When Lisa was working on her personal narrative, she started by making a various timelines of how her story could go. Eventually she settled on this one:
*BECOMING THE TOOTH FAIRY
*HOW MUCH WILL SHE LEAVE?
*WILL IT EVER COME OUT?
*ALL IS WELL
Once she had her timeline, she just typed right into it, stretching each part out with lots of detail (dialogue, actions, thinking, and images).
This is the same process that lots of students can benefit from when planning a story, then drafting.
BECOMING THE TOOTH FAIRY
As a parent, I am always worried about something. Are they eating enough? Getting enough sleep? Did I handle that situation in the right way? And as a mom, I wear many hats on the journey we call parenthood. I am Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and most recently the Tooth Fairy. With this new responsibility came the usual onslaught of questions. How much is a fair amount to leave for a first tooth? Should we put the tooth in something so that it doesn’t get lost under the pillow? What if he wakes up and catches me? What will I say?
HOW MUCH WILL SHE LEAVE?
My husband and I discussed the possibilities while our son played with his slightly loose tooth, slowly moving it back and forth with his tongue. Back and forth, back and forth went the tooth and back and forth, back and forth went my husband and I. “Five dollars is fair. It’s his very FIRST tooth!” my husband explained. “What? I was always pleased with a quarter! INFLATION!!!” I said. “I think a nice hand written letter, a dollar and small trinket would be really sweet”, I continued.
WILL IT EVER COME OUT?
As it was, all of this worry was a bit premature. Wyatt’s tooth hung on for a good month, too stubborn to budge and he did not do anything to encourage it. Mealtimes were tumultuous as we struggled to find foods that could be eaten without biting (apples and corn on the cob were out of the question). Eventually, my concern got the better of me and I called to scheduled a visit with the dentist. As luck would have it, both boys had a routine cleaning already scheduled, which I had forgotten about because I made the appointment six months prior.
It was a quiet car ride as Wyatt looked out the window, his mouth closed in a tight line. Finally he spoke and I could see in the rearview mirror that his eyes were welling up as he said, “Will the dentist pull out my tooth Mommy?” I wanted to ease his worried mind, but I also wanted to be honest. “I’m not sure buddy, but if she decides that it’s best to extract it, she’ll give you some medicine so that it won’t hurt.” The remainder of the ride was silent. As soon as we arrived at the office, I opened his car door and immediately gave him a hug. We walked in hand in hand and again, waited in silence. The exam went well, however, the Dr. recommended that the tooth come out as the adult tooth was aggressively pushing through. She gave us a deadline, if the tooth did not fall out within 24 hours, we were to come back and get it pulled.
The mood was certainly somber as Wyatt busied himself with other things throughout the remainder of the day. He moped around the house as if he had a meeting with the executioner (not one of my job titles), and I moped at the thought of having to pull his tooth out myself. To brighten our moods, we decided to read “Andrew’s Loose Tooth” by Robert Munsch, one of our favorite authors. Immediately, Wyatt was relating to Andrew and before long we were both giggling at the absurdity of the methods used to try to remove Andrew’s tooth. I marveled at Wyatt’s smile, as the tooth seemed to dance to his laughter. We chuckled about the motorcycle riding tooth fairy and contemplated whether I should use my motorcycle to get his tooth to leave. Now we were both engulfed in full belly chortles. The kind that leave you catching your breath, eyes watering and eventually emitting squeaks and snorts. Just then, an astonishing thing happened…
AAACHOOOO! A hearty sneeze from such a little person, Wyatt’s eyes like saucers darting around the room. “What’s wrong?” I hastily inquired. “M-M-M-My tooth!” he stammered. “It’s gone!” I immediately began nervously laughing (Partly from shock at the incredible coincidence that Andrew also looses his tooth by sneezing it out, and partly because I had been preparing myself for having to pull it out myself!) as we formed a search party and combed the carpet for the now lost, lost tooth! After a brief sweep, the now seeming tiny tooth was found. We both slouched back onto the couch in relief and finished our story as Wyatt examined the blood stained recesses of his white treasure, a slight smirk growing on his face. What are the chances? I thought. Maybe it was allergies, divine intervention, the beginning of a cold or the power of suggestion. What ever the reason, I could not have been any more grateful!
ALL IS WELL
Bedtime was exciting as Wyatt prepared for his special visitor. He put his tooth in a special pocket and carefully put it beneath his pillow. I’m not sure how long it took him to fall asleep; it was very late when I snuck into his room later that night. The stealth transaction went smoothly as I, the “tooth fairy” made the trade. A first lost tooth for a letter, dollar and trinket (I won…five dollars was just too much!). I stood outside his bedroom, the tiny tooth in my palm. I thought, “I worry too much.” Somehow, things always have a way of working themselves out.