I seem to have teeth on the brain at the moment. Tadpole is simultaneously cutting a few molars, with the usual accompaniment of unpleasant nappies (why the two are connected I have never managed to establish) and puts up as good a fight as ever when I try to approach her with a baby toothbrush before bedtime. As for me, I keep having that recurring dream where all my teeth come loose and I spit copious amounts of blood and several teeth into the bathroom sink. A dream which is allegedly not related to anxiety about requiring a set of premature dentures, but in fact can be interpreted as relating to children. According to this website, dreams about losing teeth are actually quite common and tend to be triggererd by one of the following scenarios:
- I’m approaching the menopause and will no longer be able to have children (unlikely at 32, and I’ve been having this dream since puberty);
- I have a physical problem leading to an inability to have children (not that I know of, thank goodness, I wouldn’t mind another Tadpole at some stage);
- I’m not feeling capable of raising a child (does anyone ever feel really confident in their ability as a parent?);
- my child is ready to leave the nest (possibly a bit premature at 17 months, even if she is a bit precocious);
- I want a child but my partner doesn’t (n/a unless the Frog is keeping something very important from me);
- or, I am in a situation (at work, for example) where I cannot assert myself and am feeling frustrated. (I don’t think my boss would agree with that one. Not being assertive enough has never come up in my evaluations. Quite the opposite).
So, sorry to disappoint, but I remain convinced that my brain works in far less mysterious ways and this dream is in fact my unconscious mind’s way of reminding me that I really must get around to making an appointment for my annual dental check up.
In the French language, the word ‘tooth’ crops up in several rather colourful figures of speech, some of which I rather like because of the images they call to mind.
An ambitious person is said to have long teeth (avoir les dents longues), while an extremely ambitious person has teeth which scratch the floor (les dents qui rayent le parquet). Presumably ambitious people ought to look something like bugs bunny. I’d be interested to hear where this association between teeth and ambition comes from, andwhether it crops up in any other languages. I don’t think ambition is associated with any part of the human anatomy in English?
Negative uses of the word ‘tooth’ in French include the phrase ‘to bear a grudge’, which translates as to ‘have a tooth (against somebody)’. To ‘be scathing’ in French, you ‘are hard toothed’ (avoir la dent dure).
The Frog’s favourite threat when I do something naughty is: ‘je vais te faire voler les dents.’ What a charmer. No wonder I fell for him.