He couldn’t have been more than three years old. I watched him as he discreetly looked out of the corner of his eye, checking, peeking, stealing another glance.
He sidled up to Mac, this time for a closer look, him standing, Mac sitting – they were almost nose to nose. A perplexed look formed on his face, something was clearly amiss, he needed to know…
“What happened?” he asked me with wide eyes and hands upturned.
“Which bit?” I queried, let’s face it… it could have been so many things.
“He hasn’t got any teeth in the middle…” he said with concern in his voice.
“You know, you’re right”, I laughed.
It became clear, the wheelchair, the lack of mobility and independent movement, the not talking, the not seeing were all completely inconsequential and totally irrelevant, this three year old was simply fascinated by the fact he was missing his two front teeth.
I explained as basically as I could to this little boy how when you are about six or seven your first teeth get replaced by another bigger set. I didn’t want to scare him so only touched on the strange tooth fairy who pays you money for your teeth when they fall out of your head. Then his sister joined the conversation and showed her little brother how she had her new second teeth.
We have had two more youngsters querying the lack of teeth – I guess since Mac is at their eye level, they notice it a bit more.
I haven’t checked to see if ‘all Mac wants for Christmas is his two front teeth, his two front teeth…”