Monday, December 24, 2012

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, and Nothing But the Tooth

On Friday night, The Boy lost his first tooth. It was one of the bottom teeth, the front tooth on his right side. It was kind of funny: we've been trying to yank it out for a week or so, but he wouldn't let us do it. Friday night, it was REALLY ready to go. I bribed him one of my Trader Joes chocolate-coated Jo-Jo cookies (the special holiday batch that The Wife bought for me as a Channukah present - a present because I could then horde them and eat one per day for a month instead of the two days they'd last in the general population), and he let me reach in and yank it out. No blood, no pain, no muss, and it was out.

The Tooth Fairy visited and left him a Captain Marvel action figure - one of the figures that Uncle B gave to us last year when he moved into his new apartment. I've been keeping them hidden and doling them out sparingly so that it's a special occasion when the boys get a figure. The Boy is utterly thrilled with the action figure, and he's actually been sleeping with it since he found it Saturday morning. It's very cute. He made an elaborate super-hero story, with Captain Marvel, Superman, and Booster Gold (which was actually Little Bear's present from Channukah, but who's quibbling?) fighting the super-villain triumverate of Mongul, the little Joker car, and Giant Elmo.

I need to get that boy some more supervillains.

This began an interesting conversation via my Facebook page: having set the bar here, can we then possibly lower it or reset the bar later? They answer is a qualified yes.

For one thing, The Boy's first tooth is a big deal because, well, he's The Boy. He's the cancer patient, and every one of his milestones (like it or not) is going to be celebrated a little bit more than the other boys' milestones will be. That's not fair, and we're trying not to act it, but he's different. When you have your son in your arms in intensive care with a blood pressure of 60 over 20, and you're really not sure if he'll make the night, that kind of does things to your prespective and your psyche that are impossible to release.

For another, our children, at this point in their lives, have absolutely no concept of possessions, materialism, or the value of money. They don't see toys as "their" toy; merely the toy with which they're playing at that moment. They don't have a problem sharing a toy, for the most part, and the clothes / toys / costumes that are in the house are used by all children.

(It mystifies me how The Boy and Little Bear can spend so much time playing with the infant toys that The Baby likes, but they do. I shouldn't be surprised, considering that I don't actually remember a Christmas where my brothers let me play with my toys before they played with them.)

I know that that will change soon enough. Soon enough, he'll develop the same sense of possession and the same need for his OWN stuff and his OWN space and his OWN room that we all have, and that sense of possession will quickly spread to his brothers.

For right now, I'll enjoy living in a household dependant upon the barter economy ("You may play with the iPad only after you go potty... " which is a win-win) with children who have such startling innocence that an action figure from the Tooth Fairy is the greatest gift in the universe.

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