I may be confessing to being a less-than-wonderful mother but at the risk of ruining my reputation I have to say something that's been weighing on me: I hate loose teeth. They give me the heebie-jeebies.
Right now three of my five children are walking around with one or more teeth that appear to be ready to leap from their rightful places in their mouths. Every time I look at those teeth quivering in the breeze it leaves me with tingly knees and a fuzzy brain and the children with the certain knowledge that until those teeth fall out they have a weapon of monstrous power at their disposal.
"Hey Mom! Can I watch SpongeBob?" (Anonymous male child of mine).
"No! You know that inane show drives me up the wall. Five minutes of watching and you all start talking like Patrick, who we all know is willfully stupid. Read a book."
(Anonymous male child approaches mother ominously. Opens mouth and wiggles hinged tooth with a little pink tongue. Mother clasps one hand to mouth and the other to her chest and points back at the TV room with a shudder. Child closes mouth with a smile and trots off with the remote to watch the awful show.)
"Hey Mom! You don't mind if I use your good wooden spoon to dig a nice big hole in the front yard, do you? Charlie and I want to make a World War I-type trench." (Another anonymous male child of mine).
"Are you serious? No! You cannot have my good wooden spoon. And if you dig a hole in the front yard someone might break an ankle in the dark. No way!"
(Second anonymous male child bares teeth and uses a pencil eraser to push tooth backward from where it ought to be into an unnatural relationship with the roof of his mouth. Mother mutely sinks against the wall and gestures wildly to indicate a different spoon.)