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It has been the bane of my existence since early December. We tried pulling it for Tae Kwon Do testing because it hurt while sparring, but it wasn’t ready. At the dentist later that month it had no root in the X-ray. It would come out “any day” the dentist said.

We made it through many months with minor whining. Just a little pain here and there. Then things got weird. The gum was red and swollen. The tooth looked super crooked. I took her to the dentist again. He assured me the permanent tooth was healthy. He offered to pull it. She freaked. He told me it would come out “any day.”

Weeks later this little tooth was wreaking havoc. The whining. The pain. The refusal to eat. The refusal (again) to spar at TKD. Tears every night when it was time to brush teeth. And the absolute refusal to let me pull it.

Here’s the thing: I’ve pulled quite a few of her teeth, and it has been no big deal. I don’t know why this one was different. “I don’t want the Tooth Fairy to take it.” I told her that was fine. We’d write a note. “It’s going to hurt.” Not as bad as it does right now.

Then the unthinkable happened: it turned blue. I googled and told her I thought it was dead. “How can it be dead? The dentist said it had no root. I don’t want a blue tooth. No. YOU CANNOT PULL IT.”

Two hours of tears today. She barely had any food. She was a mess. She even stayed home from Girl Scouts. (That never happens.) I knew this was it. It had to go. She cuddled with her dad and stuffed dog. I promised just to test it. I couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t come out. I made that clear. And it did. Effortlessly. YOU WERE JUST GOING TO TEST IT! She ran to the mirror and screamed.

I was so relieved. I didn’t feel bad at all. I waited five months for permission. I did not pull it. It was out. Things were almost immediately better. No more pain. She finished dinner. She had the ice cream I promised. (She should have taken the earlier offers: LEGOs, $100, staying up until 11pm.)

This tooth. It was disgusting. It wasn’t blue. It had stuff in it. Stuff we won’t discuss. Stuff that moms who don’t freak out about respecting their kid’s consent would never see because they would have pulled it long ago.

It is out. The Tooth Fairy is off the hook. In fact, as I write this, she’s enjoying a rather large glass of rosé. Good for her. She earned it.

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