Cailey came running into the room tonight, “MOM! I think I’ve got a loose tooth. Wiggle it!” Since I was changing Jensen’s diaper, I suggested that we wait until I had a chance to wash my hands. She viewed the contents of the diaper and readily agreed.
She followed me into the kitchen, dancing around, barely able to contain herself while I scrubbed up. Not unlike a surgeon about to prepare for a procedure. At 6 1/2, this would be her first loose tooth. I knew she was past due to lose that first baby tooth. But, mentally, I’m just never ready for that rite of passage.
She opened her mouth wide, and I reached in to check the bottom left tooth. Loose. I checked the bottom right tooth. Also loose. Since I have a rather suspicious nature, I looked behind the baby teeth. Sure enough, I could see two adult teeth already starting to emerge. It all looked a little crowded in there to me.
Visions of high orthodontia bills danced in my head.
I reported my findings to her. Two loose bottom teeth. She let out a whoop. Her older sister, experienced in such matters, came up to her and embraced her in an uncharacteristically loving hug. Without attempting to break a rib.
It brought tears to my eyes.
Cailey looked up at her sister. “Emme, is it going to hurt?” “Yes,” her sister replied, matter of factly. Taking it in stride, Cailey turned to me flashing her pearly white, perfectly spaced full set of baby teeth, “Mom, I’m growing up.”
I held her face in my hands as long as I could, memorizing that smile that always lights up a room. In a few months, or hours (if I know my tenacious and impatient Cailey) that smile will be forever changed. She dances away from me, sooner than I would have liked.
To celebrate, we break out the Fudgcicles. After a few thoughtful licks, she goes on to list for me the foods that she will no longer be able to eat. Most of them belong to the vegetable food group.
Then as she licks her stick clean, I tell her to go brush her teeth. She looks at me as though I were insane. “Mom, I can’t brush my teeth. THEY ARE LOOSE.”
Clearly, she forgets that I am experienced at this Tooth Fairy business. It takes a lot more than that to pull the fairy wings over my eyes.
Parenthood. It’s a mixed bag, my friends.