To be a seven-year old (make that seven and a half) and to have never lost a tooth is akin to being a 40-year-old virgin.
The magnitude of this event (or lack thereof) should not be underestimated by adults. Ask any preschooler and they will tell you, with longing in their voice, which of their friends have lost teeth.
There are days when C is convinced that he's destined to be the only elementary school student ever to be cursed with retaining all their baby teeth. Having his mother say things like, "don't worry Honey, you'll lose a tooth soon enough," is like having your mother tell you what a great catch you are and how "you'll meet the right girl soon enough."
Children talk about tooth loss amongst themselves in the same way adults casually discuss the weather. It's one of those universal subjects everyone seems to have a vested interest in.
"How 'bout them Sox?" translates in kid speak to "How 'bout them central incisors?"
Seated next to C at the school's Paint-your-Own-Pottery Night, I overheard one of C's friends announce he'd lost another tooth, as if it were old news.
"I haven't lost any teeth," C admitted, which is more than the 40-year-old virgin would be likely to divulge.
Of course it's not as if you can hide the facts. High school students can always brag about a fabricated love interest at summer camp, although they should remember not to get carried away with it. My high school boyfriend told me a yarn about two bridesmaids at his sister's wedding which I never swallowed. Years later he confessed and seemed sincerely bewildered when I said I knew it was a lie all along.
However when it comes to teeth there's no way to fake a big gaping hole in your smile.
Sometimes C will tell me that he's got a loose tooth and I have to go so far as to wiggle (or try to wiggle) the tooth to which he's referring, only to announce, "sorry Honey, I don't think she's the girl for you."
I'm confident that when he does finally lose a tooth I'll be alerted to the accomplishment.
I'm less confident that I'll be confided in regarding that other milestone.
I just hope it happens soon. Think of how demoralizing it would be if his five-year old brother loses one first.
song: The Waiting • artist: Tom Petty