The Tooth Hurts, Baby. 

Nine year-old Everett Baker Beadling is at it again. There does not appear to be an impulsive, impatient bone in his body. Nor tooth. I think a tooth is different than a bone. As I may have hinted before, on occasion, Everett does not like to do anything he does not want to do. Does not like to be told what to do. By anyone. Parents, uncles and aunts, and now, dentists. 

At our last visit, Everett displayed a burgeoning second row of shark teeth. You know, like the ones we all lost sleep from seeing in the movie, Jaws

Yeah, something along those lines. Apparently, there is a reason baby teeth start to get wiggly. Tempting to youngins, too tempting to resist tugging and twisting. They need to come out. They need to make room for the big boy teeth pushing up from below. 

It never occurred to me that a child would simply refuse to pull out the baby tooth. “Not gonna do it. Don’t try to tell me to do it. Just watch.” In the past, Everett has continued to allow baby teeth to reside in his mouth way past a PG-rating. Hanging by a thread. He once twisted a tooth 720 degrees around, inducing dry heave sounds from the people around us, and it still didn’t come out. 

So now he has a second row of teeth. Well, really only one tooth waiting its turn. But that tooth is not located anywhere near where teeth should be located, in my professional opinion. It’s not even immediately clear, at first glance, precisely which stubborn baby tooth the wayward adult tooth intends to replace. Maybe it just plans to stay where it is, sort of playing zone defense for any morsels that need an extra little chew after passing through the front line. 

Maybe Everett is on to something here. Some superior adaptation that would help propagate his genes on down the line. An extra tooth no one else has, save for my son, my grandkids (his kids), my grandchildren (his kids’ kids), and so on. 

Perhaps Ev has inherited this tooth situation from someone else before him. Not on my side, I don’t believe, unless it is a generation-skipping extra tooth gene. I pulled my baby teeth out at the slightest provocation. So cavalierly that I occasionally still dream about pulling out my adult teeth for no good reason, waking up euphoric that my mouth in actuality is not missing any teeth. So I don’t think he got this particular super-power from me. 

I have leveled threats and bribes. To no avail. The tooth fairy’s seemingly deep pockets mean nothing to Everett. The dangling tooth will come out whenever Everett — and Everett alone — is good and ready. I just hope I live long enough to witness it firsthand. 

Thanks for reading. 


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