Francine: age 8
Francine had carpooled home with a classmate, so as she entered the house she was excited to see both of her fathers.
“Hi sweetie did you have a good day at school?” Frankie asked.
At first Frankie didn’t see what Francine was trying to show him, it just looked like she was grinning. Then he noticed that she was poking her tongue through a gap in her teeth that hadn’t been there that morning.
"You lost your tooth!" Frankie beamed.
"Well I didn't completely lose it," Francine pulled out a little plastic tooth shaped container, "the nurse gave me this."
“Is it in there?” Frankie asked.
Francine nodded, “And if I leave it under my pillow then the Tooth Fairy takes it and gives me money. That’s what Georgie told me. He said the Tooth Fairy takes the teeth because they’re like money in Fairy World.”
"Well then I guess that's what we should do," Frankie agreed.
Later that day, after Francine had also told Bob the good news when he got home from his recording session and they’d had dinner, as the girl was doing her small amount of homework before getting ready for bed, Frankie and Bob had a conversation.
“Absolutely not,” Bob said, “Five dollars? Are you kidding me?”
“But Bobby you don’t lose a tooth everyday,” Frankie sighed.
“And she still has about nineteen more to go,” Bob countered.
“Don’t give me that look,” Bob said, “When I was a kid, I got a quarter per tooth.”
“Inflation?” Frankie replied weakly.
Bob’s raised eyebrow said that he wasn’t convinced.
Frankie let out a sigh, “I guess you’re right.”
Bob plucked a dollar out of his wallet and handed it to Frankie.
“Final offer,” he said.
Francine’s next lost tooth turned into a bit of an ordeal. It had been a beautiful spring day and she’d been looking forward to playing outside at recess. While her friends chose to swing or use the monkey bars or run around playing tag, Francine had her eye on one thing: the tetherball court. She didn’t actually know how to play tetherball, of course, but the idea of hitting the ball and making the string wrap around and around the pole was oddly appealing. It was centered in a small grassy field. Nobody else was playing there, so Francine bummed to herself and she began to hit the ball.
She dashed around the pole happily hitting the ball as it swung back and forth. As she was playing with the ball, Francine also couldn’t help playing with her loose tooth. It didn’t seem quite ready to come out yet, but it wiggled satisfyingly when she poked at it with her tongue. However this distracted her as the ball came back around hitting her in the face. Francine was ready to just brush off the incident, it didn’t really hurt all that much it just stung a little, but when she went to poke at her tooth again it was missing.
Francine let out a gasp, it must have fallen out when she’d been hit. Francine looked at the grass surrounding her, how would she ever find it now? Just as she was about to get on her knees to search for it, the end of recess bell jingled. She desperately wanted to find her tooth but she had to go back to class.
When her dad picked her up later that day, he could obviously tell that she was feeling a bit down.
“What’s wrong, Francine?” he asked, glancing at his daughter from the corner of his eye as he turned out into the road.
“I lost my tooth,” she replied quietly.
“Well that’s great, sweetheart,” Frankie said.
“I mean that I lost it lost it,” Francine pouted, “in the grass somewhere, I couldn’t find it.”
“Oh?” Frankie raised his brow.
“Now the tooth fairy won’t come because she can’t find it,” Francine sniffed.
“Of course she’ll come, Franny,” Frankie assured her, “She has a sixth sense about these sorts of things. If you just leave a note under your pillow explaining what happened then everything will be okay. I’ll even help you write it if you want.”
Francine didn’t seem so certain but she didn’t argue, “Okay.”
Even later that night, after a nice dinner with Nick—Tommy was busy—Frankie told him and Bob what had happened with Francine’s tooth.
“She was still upset that she couldn’t find it,” Frankie sighed.
“Poor thing,” said Bob.
“So what did you say?” Nicky asked.
“Well if course I told her the tooth fairy would still come,” Frankie told them, “I helped her write a note.”
“So that’s why the glitter gel pens were out,” Bob said, “I was wondering who had left them spread out on the table.”
“Francine insisted that fairies see glitter best,” Frankie chuckled.
“Can I put the money under her pillow?” Nick asked.
Frankie and Bob were slightly surprised by this question, but they exchanged a glance that said they didn’t mind.
“Sure,” Frankie said, “She probably won’t be asleep for another couple hours or so.”
Nick shrugged, “Alright. I’ll come back a little later, then.”
Neither of them said anything as Nicky left without another word.
“Well that was interesting,” Bob commented.
A little while later Nicky returned with a bag in hand, once again earning him a few stares.
“She sleeping?” he asked.
“Should be,” Frankie told him.
"What are you doing?" Bob asked, not taking his eyes off the bag.
“Trust me,” Nick said, taking his bag with him as he went to the bathroom.
Frankie and Bob exchanged a look.
What they didn't expect was the end result when he returned from the bathroom.
Bob’s eyes widened. “Um...”
Nicky was wearing all pink, a tank top and leggings with a poofy tulle tutu. On his back perched a tiny pair of wings.
“You know that she won’t see you, right?” Frankie asked, “She’s asleep.”
“So?” Nicky shrugged.
Frankie opened his mouth to respond, but couldn’t actually think of anything to say.
“Fair enough,” he finally settled on.
Nicky looked as if he was off to battle with a unicorn as he went to Francine’s room to perform the task.
Francine: age 10
In the summer before fifth grade, Francine was down to her very last baby tooth and her dentist was referring them to an orthodontist. Francine’s teeth weren’t very crooked, but braces would be a good idea to make sure that she had enough room. Today after her music lessons she was off to a dental lab to have her impressions taken. During the drive she kept poking at her loose tooth that wiggled a little here and there.
“Jane says that braces hurt,” she informed her fathers.
“Only a little,” Bob replied, “but you’ll get used to it.”
“Besides you aren’t getting braces today,” Frankie added, “just impressions.”
“Plus,” Bob put in, “every time you go to an appointment you’ll be able to get the color of your bands changed. Won’t that be fun?”
“I guess,” Francine allowed with a sigh.
They parked in the lot for the lab, Francine still hesitant about the whole matter.
Bob placed a comforting hand on her shoulder while Frankie got them checked in and they were taken back into an exam room fairly quickly.
“Hello Francine,” the orthodontist said with a kind smile, “you can call me Dr. Sarah. I understand that we’re here for a consultation today and probably some impressions?”
“She’s still a little nervous about the whole thing,” Frankie explained when Francine stayed quiet.
“Well it’s scary not knowing,” Dr. Sarah replied, “but I’ll explain everything to you,” she approached Francine, “Sound good?”
“Okay,” agreed Francine.
Frankie and Bob stood back to allow Dr. Sarah to explain what she was doing as she did an exam and mixed together the material to make impressions.
“I’m gonna put a tray in your mouth so we can take a mold,” Dr. Sarah spoke, “it might feel a little funny and warm.”
The impression for the bottom teeth went perfectly smoothly.
“This might be a bit more uncomfortable,” Dr. Sarah said, “Tilt your head forward a little bit for me.”
That was when it happened. When Dr. Sarah pulled out the impression, sticking out of it was Francine’s final baby tooth.
Francine had hardly been aware of it until to she felt the empty space where her tooth had been, and tasted blood.
“Oh,” Francine said faintly.
“Well, that’s never happened to me before,” Dr. Sarah commented in amusement, plucking the tooth out of the hardening impression. She then reached for a little gauze square, “For the bleeding.”
Francine pressed the gauze into the space where her tooth had been.
Francine knew Uncle Tommy would be over that night to talk to her dad and she couldn’t wait to tell him that she’d lost her last baby tooth.
Her dads were busy making dinner, so Francine was the one to open the front door for Tommy.
“Uncle Tommy, guess what!” she chirped as soon as he stepped into the house.
“What is it, passerotta?” Tommy asked.
“I lost my tooth!” she exclaimed.
“No way, let’s have a look.”
Francine grinned widely, revealing the gap.
“I’ve gotta make sure to put it under my pillow tonight,” Francine added.
“You know the tooth fairy isn’t real, right?” Tommy said, raising an eyebrow.
Francine crossed her arms and scoffed, “Of course I know that, I’ve known for a while. But if my dads knew that, then they wouldn’t give me money for my teeth.”
Tommy let out a laugh, “I like the way you think.”
“I learned from the best,” Francine responded.