We are having a bit of a tooth drama in this house at the moment. After weeks of Betty excitedly showing us her wobbly tooth and talking about it non-stop, it finally fell out yesterday. But unfortunately she didn't notice where and when it fell out. Betty was reciting Chopsticks on the piano, to Tom's horror, and he happened to notice the gap in her teeth.
After a moment's reflection, Betty was very cool about the fact that the tooth was lost. 'Don't worry mummy,' she said. 'The tooth fairy will find it.'
I thought that Betty was being a little too complacent and so set off on a frantic search. This included emptying out the bins and the compost and going through it with a fine toothcomb; delicately inspecting all manner of discarded rotting food stuffs, and scrabbling around in the chicken coop looking in amongst the food scraps that had been thrown to them just moments before we realised the tooth was missing.
I checked back through Betty's baby record book (kept in the days when I was energetic and organised), and realised that the missing tooth was in fact the very first tooth to cut through on 1st August 2007 when Betty was eight months old; the tooth that caused much excitment, the tooth that marked the beginning of her teeth-owning days, and the tooth that made my nipples bleed.
The situation had acquired a new urgency. I decided that Betty must have swallowed the tooth while eating her supper, so I asked her if she could do all poos on Dolly's potty. In her excitement she promptly produced one almost straight away. I sat at the top of the stairs and carefully dissected it using a couple of craft lollipop sticks. Tom walked past me at this point, gagged, and told me that I was one heck of a dedicated mother.
This morning I have abandoned plans to go out for the day, so that we are near a potty at all times, and I will continue to inspect Betty's excrement. I have even considered inspecting the chickens' shit - they are such greedy scavengers they could well have eaten it.
Tom, Betty and the tooth fairy may not care, but I will be gutted if I don't find that tooth.