Holden was one of those kids who was a little late to bloom into full-on toddlerhood. With the baby-lympics going on and all the moms with kids the same age bragging that their little precious could walk and talk when Holden was still jibber-jabbering, the only thing that kept me from throat-chopping someone was the kid’s teeth. His first two came in early, and before his first birthday he had nearly ALL of them. I barely got the chance to have a gummy-baby!
Since those- let’s be honest- weird looking little baby chompers came in so early and so fast, we thought he’d lose them early. Leave it to an assumption to be wrong (we all know the old saying)- but after he lost his first 2 teeth, the others didn’t budge. All of his classmates were walking around with giant gaping gaps in their smiles, and Holden had two giant bottom teeth surrounded by firmly planted babies. I was confused- but comforted. My baby will be a baby a while longer.
Over a year went by without even a wiggler. Holden entered the first grade surrounded by gap-toothed friends, and nothing changed. Then the day came where he opened his mouth and I swear to cheezus one of his top front teeth was horizontal. HORIZONTAL! My stomach flipped over. It’s no secret that wiggly teeth make me want to hurl; a horizontal tooth was more than I could take. Just one, though! I mean, the last time he lost a tooth was over a year ago! Maybe I’ll have another year to work up to it and not feel all vomity when he walks up to me and flips up a FUCKING TOOTH! GAK!!!!
No such luck. Not even a week later, another was out. Then another. They started jumping ship all at once like it’s the Titanic and Jack Dawson won’t be waiting for them with door debris to save their lives. Not only does my kid look like, as called by Holden- “Hobo Joe”, but there are only a few things left about him that have the title of “baby” and they are all teeth- which obviously only have a limited time left taking up space in his head.
He lost his baby hair, baby eye color, baby cry, baby talk, baby bottle, baby binky, baby carseat, his baby fat, baby voice, baby naps, and now, his baby teeth. There aren’t many left! There will soon be no real reason to call my baby MY BABY other than “because I’m the Mommy and I SAID SO!” I’ve had both feet firmly planted in denial but once that last baby tooth is gone, there will be no way to deny it: My baby isn’t a baby anymore. My baby is GROWING UP.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE WARN ME ABOUT THIS?
Okay, a million people warned me about this, but I get the feeling that this is one of those moments in life where no matter how well you think you’ve prepared yourself, it sneaks the fuck up on you and karate chops you in the back of the knees so suddenly you’re flying backward toward the ground and BLAM! The wind is knocked out of you before you even know what happened.
What the hell is a parent to do upon this frightening realization that things have forever changed and cannot ever go back?
Drown our sorrows 2 bottles of wine (or rum, in my case)?
Have another baby to call baby for another six or seven years until this shit happens all over again?
Cry, and then cry some more?
Go all crazy-lady and wear their baby teeth around our necks?
I actually have no damn idea. I guess we could do ALL of those things, but I’m gonna guess the true answer is to suck it the hell up because it’s a natural part of life. Damn. I was really leaning toward the booze option.
But seriously, though, those teeth need to stay in his damn head for a while longer. I’m not ready! I don’t think I’ll ever be! Not for him to start 2nd grade, or middle school, or high school, or graduation, or moving out, or getting married. Just like I wasn’t ready for him to start crawling, or walking, or talking, or starting elementary school, or sassing, or reading. I’ll never be ready for any of it!
It’s no wonder we parents are so stressed all the damn time. Things are always changing and not in our control and we’re never prepared for ANY of it.
Parenthood: A state of constant confusion, joy, sadness, and pride
I could be the millionth person to tell you that this is your warning if you haven’t gone through it yet- but we all know you won’t listen! We never do!
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