Three cheers from Julia Reynolds, three tears from Mommy! My 5-year-old hit another milestone, and I’ll admit this one stung a little. Turns out I’m not alone. My mom and several sympathetic friends validated my heartbreak.

Julia Reynolds joined the Snaggle Tooth Club!

I went to have lunch with her at school on a day I’d packed an apple in her lunchbox. She loves apples, but it slipped my mind she hadn’t been able to eat them in recent weeks because of a loose tooth. Or loose teeth, depending on the day! She was desperate to lose a tooth like many of her friends. I guess it’s a kindergarten rite of passage.

She bit into the apple that day and OW! She proceeded to experience all the emotions (read: drama) that a supremely loose tooth apparently conjures up: elation, fear, joy and more fear.

Then, for the next TEN days, we were on tooth watch!! I did not envy her poor teacher! As most of you know, when children get something on their mind, it is often the only thing on their mind. This loose tooth was truly all Julia Reynolds could think about. I watched her at a tennis lesson and there was no chance to hit a ball because she never stopped wiggling her tooth.

Several classmates took a turn trying to pull the tooth (ouch!!) and a few grown-ups offered their services. But Julia Reynolds finally decided to listen to the school nurse who, when comforting her, told her if she waited patiently, the tooth would just fall out when it was ready. No “pulling” needed!

That’s exactly what happened. We were packing up to leave for a trip and I said, “Let me see your tooth one more time…”

Just hanging by a thread at that point, I’m surprised she hadn’t swallow it. With nary a wiggle, the tooth landed in my hand. Julia Reynolds began jumping for joy, running around screaming and celebrating! 

We stowed the tooth all the way to Colorado to place it under her pillow that night. Traveling with the tooth made the anticipation of the Tooth Fairy’s visit even more exciting and, yes, dramatic!

I only cried a couple of times and told her under no circumstances was she allowed to lose any more teeth. We worked so hard for those teeth!!! I vividly remember the time she was 14-months-old and cut FIVE teeth in one week— whew, that was a doozy!!

Alas, she already has another loose tooth! As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever… not even my sweet girl’s baby smile.

After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is five years old.

This article appears in the May/June 2020 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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