Million-dollar baby (tooth)

Posted by Erica Noonan  March 13, 2010 09:33 PM

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It would be helpful if someone could send a heads-up email the next time a childhood milestone decides to jump out of nowhere and scare the bejeezus out of me.

Dennis's first tooth just fell out and I was simply shocked. Shocked!

My first instinct was to page our dentist.

Yes, on a Saturday night at 8 p.m., I was thisclose to an emergency call to a dentist to report breathlessly that a 5-year-old child's tooth fell out. Should we meet him at the ER?

Then I slowly backed away from the phone. A 5-year-old's tooth fell out. Right. Calming down now.

It's just that we are so well trained to get totally hysterical when things fall off or attach themselves to a child.

The last body part that fell off Dennis was his umbilical cord, and I recall having several earnest after-hours discussions with a (very bored) pediatrician about that shocking development.

At least Dennis was thrilled. He poked his tongue around in the gap for awhile, and then carefully brushed its still-standing neighbors.

Another little girl in his class lost her first tooth a few weeks ago, and she has been a total Pre-K rock star since.

"How much did the tooth fairy leave Anna?" I asked, tucking him in to bed.

"About a hundred dollars," he said.

Wow. You mean the umbilical cord was the last freebie we get?

How much does the tooth fairy leave in your house? Is five bucks enough? Leave a comment or drop an email to

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about the author

Erica Noonan is chief of the Globe West bureau. Before joining the Globe in 2000, she worked for the Associated Press in Boston. Raised in Wellesley, she has a master's degree in political communication from Emerson College and a BA in political science from Trinity University in San Antonio. She lives in Natick with two energetic children: Dennis, 6, and Lila, 4.

Contact Erica

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