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Losing a tooth for some children is a happy rite of passage. For others, the ones who have trust issues, it can be a highly stressful event.

I have one child who actually pulls her loose teeth out. She prefers to rid herself of the nuisance. The other child, the one with the comely smile above, nearly drove  us off the very edge of sanity by psychologically outmaneuvering my husband and I over the course of 4 days.

She pled and cajoled for its removal, and in a twisted game of cat and mouse, refused to open her mouth. Each time she lured us in with promises of bravery and resolve, we walked away utterly frustrated and defeated. I can’t really describe how the matter was settled except to say that some bondage and a small proposition was involved. The non-event lasted less than 30 seconds.

After all was said and done she walked away as if nothing  happened and we felt like victors in a hard-fought battle.

In many ways, she and I are very much alike. As this episode unfolded, I knew it was emblematic of an intrinsic mistrust of people, even of her closest and dearest. At our very core, we believe in our loved ones’ good intentions but we are unwilling to become vulnerable when the possibility of pain (physical or emotional) are possible.

I hope the front tooth episode taught her that even when she is most afraid, she can trust us. Wars are won one battle at a time.

October 28, 2010