You heard that correctly. The Lost and Tired household is going to have to ban the tooth fairy. That sounds a little extreme…right? What if I told you that Gavin is now literally pulling his teeth out. Gavin is basically, picking a tooth and literally wiggling it until he can pull it out. We didn’t realize this was going on until this afternoon. Gavin has lost 3 or 4 teeth in the past couple weeks and honestly we didn’t think anything of it. However, he came down last night and told me that he “pulled” out another tooth. When he used the word “pull” instead of “lost”, it caught my attention. Yesterday was a bad day and Lizze isn’t doing good at all so I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about this.
This afternoon Elliott came running downstairs in a panic, saying,”Gavin is pulling his teeth out”. I remembered that I needed to speak with Lizze about my concerns. We called Gavin downstairs and sent Elliott and Emmett upstairs to watch a movie. We immediately confronted Gavin and wanted to know what was going on and why he was losing so many teeth. I was thinking it may be like Trichotillomania which is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body. Maybe pulling out his teeth is some form of that? At least that what I was thinking. Lizze meanwhile, was thinking in a whole different direction. She asked him if he was still getting money from grandma and grandpa for losing a tooth and he said yes. Then it hit me, Lizze was on to something here.
So I asked Gavin if he was pulling his teeth out in order to get money from the tooth fairy and grandma and grandpa? He got the “deer in the headlights” look on his face and his demeanor immediately changed and he now became very tense (physically) and started gearing up for a melt down. I asked him again, “Gavin, are you pulling your teeth out to make money?”. I don’t know why I even bothered to ask because based on his reaction I already had my answer.
OMFG…. What the hell are you supposed to do with that? Basically, what he’s doing is selecting a tooth and then “wiggling” it until he works it loose enough to pull out. Upon this realization, I literally started to have a panic attack. <back story> When I was little I had a tooth ripped out by our family dog and had it surgically re-implanted. I think I was like, 10 years old at the time. I was traumatized by that experience to the point that to this day, I still have recurring nightmares of my teeth falling out and wake up in cold sweats. </end back story> I did my very best to not over react to this new information. I honestly, don’t have the first clue as to what we should do. We have calls into everyone right now and just waiting for the callbacks. Aside from the obvious concerns here, we can’t have him doing this to his adult teeth. Do we punish him for this? Another HUGE problem is that Elliott now wants his teeth to be loose so he AND Emmett both are walking around pulling on and wiggle their teeth. Seriously, this is freaking out. I CANNOT have the boys “modeling” Gavin’s behaviors. This is bad on so many levels. Do we take him to Akron Children’s Hospital or some other facility?
The only think I could think to say without going overboard was that that “mommy and I are going to have to tell the tooth fairy that she can no longer come and collect your teeth and you so you will NEVER get money for them EVER again”. Maybe that sounds a bit extreme but we have to make it clear that the tooth fairy (or anyone else) will NEVER give him ANYTHING for his teeth again. This would render the act of pulling his own teeth out, well…pointless..at least in theory. If we tell him she will no longer give him money, it won’t be enough to stop him. Honestly, I don’t know if anything will be enough to stop him from doing this. Pretending like this never happened, as much as I would LOVE to believe this NEVER happened, isn’t the something we can do. What’s to stop him for going after his adult teeth? He’s doing this in front of his brothers and that just CANNOT happen.
When you are given a child this complicated, at the very least, they should come with an instruction book. I just don’t know what we are going to be doing with this.
Oh no! We have not had that issue here. My boy is so freaked out about the tooth fairy (technically a “don’t know”/stranger) visiting while he is asleep. All tooth fairy offerings are left in a cup by the bathroom sink.
You are not extreme in banning the tooth fairy. The pulling and taking out teeth is bad behavior. Reward baby tooth fallout (verified with last dental checkup) with something different. Keep them on a positive track to take care of their teeth.
Hayden Murphy used to pull teeth like that…. fortunately he’s stopped now that he has all his adult teeth. But he never believed in the tooth fairy, he just pulled them out of anger
Has Gavin by any chance been watching “Power Puff Girls” recently?
My Son has Aspergers and I had to do the same thing. He was really mad when got a shiny quarter instead of the $5. Love your rom as a side note. I know too many Developers and IT Guys with the same stories. jrbooth3 on XDA
I have had students that do that too. Even some neuro-typical ones back in my gen. ed. days. I always suggest to parents that if the kid is that determined to make some cash then use that determination to their advantage. Does Gavin get paid for chores? Consider that possibility or pay him for flossing and brushing 25 cents for each 2x a day perhaps?
I don't have an issue providing an allowance, Gavin's doctors have always told us NOT to. Honestly, I don't remember the actual reason why but it made sense at the time. Perhaps we'll need to revisit that. Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂