My oldest baby celebrated his birthday just before Christmas -he is now a teenager (all prayers accepted) - and the youngest baby turned 5 just before New Year's. Five seems like such a significant age - it's a whole hand, after all - and P has taken to reminding us that she is now a Big Girl, not a baby. I'm all for Big Girl. She gave herself a bath yesterday, complete from starting the water to washing her hair, drying off, getting dressed and combing out her curls. She did forget to the let the water warm up, so it was a cold bath, but whatever, she did it by herself.
But despite wanting to be a Big Girl, I think P is coming to realize that it's not all it's cracked up to be. She's hearing a lot of "you're a big girl now, you can sit through the prayer without talking," and the like. Things we might have let slide when she was "little," are now being expected, just like we expect them of the other kids.
Amidst all this hub-bub, J has been waiting to loose his first tooth. It's been loose for a few months now, slowly wiggling, but showing no real signs of falling out. Over the last week or so, though, it had made significant loosening progressing. Enough that I, mean mommy that I am, have been hinting at pulling it. (A dangling tooth creeps me out, I'd rather pull it and be done with it. ) But J wanted to leave it alone, so we did.
Until the inevitable happened . . .
(Although it's not really, considering the number of times I've had to take a kid to the dentist to have a tooth pulled that would not come out. C had 11 teeth pulled inside of a month because his baby teeth would not fall out, they just clung to the top of the adult teeth, blocking their way, until the orthodontist said enough was enough, and E has had a couple pulled because her top teeth seem to pull back into her gums instead of falling out when the root is gone. Even M has had more than her share pulled in an effort to let the adult teeth come in straight until she's ready for braces.)
Tonight J's tooth fell out. The kids were running around waiting for dinner to be ready, when J stopped short and said something about his tooth. I just a bit excited thinking her was ready to let me pull it, but NO! I had disappeared.
A search was begun and C found it on the rug and J is looking forward to the Tooth Fairy and projections were made on the amount that would be left. C determined that, as it was a first tooth, J would get double the going rate (standard practice for first lost tooth), but seeing as there was no pain (teeth lost by tripping over an untied shoe lace*, or other such event, or requiring removal by a trained professional who sticks a long needle in your mouth and then yanks the teeth out with pliars, receive Trauma Pay), he would not receive any more than that.
So another of my babies has taken another step in growing up. He wanted to be measured again today, hoping that loosing a tooth would somehow make him taller. (He told be a few weeks ago, that even some of the kindergartners are taller than he is.) And then he asked when is the middle of the night. I think he might be laying a trap for the Tooth Fairy. I hope she's on the top of her game tonight.
*One day, when C was in the 1st grade, I was on my way home from running errands with toddler twins in the back seat, when my cell phone rang. My heart dropped when I saw the caller ID showed the school's phone number.
"Hi, this is the school nurse. I need to know if C had both of his top front teeth when he came to school this morning."
"Um, well they were loose, but I'm pretty sure they were there. Why?"
"Well, because they aren't there now. His shoe was untied on the walk out to the bus and another kid stepped on it and C tripped and now both front teeth are missing. One of the teachers found one, but the other is unaccounted for."
True Story. First grade teachers at the elementary school still tell the story as an example of why it is important to be sure your shoe laces are tied. This was also the beginning of Trauma Pay.