My second son, Charles has had two of his teeth fall out within a week. Understandably at his age, it is not uncommon for his milk teeth to fall off and get replaced with permanent teeth. In the past few months he has lost six teeth, but two within the same week did feel out of place. Besides this thought that crossed my mind, I did not pay any more attention to it.
At lunch time one day, Charles got up to clear his plate without finishing his food. When I asked why he hadn’t eaten it all, he revealed that he was unable to chew properly with the left side of his mouth. Although I understood his complaint, I told him to use only the right side when having his subsequent meals and then I let him be.
A few minutes later, I observed his younger sister, Claire crying and just assumed that her older brothers had something to do with it. So I asked what they had done to her this time. What I found out surprised me and frankly made me laugh.
Yes, one of her brothers did have something to do with her tears but not quite in the fashion I had envisaged. Oh my goodness, Claire was crying because of Charles’ teeth that had fallen off. I thought that was fascinatingly sweet of her to care that much for her brother. Then in between sobs, she explains: “that means I would not be able to eat when my teeth come off too”. Errrmm…ok. Not quite what I’d thought I would hear. To be sure that I was not mistaken, I asked if her crying was because she was afraid that she would not be able to eat whenever her own teeth began to fall off and she said yes. I burst out laughing and that made her really upset. I quickly apologized and tried to hide my dismay. “You just turned 4!”, “Don’t worry, it will take you a few more months or years to begin to lose your milk teeth”, I said to her. My lines did not console her as she went on and on about how her friends would laugh at her and how she would not be able to eat, which will then result in her falling sick and being admitted to the hospital which means she would be given lots of injections and bitter drugs which will make her throw up.
Wow! “You arrived at all of that simply because your elder brother did not finish his meal?” I thought to myself, afraid to voice out my sentiments this time. Let’s just say it took me several minutes of begging, explaining and trying to make her laugh before she got consoled. I must say, the thought of losing any tooth was of tremendous concern to her. Heck, she even mentioned it to God in prayer during our devotion later that night. What a thing to worry about, I thought as I retired to bed.