes of forgetting the foul morning, of forgetting our bad moods. Three small words five seconds later confirmed my hopes … three small words from my youngest, stressed little boy.

The words leapt from his mouth, joyfully, fearlessly, exuberantly:


Our day was saved.

Stephanie Elliot is Manic Mommy. Visit her at www.stephanieelliot.com or www.manicmommy.net.

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