Firsts are big for both child and parent, celebrating first smiles, steps, and words. Even the tooth fairy’s visit to collect your child’s first tooth is a big occasion. But as my youngest has been obsessing over her first wiggly tooth, I find I’m struggling with mixed feelings over the whole ordeal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ignoring or downplaying her genuine excitement over her loose tooth. I am excited for her but at the same time I’ve found I haven’t been as big at pushing for the tooth’s removal as I was with my two older kids. I remember getting them to eat food like corn and apples to get the wiggly guy to come loose or asking them to demonstrate each day just how much further their tooth could move. With my youngest I’ve found myself telling her not to wiggly it too much, that her tooth is still attached and not ready to come out yet. I’ve chopped up corn to make it easier for her to eat and given her advice to chew her apple slices on the other side of her mouth.
You see, although my daughter is ready for her first tooth fairy visit, I am not. It starts with the loss of a baby tooth, moves into wearing lip gloss and jumps to calls on the phone with ‘a boy’. It means growing up. Perhaps if I had kept my oldest daughter’s baby teeth from popping out we wouldn’t be going through the pains of puberty right now. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. I know my kids are going to grow whether I’m ready for it or not.
But as my girl moves her loose tooth back and forth with her tongue, as she peers at herself in the mirror trying to imagine her smile with a little gap, I realize that this will be the last first tooth to fall out in this house. She will loose other teeth and the tooth fairy will visit again, but there will never be a first tooth.
So although I am excited for my daughter’s new experience, I can’t help but be a little selfish by pushing off the inevitable. Her tooth will come out eventually but right now my little girl still has all her cute little baby teeth and I’m okay with that.
Have you ever wished a certain childhood stage wouldn’t happen? Have you had to show excitement while fighting an inner sadness or fear?