If I could save teeth in a bottle


Here’s the song reference.

For the past several days, Bugaboo has been working on her second loose tooth, adjacent to the first tooth she lost (on the bottom – as it happens, she was born with that particular tooth).  She has tried everything short of raiding Daddy’s toolbox to get that tooth out; fortunately, this has given me a lovely opportunity to feed her more apples and carrots for snacks, the tooth-removing properties of both produce items being well-known among the six-year-old set.

We stopped at our local Walgreens en route to Deedaw’s yesterday to pick up a snack for the midget mob,  and a soda for me, as I was slightly undercaffeinated.  All the way through the store (we wandered around a bit to take advantage of the deliciously cold air conditioning), Bugaboo worried at her loose tooth, so focused on her labor that I nearly misplaced her twice.

Having selected appropriate snacks and drinks, along with several new flashing balls and the package of highlighters I’d forgotten on my regular shopping trip earlier in the week, we headed for the checkout to purchase our goods.  Mr. Man and Beanie enthusiastically leaned into the cart to retrieve the items and put them on the counter, to the great amusement of the young fellow at the register (who they greeted very politely as “Mr. Ben” after spying his name tag), dodging buffets from Baby Guy’s sippy cup, which he was flailing at their heads to express his frustration at being firmly belted into the cart seat.  He managed to connect with Beanie’s cranium, which caused her to wail and drop the bag of popcorn she was retrieving from the cart, which Mr. Man eagerly seized, which caused Beanie to alternate the direction of her wails between Baby Guy for bonking her in the head and Mr. Man for “stealing” the bag of popcorn, when Bugaboo started jumping up and down and crying, “Look, look!”

Bugaboo’s amateur dental efforts had finally borne fruit, and she held a tiny tooth in her hand.  Fortunately, this had the effect of temporarily quelling the riot, as Mr. Man and Beanie rushed over to see both the newly-enlarged gap in their eldest sister’s grin and the tooth; chaos threatened again when Bugaboo had to clench her prize in her little fist, which she then raised high above her head, to keep her siblings from running off with it.  Beanie was diverted by the need to get the last items out of the cart, while Mr. Man suddenly decided the keypad of the ATM adjacent to the cash register was far more interesting than his sister’s dentition.

Mr. Ben, the cashier, let slip a chuckle before warmly congratulating Bugaboo on her accomplishment.  My immediate concern was that Bugaboo not lose her tooth in the van, so after thanking him for his kindness and patience towards our tribe, I asked if he might have a small bag or box in which we could preserve it.  He did not, but suggested that the pharmacist might, so after piling our bags back into the cart, we headed for the back of the store, much to the chagrin of one Baby Guy, who was ready for his cart ride to end (Baby Guy cannot be trusted in a store that sells candy at this point, especially if there is any chance my attention will be diverted from him).

We waited patiently in a short line at the pharmacy counter; when our turn came, Bugaboo confidently walked up to the clerk before I could say a word, and pleasantly asked, “Excuse me, ma’am, but I lost my tooth just now.  Do you have a little box or bag I could keep it in until I get home?”  I quickly added an offer to pay for it, which the lady just as quickly waved off.  She disappeared for a moment, then returned with a small pill bottle and two broadly grinning pharmacists, who insisted on seeing Bugaboo’s treasure and telling her how adorable she was with her gap-toothed grin.

She thanked everyone profusely and giggled, I thanked everyone profusely and started herding the tribe back towards the exit.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for the reminder that sometimes, the things that served us when we were very small have to fall away so that we can grow and mature.  Thank you for the kindness of strangers with generous hearts, and for the simple grace of a little orange plastic bottle.  Thank you for Your little blessings, who have their own voices, strong bodies, nimble minds, and exuberant hearts.  Thank you for a day on which our visit to the pharmacy was only to get a container for a lost baby tooth.  Please help me teach your blessings that each little pain we experience is an indication that You are preparing us to grow in some way, and open our hearts and minds to the wonder of what You will have us become.

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