Twinning: I Had No Idea That This Losing Baby Teeth Business Was So Competitive

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Having twins can be the most amazing experience of your life. It can also cause you to wake up in the morning wishing you were someone else. Twinning offers an honest depiction of life with twins from a mom who tries to keep things somewhere in the middle.

I don’t have a lot of memories about losing my baby teeth. I remember one of my front teeth fell out after my brother shot it with a water gun because that was funny, and I remember biting down when a loose tooth was twisted in its socket, because that was disgusting. But nothing else comes to mind. I don’t think it could have been quite as important to me as it apparently is to my 6-year-old twins, who view losing teeth as a statement of maturity, and a means of income.

My son Nick became a kindergarten celebrity when he was the first one to lose a tooth during school hours. His teacher called me at home to share the news (yes she was the world’s best teacher), and then explained to me that his twin Allie wasn’t taking the news so well. When I came to pick them up, I had one kid racing at me with a gappy smile and his tooth in a little plastic treasure box necklace his teacher gave him. My other kid was racing at me as well, but for a big teary hug. I was happy for Nick, but sad for Allie. The older they get the more conflicting situations I have to deal with.

All Nick wanted to talk about was his tooth. Over and over again. And all my daughter wanted to do was talk about anything BUT her twin’s lost tooth. Here lies one of the hardest roads to travel with twins: how to be adequately happy and celebratory for the twin who “won” and adequately sad and understanding for the twin who “lost.” I eventually told Nick that I was really happy for him and we’d talk more about his tooth later, but that he had to understand that Allie was sad she hadn’t lost a tooth yet.

I’m not sure if Allie was more upset at the thought of a fairy visiting her brother and not her, or the fact that Nick was getting rewarded for his tooth with cold hard cash. When they started asking me exactly how much money Nick was going to get, I realized that I had no idea what the going rate for a tooth was. I used to get a dollar a tooth way back when, and my husband used to get only 20 pence in England. Five dollars seemed like a lot, but one dollar didn’t seem like enough. I texted my friends for some suggestions, and the answers varied from $1 to $20. Not wanting to hunt down dollar bills every time one of our kids lost a tooth, we decided that $5 was what our Tooth Fairy was going to give.

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