He is a boy of many interests. Because of his many interests, it is
not in his nature to be still for very long. Not only is he
physically active, but his mind is always two steps ahead of his
actions, but three steps behind the consequences. In other words,
he's all boy.
He's also impatient and motivated by money, which
doesn't bode well for a tooth that is only slightly loose.
My youngest boy is a problem-solver. He knew his cousin had a
problem and he wanted to help.
My 13-year-old is the exact opposite of my nephew. After going
over the many possible consequences of a possible solution, my son
is more likely to simply put up with the problem. But he is drawn to
others' pain and suffering, for the same reason people watch a
bungee-jumper: just to see if he'll hit the ground. So, my son was
prepared to get involved with his cousin's loose-tooth challenge.
The trio was unmatched in terms of creativity, ingenuity and
sheer strength of conviction (on the part of my nephew). They were
all committed to solving the problem at hand.
The youngest genius decided that they should build a robot to
complete the task. He wanted to help, but apparently having a robot
do the actual deed would clear his conscience if anything should go
It was by mutual agreement, however, that by the time they built
a robot -- an endeavor for which completion was dubious, at best --
his tooth would probably have fallen out by itself. That,
apparently, was an unacceptable outcome.
The first experiment was the classic "tie the tooth to the door
handle." Neither of my boys wanted to be responsible for hurting
their cousin. So after gearing him up, they left the door-slamming
in his hands. His door-slamming was, unfortunately, ineffective on
the stubborn tooth.
[to top of second column]
Then they tried some variations of the door-slamming. A yo-yo was
employed because, I guess, it already had the requisite loop in the
string with which to secure the victim's tooth. However, the yo-yo
was not heavy enough to dislodge it.
A technique my youngest boy had seen on "America's Funniest Home
Videos" was to tie the offensive tooth to a Nerf dart and shoot at
the nearest tree. Of course they tried this, mostly because it
sounded cool. Alas, the tooth did not budge.
They thought about tying the tooth to my toaster and throwing it
off the balcony, but I decided that my toaster was an integral piece
of equipment because we had just bought a dozen bagels for breakfast
the next day. If they wanted to throw something off the balcony,
they should risk a Tonka truck or some other item that belonged to
While looking in their toy box for a toaster-equivalent, they
found a Hot Wheels launcher and decided it might be just the thing.
They tied the tooth to the bumper of the Hot Wheels car and launched
it into the loop-de-loop track. The victim's neck may have
experienced slight whiplash, but the tooth held firm.
It is a very good thing that most people's teeth fall out well
before one can obtain a license to drive. Otherwise, emergency rooms
all over the country might have way too many cases of boys walking
in with pavement embedded in their face and a fishing line hanging
out of their mouth, attached to a stubborn tooth.
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist,
author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.