I drove, staring straight ahead. I thought about my outbursts and I wasn't pleased. I was quite embarrassed actually. How can I allow myself to get so angry, sometimes? I certainly wasn't being wise or setting a good example. I was in some pretty intense thought, when my daughter asked "Hey Mom, why are they called wisdom teeth?" "I don't know honey, probably because that's where all our wisdom comes from." I wasn't even thinking about what I was truly telling her. Gratefully, she responded "Oh mom, you're so silly"...Why yes, yes I am.
"Why do we even have wisdom teeth?" "I don't know sweetie, we just do." "Do you have them?" "No sweetie, I had them removed when I was only fourteen." I suppose, if she was going by my previous answer, she could assume I lost all my wisdom when I was fourteen. I pulled into the grocery store and was pleased to see they were still open. We rushed in so I could gather something for supper. I was peering over the hamburger prices and thinking to myself, why in the world is this stuff so expensive? When I heard "When will I get them?" Oh sweetie, you don't have to worry about that for a very long time. We gathered our stuff, paid, and then left to head home.
The ride home was quiet. I couldn't stop thinking about my daughters questions and my irritability. Earlier that day during lunch, my husband and I were laughing about how our youngest was so confused by the fact that she couldn't find a pie, after i told her we were having Frito chili pie. We laughed and laughed about it. He explained to her that it was cute. He also told her that it was okay to ask. That there is NEVER a question that is stupid. That she should always ask questions if she wanted answers.
I looked over at my daughter. She was peering out the truck window. "Honey, I'm not quite sure why they are called wisdom teeth and I'm so sorry I was snappy earlier." "It's okay mom, but I'm scared." Scared?...she was scared! "Why are you scared honey?" I think I'm getting my wisdom teeth."
When we arrived home, we examined her teeth and just as I had suspected, they were her second molars. Whew! I was feeling a bit better, but I'm not sure she was. To ease her feelings, I explained to her that we would find the answer to her question. A quick Google search brought up this answer.....
Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars, were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food – like leaves, roots, nuts and meats – which required more chewing power and resulted in excessive wear of the teeth. The modern diet with its softer foods, along with marvels of modern technologies such as forks, spoons and knives, has made the need for wisdom teeth nonexistent. As a result, evolutionary biologists now classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become functionless due to evolution - Scienceline
Evolution? Okay, I could tell that she wasn't satisfied with the answer and to be honest I wasn't either. I searched for something I could use. I finally found it....Wisdom teeth-they're devolving! Now, that was something I could believe and feel good about teaching my daughter. It was easy to understand and I believe it put her question to ease. But, she had a new question. "Hey mom, where does wisdom come from?"