With my folder in the right place on the front desk, I hurried over to Mrs. Taylor. I opened my mouth and flicked my wiggly tooth with my tongue. "Mrs. Taylor, could I go see Mrs. Watkins?"
Mrs. Taylor nodded. "I do believe that tooth is more than ready to come out. Go ahead."
I walked quickly to the office. As I rounded the corner into the nurse's office, I stuck out my chin and wiggled the tooth for her. She chuckled and pointed. "Mrs. Watkins is right there at her desk."
Mrs. Watkins twirled her rolling chair around. "Hey, Chloe. What's up?"
"Look." I punched the tooth with my tongue. "My friends said you were an expert tooth puller."
Mrs. Watkins giggled. "I have pulled quite a few." She snatched a tissue from the box on her desk. "Now let me see." The tissue covered the tooth.
I shut my eyes tight and held my breath.
"What are you doing?"
My eyes popped open. "I'm getting ready in case it hurts." I could barely talk with her fingers in my mouth.
She sat back and grinned.
"What's the matter? Isn't it ready yet?"
"Sure was." She opened her hand and there was my tooth.
"Wow. You really are a professional. I didn't feel a thing."
Mrs. Watkins stood. "Come on. Let's get you a necklace to put it in." She plopped the tooth into the little tooth-shaped box and put the string around my neck. "There you go."
"Thanks, Mrs. Watkins." I hugged her and hurried back to class.
When I walked into the classroom, I held up the little box. Jill smiled and nodded. Emalie gave me a thumbs-up.
"Class, let's take our spelling pretest." Mrs. Taylor stood.
I bit my lip and pulled out my paper.
"Upon. The first word is upon."
I did my best to listen to each sound and write it down. I struggled with the words should and dribble. Then I strained my ears to get the two dictation sentences down just right, double checking for capital letters and periods.
"Remember to take these spelling tests home and practice the words, especially those you missed. And don't forget your decodable reader. We're going for fluency. No robot reading."
I didn't mind the spelling and reading part. But later when we did math, I about chewed my lip off. Numbers weren't my friend.
I shoved my folder into my backpack and zipped it up.
"Hey, Chloe, don't forget about putting your tooth under your pillow tonight. You know, the tooth fairy." Emalie's eyes widened.
"I won't forget. I'll let you know what I get."
I rushed through the door and into the kitchen. "Momma, look!"
Momma turned around from the stove. "Did you finally lose that tooth?" She propped her fists on the hips.
"Sure did. Mrs. Watkins did it. I didn't even feel it. Can I go show Mr. and Mrs. Brooks. Then I'll have to bring it back and make sure it gets put under my pillow tonight."
Momma nodded. "And honey, will you see what Mrs. Brooks might have to make your Valentine's box for school?"
"Okay." I rushed out the back door and across the yard.
Mr. Brooks stood on the back deck, holding Rosy's leash.
His head jerked up. "Chloe, what's up with my favorite first grader?"
I ran up the steps and held up my necklace. "I lost that tooth." I opened my mouth and stuck my tongue through the hole.
"You certainly did."
"Could I show Mrs. Brooks?"
"Sure. Go on in."
I shoved the door open. Mrs. Brooks stood at the kitchen counter. "Good afternoon, Chloe. How was first grade today?"
"I lost a tooth!"
"Oh my, now that is a big deal."
"Oh and Momma wanted me to ask you if you had something for me to use to make my Valentine's box for school."
Mr. Brooks slipped in with Rosy and slid the leash off the dog's neck. The little white dog rushed over and jumped up on me. I patted her head.
Mrs. Brooks clapped her hands together and held them at her chin. "I've got it. Honey, would you get that empty coffee can I have in the closet over there. I just knew I was saving it for something."
Mr. Brooks pulled out a big round can with a plastic lid. "This what you want?"
"Yes. That should make a fine Valentine's box for all of the cards you will get at school." Mrs. Brooks nodded. "I've got exactly what we need to cover it, white contact paper, and then you can decorate it with hearts and stickers. Whatever you want."
I nodded. "I knew you were the perfect person to ask about this, Mrs. Brooks. You're just like Mrs. Watkins. You're a professional!"
Why did Chloe hold her breath and squeeze her eyes shut?
What does Chloe mean about Mrs. Watkins and Mrs. Brooks being professionals?
Do you know someone who seems to be very smart about certain things? Who is it and what are they smart about?