Friday, November 6, 2009

Hope the Tooth Fairy's Got a Strong Stomach

Who doesn't remember the anticipation of a loose tooth, and the irresistible urge to hasten it along--wiggling it with a finger or probing at it with the tongue. Today during silent reading, a murmuring arose--

"Ughh! gross!"--quickly followed by "Miss Stultz!"

I've learned that when one child declares another child's actions to be "gross," what comes next is usually a tattle. Well, it seemed one of my boys, whether by natural causes or by his own encouragement, had lost a molar. The boy was approaching rapidly from my left, flanked by a self-appointed helper. The boy held in his left hand the bloodiest specimen of a nine-year molar that I have ever seen (and I've seen many). In his right was a wadded up paper towel, nearly dripping with blood, and half stuffed into his mouth. His helper stated the obvious, "Markie lost a tooth!"

"Oh, good grief, I should say so!" I replied and dismissed him to go clean up and claim his plastic-tooth-treasure-chest-necklace from the school nurse...

By the time he returned, proudly bearing the necklace, I had at least a half dozen other boys and girls, still silently reading, but meanwhile trying to extract any teeth of their own that bore the slightest hint of looseness. This generated its own litany of tattles, most notably "Miss Stultz, I told Alex PACIFICALLY not to do that! Now he's got blood, too!"

Eventually I had to declare a moratorium on tooth-loosening for the day, lest my classroom devolve into a bloody medical wasteland. But I predict, once free from the oppression of my oversight, my boys and girls will devote this weekend to ensuring 'job security' for the Tooth Fairy.

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