Last night I was awakened by a terrified call from Adelade: “Mama! Mama!” I scrambled for my glasses (picture Thelma from Scooby Doo feeling around for her glasses after they’ve been knocked off by a clumsily exiting Shaggy), finally located them, and hurried to her room. Adelade was in tears. Her hair, still damp from her bath earlier in the night, hung in her face while she cried like her heart was broken.
I immediately held her and rocked her like she’s a baby, asking what’s wrong. Thankfully she still lets me do this. As a child I was afraid of EVERYTHING. I mean, I was terrified of my own shadow. So, I have a lot of sympathy for kids in their rooms alone in the middle of the night.
She managed to choke out between sobs, “My (gasp) tooth is (gasp) wiggling around in my (gasp) mooooouuuuuth!” I felt of the tooth she pointed to, and sure enough, it was wiggling. A lot.
My mind immediately went back to the days when we were waiting for that little tooth to pop up. She was only months old, and we were so excited about seeing her first tooth break through, such an adorable little pearl in her tiny mouth. Now, here I was, six years later, realizing that that precious little tooth was about to let go and remind me again how quickly time passes.
But, before I could stroll too far down memory lane, I was snapped back to reality by Adelade’s next question, “What am I going to DOOOOOOO????”
So, I started saying all the things mothers say at such a moment: “It just means that you’re getting to be a big girl,” “Lots of your friends have already lost teeth,” “Another tooth will come in to replace it,” and finally, when nothing else had consoled her, “When it comes out you can put this tooth under your pillow and get a little money to go buy something!” I was sure that would perk her right up. But, she never missed a beat. The tears kept streaming, and I just kept holding her and pushing that hair, even more damp with tears now, out of her eyes.
Finally we turned on a light so I could have a better look at the precious wobbly tooth. This brought on more tears, so I asked, “Why don’t you want to lose your baby teeth?” She buried her head in my shoulder and choked out, “Because (gasp)….because I love them!”
It was all I could do not to cry as I sat there holding my baby, whose feet now almost touch the floor when she’s in my lap. I was thinking, “I know! I love them, too!” But, I said, “Everything’s going to be just fine. Just wait and see. You’ll get a brand new shiny tooth and you won’t miss this one so much.”
She is so her mother’s daughter. I feel for her. Really. When I was younger I hated growing up. I really dreaded lots of milestones, always feeling in my heart that I wasn’t quite ready for them. Having boyfriends comes to mind. Spending the night with friends. Wearing a bra. Riding roller coasters. And, yes, losing teeth. Losing teeth was one of my all-time least favorite activities as a child.
She finally settled down and went back to bed. By morning she had remembered that her teacher gives little tooth-shaped necklaces to kids who lose teeth, and she was feeling better about it all.
Me? I’m ok. It’s a tooth–it’s not the end of the world. But, I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve been reading my blog long that I have a tendency to be a tad sentimental. Okay, I’m a horribly gushy mushy abnormally sentimental-type person. But, one thing we sentimental-types rarely do is take a moment for granted. And I’m pretty sure I’ll remember that adorable and somewhat sad and quite exciting and happy middle-of-the-night crisis for as long as I can remember things.