The second best thing about 1st grade is very often you lose a tooth.
The first best thing about 1st grade is that losing a tooth is just as important to all your classmates, as it is to you.
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It’s 3:35pm. The front door opens, abruptly slams, and one very angry first grader walks through the door.
She walks to the kitchen, leans her back onto the pantry door, and pops a grape into her mouth. “My tooth is never EVER coming OUT!!!!”
I’m not sure what to say. Of course the natural response would be “Yes it is, knucklehead.” but somehow I don’t think this would be received well.
“Why would you say that?” I question as I eye her for instability.
“Because,” she exclaims as the grapes slosh around her mouth, “I tried. I really tried to pull it out today. I wiggled it, and wiggled it, and wiggled it. AND IT STILL HASN’T COME OUT! It even bled, A LOT. But nothing. It’s never EVER gonna come out !!!@##### “
I look at her and wonder if she can handle the pain of the proposition I’m about to suggest. She is a kid after all, so she should be up to the task. But, she’s a kid without much tolerance for pain, a real problem in this gritty situation.
“Well,” I offer, “we could pull it.”
“Whose we?” she inquires. Which is not a really stupid question when it comes to her teeth. Her first (which were also her last 2 teeth) were pulled by the dentist at $100 dollars a pop. If we can help it, we’re not goin’ that route again.
“Me or Daddy. . .”
“Okay, let’s do it! All the first graders just knew that my tooth was going to come out today. And it didn’t. But, Ryan said he was sure it would come out tonight, so I can’t go back tomorrow with it still in my mouth.”
It was settled. We would remove the tooth ourselves. It would be very tricky, since she chose Daddy to be her front man, and clearly I’m the better tooth puller. But it’s no time to split hairs. I’ll have to put my faith and my backing with him. I’ll give him a few pointers, and pray that he’ll be able to do it before she starts to wail. It’ll be okay. We’ll get in and out without much blood shed.
Daddy sits her down on the couch, readying himself for the extraction.
At first, he pulls on it lightly, hoping that will be all it takes.
No such luck. Okay, he steadies his hands for the real tug. A tug of shear force.
And. . . .for some reason he stops when she starts protesting. Bad move.
And then we sit around, wasting precious minutes while the child cries, and decides she doesn’t want her tooth pulled any more. She wipes up the blood, and cries some more.
Daddy regroups, and notices a moment when the wildness returns to her eyes, she looks at him, he looks at her, and he pulls it, and this time, it comes out.
Soy Sauce, to taste
1 TB Hoisin Sauce, optional
1. In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 TB canola oil. Add onions and carrots, and cook until soft. Add garlic, cook one minute longer. Add peas and toss until warm. Remove vegetables from pan.
2. In a small bowl, break and beat eggs. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and scramble eggs on medium heat. Remove eggs from pan.
3. With the pan on medium high heat, add remaining canola oil and sesame oil. Once the pan is hot, add rice and stir to coat with oil. Add vegetables, eggs, and meat if using. Shake in Soy Sauce and toss to coat well. Drizzle with Hoisin Sauce and toss again.