Yesterday Nuha lost her upper front tooth (incisor). I'd been dreading it for a while now, since I loved how cute her milk teeth were. So tiny, even, white and perfect. Like my other kids' milk teeth had been before they grew their enormous permanent teeth which, let's face it, are anything but cute.
The permanent teeth are so huge- I'd often panic that my children's little faces would never grow large enough to match those gigantic teeth. But in the end either it had- or I had just become accustomed to that look.
But the loss of a tooth is a highly anticipated and celebrated occasion in our home. The tooth-fairy's arrival is eagerly awaited; with the tooth being placed in an easily accessible place so that she doesn't have any problem finding it.
Shakeel (12) believed the tooth-fairy story the longest. Simply because he didn't have any older siblings to ruin it for him- the way he proceeded to do for Tharaa (10) as soon as he found out. But Tharaa was a good sport- she continued to please her mommy by pretending that she believed in the tooth fairy and happily exchanged her precious tooth for R5.00. And I continue with my refusal to acknowledge to ANY of the kids (not even Shakeel) that the tooth fairy doesn't exist and that we are the ones slipping the cash into the shoes/under the pillows.
So strong was my denial that, although I needed Shakeel to help me lift Tharaa's head one night in order to access the tooth under the pillow, the next morning I refused to acknowledge to him that it was I who had exchanged the tooth for money. It was all in his imagination- maybe he'd dreamt it.
I am just not ready for my kids to lose their innocence and sense of imagination.
So yesterday when I explained to Nuha where the tooth fairy would be expecting to find the tooth, she looked at me with a cute knowing smile,
"Mommy, I know that you put the money in our shoes".
I glared at Shakeel. He looked down, pretending to be searching for something on the floor.
Despite my denial, she persisted with her theory (based, no doubt on what the older two had told her). Eventually she had an idea. "I'm not going to tell you where the tooth is. If it's still there tomorrow morning, then I'll know for sure that there is no tooth fairy- because if she exists, she will know where to find it- because she's a fairy!"
"No, that's not how it works, Nuha. The tooth fairy approaches me to find out where the tooth is. If you hide it from me, she will have no tooth with which to build her house- and you won't get any money".
Amazingly, she was convinced. Or maybe she just didn't want to take any chances- just in case I was telling the truth.
I assured her that I would be briefing the tooth fairy as to the exact location of the tooth- and ensure that the tooth fairy does not forget to compensate her.
Now the following part of this post is a bit disgusting- not for the squeamish,
Later the evening Aisha indicated that she needed me to change her poo nappy. I put her on the toilet, washed and wiped her bum, and then plonked her in the shower. I always prefer to give her a quick wash in the shower to make sure that I didn't miss anything.
So I squirted delicious smelling Elizabeth Anne's shampoo and body wash onto my hand and proceeded to wipe her bottom and her legs. Then I washed the crack of her bottom. (Don't squirm, I was just being thorough).
Suddenly I felt something, which felt like loose skin. I panicked- had my child injured herself while pooing? I gave it a slight tug. It seemed to be sliding out of her bottom, so it couldn't be skin. Oh please don't be a tapeworm, I silently prayed.
It wasn't. It was a big piece of tomato. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
I then proceeded with what I had been doing. Now you are not going to believe this- I felt another piece of skin. Believing that it was obviously part of the tomato, I tugged. And no, it was not another piece of tomato, but a huge piece of apple peel.
Very very warily I proceeded to wash her, and I kid you not- I proceeded to yank out another piece of apple skin.
After tossing it all in the toilet bowl, the inside of which was starting to look like a tossed salad, I called Mo to take her out of the bath, while I sat down to recover.
Don't worry- I resisted the temptation to take pics.
So, despite being a mommy for twelve years, I continue to have new parenting experiences each day. Yesterday, for the first time, I held a briefing with the tooth fairy to explain that all my child's future teeth would be placed in a shoe at the foot of the bed- so no excuses!
And yesterday was also the first time I pulled fresh produce from a human bottom.
Wonder what today holds in store.