So off I go. The shower finally at the perfect temp, I climb in and stand a minute, letting the warm water pour over me. But just as I reach for the shampoo, the bathroom door bursts open, and a fuzzy version of Handsome Boy is jabbering at me in some alien language, arms frantically waving over his head like tentacles. I open the shower door and squint at him (no contacts in, yet), to get a better look.
"Oh, my goodn- what did- oh! Hold on! I'm coming!" I scramble to turn off the shower, wrap myself in a towel, and peer closer at my only son - all at the same time. I finally get myself somewhat together - well, covered, anyway, if still dripping. Handsome Boy is standing in front of me, mouth hanging open, the alien language now recognizable as Small-Boy-Trying-To-Talk-With-Blood-Running-From-His-Mouth.
And, he's missing a front tooth.
It seems he and Lovely Girl were horsing around during commercials, and somehow, his mouth got hit (I think they said something about a stuffed toy with a really hard nose). Next thing they know, he's minus a front baby tooth, blood is starting to trickle from the empty spot in his mouth, and my shower is officially not happening.
So, I'm holding a tissue on his gums, trying to keep my wet hair from dripping on him, but he's still frantic. I keep trying to assure him that it was just a baby tooth, it was loose, anyway, and it's not the other (permanent) one that was knocked out. He relaxes, but only for a second, because then he lisps, "I don't have my tooth! Where's my tooth?"
Lovely Girl had the presence of mind to search for it while I was cleaning him up. She comes in and oh-so-innocently announces that the tooth was nowhere to be found. Uh oh. Aaaaaand he's off again: "What?? What if I swallowed it? Oh, no! What will happen to me? Mommy, the Tooth Fairy will NEVER come now!"
By then, C had come upstairs. Between the three of us, we managed to convince Handsome Boy that even if he did swallow it, everything makes its way outta ya, one end or the other. That brought a giggle, and he started to calm down. By then, the bleeding had stopped, so we all re-started the search, sorting through the ever-present small menagerie of toys Handsome Boy had deposited onto my bed earlier.
Two minutes in, we still hadn't found that tooth, but Lovely Girl redeemed her earlier gaffe by telling Handsome Boy that we just had to write the Tooth Fairy a letter, explain the situation, and she would still come visit him tonight. "Because, really, she won't want that tooth once it finally makes its way out of you!" Off they go to Lovely Girl's room, snickering all the way, to dispatch the letter.
Meanwhile, C and I started a methodical search of the bed. We shook out pillow cases. We carefully removed the cover, then the sheets, smoothing them out before peeling them off the bed from top to bottom.
So, C leans down and starts searching the ever-present pile of papers on my side of the bed while I start peeking in crevices in the bedwall on his side of the bed. I'm just ready to move the mattresses to get to that No-Man's-Land between mattress and wall (you know - the Dust Bunnies' Domain), when C straightens up.
"Found it!" He stood there across the bed, grinning, and pinching a teeny white baby tooth between thumb and forefinger. He dropped the tooth in my outstretched palm. I went straight to Lovely Girl's room and handed the tooth to Handsome Boy. And oh, the look on his face: you'd think he'd just caught Manny Ramirez' 500th homerun ball. "Daddy found it," I said. His eyes were shining, and all he could say was, "Oh! Oh!"
It's safely under his pillow right now. I hope the Tooth Fairy realizes what that small boy and his tooth have gone through today.
Once again, The Finder of Lost Things saves the day... or the tooth, as the case may be.