when we were still living in the austin house, my parents left me in charge one night while they went a meeting at church. i was probably 13 years old, liz would have been 9, jane 6, and charlie 5.
jane was wiggling out a tooth the whole week, and while my parents were gone, we all stood around her in the bathroom, where she stood on a stool and wiggled that tooth right out in front of the mirror.
tooth in hand, jane jumped off her stool and we all stared at the baby tooth that would get her at least 50¢. then came the game changer.
“can i smell it?” asked charlie.
we all looked at him like he was crazy.
“what? I want to know what it smells like!”
i guess jane was ok with it, because she handed it over, and charlie gave that tooth a healthy sniff.
maybe a little too healthy – the tooth went missing*.
we looked all over the bathroom for that tooth: all over the floor, under the sink, under the toilet, we swept the floor, shook out the rug, shook out our clothes, shook out our hair, and especially, asked charlie where on earth he put that tooth. we came to only one conclusion: he sniffed the tooth up into his head, and it was stuck in his brain.
i called the church and asked for my parents, interrupting their meeting.
“charlie sniffed jane’s tooth up his nose!” they immediately left and came home to go through the same set of motions, with no tooth to be found. mom got out the flashlight and made him tilt his head back while she shined it up there. nothing. he was fine: could breathe, eat, talk normally. they shrugged and decided to see what happened, and nothing ever did.
maybe they’ll find it when they do surgery to fix his face bones! if that happens i will poop a brick.
*jane wrote a note to the tooth fairy, who graciously left a meaningful note and probably $1 for her trouble.