Brett Buckner: This childhood memory brought to you by icons of retro hip hop
by Brett Buckner
Special to The Star
Sep 08, 2013 | 2043 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Who knew there was such wisdom in a ’90s rap anthem — or that it could pertain to tooth extraction rather than just booty shakin’? But that’s exactly the tactic Jellybean used ridding her mouth of its first baby tooth.

She decided to, “Wiggle it (just a little bit).” And I’ll be darn if that sucker didn’t pop right out. Not that I was on hand to witness this monumental moment. Nope. I was in the Taco Bell drive-thru trying to explain to the lady on the other end of the box that I didn’t mind paying full price for ice water because it was the ice my fickle teenage daughter craved.

Needless to say, I was a might annoyed when the phone rang. But my irritation quickly turned to excitement as Jellybean retold her tale of “just reaching up and pulling it out.” It didn’t even hurt. That excitement turned to panic as she added, “How much do you think the tooth fairy (only it came out more like toof fairy) will bring me?”

Geez. With blood still dribbling down her chin, Jellybean already had her mind on her money and her money on her mind. But in the age of debit cards, I haven’t seen cash since the fattest of the Fat Boys got a tummy tuck, so I wasn’t sure just what the tooth fairy would bring.

But I decided to take my chances and head home rather than hit an ATM. Standing in the living room with Jellybean’s front tooth in my hand, I couldn’t help but notice how tiny it was — I’m talking Chiclets small — and how large the hole was.

“Look, I can stick my tongue through my toof hole,” Jellybean said, doing just that. “I can’t wait to lose my other teeth.”

At bedtime we talked about the tooth fairy and how she’d get inside the house even with the doors locked. Jellybean was worried that Ringo would bark or The Diva would see her and scare her away.

“Nobody can see the tooth fairy,” I promised. “She’s teeny tiny and has magic powers that make her invisible.”

“Yeah, but what does she do with all those teeth?”

I fought the urge to steal the storyline of “Darkness Falls,” a terrible horror movie with an evil spirit called the Tooth Fairy who murders children in their beds because the town lynched her 100 years ago. I’ll save that for when she’s making me pay for braces.

“That’s where her magic comes from,” I said instead. Although, thinking back … still sounds kinda creepy. And I may have actually stolen that from “Once Upon a Time.”

I found $2 in my piggy bank and slid it under her pillow. That was the first morning that I didn’t have to drag her still snoring out of bed to get her to school on time.

She was so proud of her “toof hole.” That weekend she came up with a plan for how she’d tell her friend about it.

“I’m just gonna smile and say, ‘So do you see anything new about me?’ and I’ll wait and I bet she’ll be like, ‘Oh wow … you lost a tooth!’” And that’s exactly what happened. For all the excited squealing, you would’ve thought Jake Ryan just asked her to prom.

What was really weird was how much that tooth hole made Jellybean look older, cuter and more mischievous all at the same time. “I look 6 years old,” she said, looking in the mirror with wonder. “I look so different.”

I guess there’s magic in those teeth after all.

Contact Brett Buckner at
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