I don't know what it is about vacations and loose teeth.
Samantha's 4th loose tooth began to present itself as a little bit wiggly about a month ago. I have to remind myself frequently to feel all of the teeth in her mouth periodically to see if any are getting ready to go. The concept of losing teeth is still strange to me, when it took so darn long to get the ones she has in the first place. But they seem to (so far) grow back pretty quickly, so with that I am satisfied. So that 4th loose tooth, just a little bit wiggly, didn't seem that it would be ready to go for quite some time. I figured we'd have another month, most likely.
Sunday, as we sat on the beach, Samantha thoroughly occupied with filling and dumping buckets of sand and mud and water, thoroughly happy to throw herself onto her stomach into self-dug tidal pools full of sand fleas and baby hermit crabs, loose teeth were the last things on my mind. More, I was keeping a close eye out for the previous day's drunk college students, hoping to get a good laugh at seeing them cradling their sore heads, nursing bottles of Gatorade. But, much to my disappointment, they were nowhere to be seen. Samantha and I returned to our blanket so we could dry off and gather our things to return to the condo. Tired and just a little bit giddy, she was having a hard time listening, nothing terribly unusual these days. As she threw herself at Steve, who was sitting in a beach chair, he put his hand out to stop her from crashing into him and knocking him over, but, in a lightning-fast moment of coincidence, she lowered her head directly into the path of his out-stretching arm, causing him to clock her in the face.
Tears, tears, tears... And poor Steve, he felt just awful.
We checked her out, and she looked fine, the tears transcending to sniffles, then back to smiles again as we continued to gather our belongings. Samantha then took a sandy hand and wiped her face with it, realizing in that instant that sand does not taste good, nor does it feel good when entering eyes. Before the next round of tears could start, I grabbed a (slightly sandy) towel and began to wipe her mouth, but, again, she lurched forward as I reached out, and hand connected with mouth.
This time, she opened her mouth and blood poured out.
Through her tears I was able to coax her to let me take a look and saw that the tooth was hanging by a thread. Before she reached into her mouth and handed me the tooth.
As Steve took Sammi down to the water to help her rinse with some salt water, I held up the tooth and joked with some women the next blanket over about how the beach is not the ideal place to lose one of those. One of the women kindly offered me a baggie to put it in.
And so Steve and I feel terrible that we both had to beat our child to get her tooth, and are hoping that the Tooth Fairy will win this round and we won't find CPS (Child Protective Services) waiting at our doorstep when we return home to Virginia. And Samantha harbors no ill feelings, proud that she's been so brave through yet another episode of this long, drawn-out right of passage.