When I was 6, my dad's friend Dr. Larssen gave me a kitten. And he told me that if I NEVER put my tongue in the hole where my loose tooth was about to fall out, it would grow in gold. Then he flashed his big gold molar, "See?"
I pretty much believed him. And I did not want a gold tooth right in front, so I poked my tongue in there assiduously. But If only I had listened, I could have been a real pirate, with a good tooth. I wonder how you get a peg leg? Damn.
I do not give every six year old I meet a kitten. Their mothers would kill me. I do, however, caution them to avoid putting their tongues in the holes where their teeth have fallen out. Then I grab my friend Heidi and make her show them her gold crown, to prove my story could be true. She is a good sport, and plays along.
Today the smaller hooligan spent most of the afternoon worrying at his loose tooth, moaning that it hurt, taking single bites of apples and then leaving them to attract fruit flies.
Finally, he made me sit next to him at the table. He marched into the bathroom and returned with a full box of tissues (for all the blood). He was deadly serious and refused to acknowledge my jokes. He got a cup of water. Then he sat down next to me, grabbed his tooth, and yanked it out. I cheered. He mopped up a little blood, gulped some water, and then said, "SHIT! I put my tongue in the hole."
I know better than to laugh, but I couldn't help it.