My Dad was the village 'expert' in teeth pulling. A full mouth of false teeth himself, he would cheerfully yank teeth from the mouths of any of my little school friends that came to play.
Anyone in my class at school with a wobbler would ask to come to tea, so that my Dad could deal with it. They would be served a high tea with a grin from my Mum, and then they would skirt around my Dad. Nervous but excited. Giggling, boys and girls.
Crossword paused, peering over the top of both his newspaper and his specs, he would lean over with a clean white hankie in hand, have a peer in, and before my unsuspecting school friends would know it, they were awarded tooth fairy currency. Slightly bloodied at one end, pearly white enamel.
He was viewed as much of a hero as the tooth fairy herself.
He never managed to extract any of my tiny teeth. I would rather leave them hanging by a thread of a root for days, twisting and wobbling, exposing a little more raw gumminess at a time. Then, alone and stoic, in front of a bathroom mirror, with a tissue in hand, I would take a deep breath and deal with it, proudly, all by myself.
And wait (sometimes for days -
I am not sure I ever believed in the tooth fairy.
But I know a girl that does.
I find I have assumed the role that my Dad initiated. I am inundated at the school gate by excited seven year olds who say "Olivia's Mum, Olivia's Mum, can you get my tooth out please?"
Including, this afternoon, my own lovely Olivia. Gappy. She says she looks "Gruesomely" with an edge of pride. But still so beautiful to me.
The tooth fairy will be on shift, on time, tonight.
Were you a wobbler or a yanker? Did you believe in the tooth fairy?