Baby Teeth and Bribes

Jul 27, 2009

When I was pregnant with my 3rd child, I decided that I was interested in taking some mother/daughter photos with my then-5-year-old daughter, Jordan. I had seen a great photo in a photographer's window display and wanted a similar pose with my daughter before she got too old.

Of course, being nearly 9-months-pregnant, I didn't want to take them while I was big and fat. Thus, we had to wait until the baby arrived and I had lost most of the baby weight. I felt we couldn't wait too long, though, because I didn't want Jordan to lose her top teeth before we took the photos and they were starting to get a little loose. I had meant to make the picture appointment when the baby was about 7 weeks old, but at that time, the baby was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized and. . . well . . . in the midst of all the craziness, I just really forgot about those pictures all together.

That is, until one day when Jordan and I were driving to pick up her other brother from school. Suddenly, she yelled from the backseat of the minivan, 'My tooth is bleeding!'

I glanced back at her in the rearview mirror and sure enough, there was quite a bit of blood on her hand and mouth. UGH! Her tooth, though, was still attached - but VERY wiggly. Now, with most kids, the tooth might still have quite awhile at this point before it comes out. But, not with Jordan. She's the type of kid who pulls her own teeth out!

So . . . when we stopped the car, I looked at her very seriously. I said, "Jordan, I am going to make an appointment for Thursday afternoon to get our photos taken together. If you don't wiggle that tooth or pull it out before then, I'll give you five bucks."

Now, I'm not one who usually bribes my kid, but desperate situations call for those desperate measures.

She said, "Five dollars? I'll get five dollars if my tooth doesn't fall out before our pictures?"

Pleased with myself, I said, "Yep."

After all, this was a good deal for a kid who doesn't even get an allowance and I was certain she'd recognize that.

But, to my surprise she said, "That's not enough. I want twenty."

TWENTY? My five-year-old was now negotiating with me? Who's kid is this anyway?

"No, five."


"Five, Jordan. That's all you're going to get."

In all actuality, I would have gone up to at least ten, but hey, she didn't need to know that.

She seemed to mull it over and then asked, "What can I buy with five dollars?"

A little over-enthusiastically I said, "Oh, you can get at least five candy bars."

That would have been pretty enticing to me as a kid.

Instead, my baby girl said, "How much is a cell phone?"

Are you kidding me?

"Jordan, that's about $200. You're NOT getting a cell phone. Five dollars is it. Take it or leave it."

I sounded really firm but deep down, I was praying she'd take it.

And, she did.

That kid must have really wanted the cash because her fingers didn't go near that tooth for two whole days and that Thursday, we went for our photos.

As for Jordan's tooth - when we were done, she asked if she could wiggle it . I told her that she could pull it out with plyers if that would make her happy!


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