Thursday, December 13, 2007

Toothless in Hong Kong

In an effort to catch up with her peers, Tori has started losing teeth at a fast and furious pace. She has lost 3 teeth in the last 10 days, with many more very loose and ready to follow suit. Her latest loss occurred during a Chinese lesson at our house. In keeping with Chinese academic standards, the class continued on. At the end of the lesson, Tori emerged bloody and ecstatic. Her teacher told me that Tori needed to drink more milk. I tried to explain that this was a normal childhood process but her teacher was not convinced.

When the tooth exodus started, Tori was keen to follow local traditions in regards to the tooth fairy. Pinning down what was “local” proved to be harder than we thought. Chinese tradition is that the child throws the upper teeth up to the roof and the lower teeth down to the ground. Neither of these options are possible when you live in a high rise apartment complex. (The kids quickly assumed this must be the tradition in mainland China!) Other “local” kids we know are all expatriates as well. Some German kids on the playground told Tori that the tooth fairy only comes for the first three teeth. This was distressing as Tori has lost more than three teeth already. Some Brazilian kids told her that a rat comes to take the tooth. This was also distressing. We quickly gave up our survey and called on the American tooth fairy to come. She did, but just barely. Cash is a little tricky to get here on the south side.

As we are in high holiday season already, there are lots of opportunities for fancy clothes and photos these days. The kids all had a piano recital last weekend during which they recited a poem, played a song, and then for a grand finale played “Silent Night” together. Tori also performed in a Grade One Music Share, where all the classes sang a number of songs including “All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth.” With perfect timing, she lost one of her front teeth right afterward the performance. Singing skills have diminished, photos look a little gruesome but excitement is sky high.


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