Both Petunia and Thing Two have suffered from the curse of so-called 'shark teeth,' a situation in which some new adult teeth don't emerge in the correct position to push out the corresponding baby teeth. This ultimately results in a very sharklike (hence the name) double layer of teeth; baby teeth to the outside, adult teeth in parallel orientation behind them. The first time I saw this, I panicked, not knowing that it was a possibility. Now, resigned, when I spot one coming in (this does not happen with all their teeth, thank the good Lord) I just head for the phone and call the pediatric dentist. She yanks the offending baby tooth, the adult tooth moves forward into the appropriate position in due time on its own, and all is ultimately well.
Murphy's Law being what it is, the first night of our vacation last week (i.e., some 2500 miles from the dentist!) I went to floss Petunia's teeth at bedtime and noticed yet another incoming shark tooth. I may or may not have done some silent cussing. As soon as we got home, I called the dentist and made an appointment for this morning.
To make a long story short, the poor kid needed to have not one, not two, but THREE baby teeth pulled. Two on the side where the shark tooth was to give the adult tooth enough room to move forward, and then one on the other side to keep the mouth in symmetry so the other teeth wouldn't move too much. The 'extra' two teeth had long roots and it must have been a real production to get them out...it was clear that Petunia had been crying when she came out but she was a real trouper. The dentist invariably raves about how polite and well-behaved she is. For a seven year-old to go in thinking she is having one semi-loose tooth pulled and come out with three holes in her smile had to be a rude shock, but she handled it with grace and still even likes the dentist!!
I told her I was supremely proud of her and that she is one tough little cookie. She responded with the title line, which absolutely cracked me up. Exactly 42 1/2 nails...not 42 or 43. Then she went to school (she wouldn't hear of staying home) and didn't even visit the school nurse for an afternoon dose of Tylenol even though she knew she could if she needed it. She ate dinner normally tonight--you'd never have a clue she was newly missing three lower fangs if you didn't actually look into her mouth. I'm in awe. Guess there's something to having two older brothers...very little fazes this kid!!