“He has two loose teeth” John said when he called me on the way home from the dentist. And my first thought was that he had knocked them loose over the summer when he hit his chin jumping into the pool . But I was wrong the dentist said they were loose naturally, that children start losing teeth close to age five.
And still my response was, “I wasn’t prepared for that, I’m not ready for this”.
I’m not ready for toothless grins and the tooth fairy. I’m not ready for that baby tooth filled grin to be no more. I’m not prepared for him shed yet another piece of baby hood, one that I didn’t realize was coming so soon. His baby teeth came in a little before 5 months and now here we are a month before 5 and they are ready to fall out.
I remember that gummy smile, that toothless grin that marked those early months. And how when he was fussy for no reason or when he would stick his fingers in his mouth I would run my finger along his gums and feel around for a tooth. I took that first tooth well and once it came through so did he. The rest of his baby teeth came in with no pain. And I never really looked back, the appearance of those baby teeth were a sign that he was healthy and would hopefully be eating solids soon. It was a part of growing up.
And yet the loss of those same teeth, now feels like an ending. An end of the baby era, even though at nearly 5 he hasn’t been a baby for a while now. And still he’s my baby, who wants his blankie and his cozy spot and to sit on Mom’s lap. He’s still my snuggle puppy who lets me read him stories and color with him on chilly afternoons. When he cries I still hear the sound of an infants wail mixed in with his big boy tears. And yet, he’s growing up, much faster than I thought possible.
We sat at the breakfast table the next day and I watched as his tongue pushed his bottom front tooth back and forth. “Are you wiggling your tooth, bud” I say. “I am, mom. How will I eat when my teeth fall out? I don’t think I’m ready for this”.
That makes two of us kid.