It’s the phrase that parents of 5-year-olds everywhere dread. Sure, we know it’s coming eventually. Until it does, though, we push it to the back of our minds, and go about living our lives in a make-believe fantasy world where parts of our children’s body don’t just arbitrarily fall out. Then it happens. The day your kindergartener comes in from school and says the thing that you’ve been fearing since it started happening to her friends a few months ago.
Mom! I have a wiggly tooth!
I’ll never forget where I was the day that Ayva told me, or the way that I felt. Right away, my stomach became a huge knot and I said a quick prayer, “Dear God, please let Ayva’s tooth fall out while she’s in school because, #icant. Amen.” Then I looked down at my excited little girl and said, “Yay! How fun!” Yes, y’all. I lied to my baby. I mean, just because I’m grossed out by the thought of a tiny tooth dangling on by one of those weird veiny things doesn’t mean I want to steal her joy! It’s a little kid right of passage, the wiggly tooth, so I internalized all of my
unwarranted, ridiculous angst, made plans with Ayva about preparing for the tooth fairy, and continued to pray.
Before I continue, can I just explain why I freak out so much about teeth falling out? I promise I’m not just a weirdo for no reason. I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point in my adult life, I started to over think bodily functions. I think it started when I had Ayva, actually, and every instance of poop, vomit, or blood all of sudden had huge significance. When you’re taking care of a baby, those things matter, right? I read tons of books and articles about these things. I studied them, y’all, to the point where I could probably have a Ph.D in Gross Things The Body Does. Basically, I think I was overexposed. I think all of that intense study of disgustingness scarred me, and now I’m so ruined that the thought of a tooth falling out (and the blood that comes with it) freaks me out. Like, why can’t baby teeth just dissolve? Wouldn’t that be easier?
Back to the loose tooth. As fate would have it, Ayva had a dentist appointment about a week after her wiggly tooth discovery. An unfortunate cavity had to be removed and filled, so while she was already numb, the dentist pulled the tooth. It took her about 2 seconds to pull, and Ayva was fine afterwards. Me, on the other hand, my angst was replaced with mom guilt as I wondered if I’d made the right decision. Should I have let Ayva have more time with her loose tooth? What if her next tooth falls out quickly and she doesn’t have the time to do that wiggly tooth / tongue thing? Have I just snatched away a significant experience in her childhood development? Or am I just a weird mom who is over thinking this wiggly tooth thing way too much?
All in all, Ayva had about a week to spend time with her loose tooth.
One whole week to wiggle it back and forth with her tongue.
One whole week to ask me all the questions (I mean, every single one of the questions) about teeth.
One whole week to remind me that my little girl is growing up. Loosing her baby teeth is just the beginning. I knew that she was going to get older, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I think, however, the next time Ayva has a wiggly tooth, I’m going to enjoy it a little bit more, stress out about it a little bit less. Bask in my baby a bit, you know? Because one day, she’ll have her grown up teeth and want to wear mini-skirts, and have a boyfriend, and I’m sure I’ll look back and miss the days when a wiggly tooth was the most exciting thing ever to her.