Sentimental Teeth

I knew that parenthood would be a series of sentimental throat punches. I knew I would cry at certain milestones. I wasn’t one of those people who said, “who gets upset by a haircut?” I knew those things would get to me.

But there are things that I was not prepared to feel all mushy and sappy about. I wasn’t prepared to look at outgrown clothes and want to hold on to them even though no one would ever wear them again if I did. I wasn’t ready for seeing a small person in a large backpack. And I surely never expected to become attached to teeth.

TEETH. A human body part.

A couple years ago, we found a little box with teeth in it at my parents’ house. My mom said it was one of our (me or my brothers) baby teeth. We were all entirely grossed out. Why in the WORLD would anyone keep those things? Ew. It’s like having a box of human hair or clipped finger nails lying around. WHY?

But then my own children started losing their baby teeth.

When the dentist told us that Eddie had wiggly teeth three years ago, I felt oddly sad. “First ones in, first ones out,” she said to me about the bottom two. I remembered those two teeth coming in. How it felt like we could feel them in his gums forever until one day…pop!…they both poked through at the same time.

When the first one fell out and Cortney Tooth Fairy-ed it, he handed it to me, “Here. I don’t know what you want to do with this.”

I had fully planned to throw it away because it’s a tooth. But I looked at that tiny chicklet tooth…that baby tooth…and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t throw it out, so I put it in a baggie to deal with later. But later turned into more teeth joining it in that baggie. And an index card with the date each fell out.

Charlie lost his first tooth last week.

AND HE WAS ALL CAPS EXCITED ABOUT LOSING HIS FIRST TOOTH. And so was I! It’s a big deal!

But there was that little twinge of sadness again.

Teething was so so so SO hard on Charlie. He suffered forever before those little things popped through. Teething definitely hit Charlie more than my other two. He got all four front teeth almost simultaneously, but not after long-suffering high fevers, projectile vomit and poops that left him with diaper rash so bad it caused his tiny booty to bleed. We had to get a special prescription butt cream for him that cost somewhere around a million dollars (it was like magic though, and definitely worth the cost).

I spend hours rocking him and soothing him through that horrible teething. He’s a tough little dude and bounced back right after those teeth popped through.

So I did it again. After Cortney tooth fairy-ed, he handed me the tiny chicklet tooth and I put a card in the bag with “right, front bottom–3/26/18” written on it. Then I stuffed that gross tooth bag next to Eddie’s gross tooth bag in my jewelry box.

Someday my kids will find them and be all “ewww. mom! Why?!?”

And I’ll probably just shrug and smile and say, “it seemed like the thing to do.”

First In, First Out

Back in September Eddie had his biannual dental cleaning, and the hygienist surprised both of us by telling us that his bottom two front teeth were loose. Eddie looked shocked, but proud. If I wasn’t trying to keep Charlie from touching all the dental tools, I would have had more of a reaction. But I just smiled and said, “cool, right Ed?” He nodded.

Later at home when Charlie was down for nap, Eddie and I got out the mirror and scrutinized those two teeth. We took turns trying to wiggle them. They were definitely loose, but barely.

He was pumped to start work on wiggling those suckers right out of his mouth.

My heart skipped a beat.

Those two teeth were his very first teeth.

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I remember those teeth popping through. Suddenly my little baby wasn’t so little. My guy had teeth! Throughout the process of those buggers cutting through I was sad that Eddie’s little gummy smile was about to be gone, but once those little toothers popped though, man, his smile got even cuter.

I also remember the first time I stuck my finger in there to feel them and he bit me. Ouch.

That little chicklet teeth smile has always been one of my favorite things. Tiny little teeth all in a row.

I thought we had at least another year before loose teeth. First graders lose teeth, not Kindergarteners.

But there they were. Two loose teeth.

The first one feel out at bedtime just under a month ago. Cortney came upstairs with a teeny, tiny little tooth in the palm of his hand to place in the little pillow with a pocket the dentist gave Eddie two-years ago when he first started his cleanings.

I couldn’t get over how small it was.

Eddie gently placed it on the nightstand next to his bed (so the tooth fairy wouldn’t wake him up looking for it. He had school the next day, you know).  Before we went to bed the “tooth fairy” visited, grabbed the tooth and left a gold Sacajawea dollar behind.

I had full plans to dump the tooth. Not too long ago we found a tiny box of baby teeth at my parents’ house and were totally skeeved out by it.

But that tiny tooth in the palm of my hand was one of the first ones in my Eddie’s mouth.

I had a dilemma: did I follow my gag-reflex and dump the tooth, or did I give in to my mother emotions and stow the tooth?

Yes, the tooth is in a baggie in my jewelry box. What?

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About a week later, that tooth’s neighbor jumped ship while Eddie and I were headed out to run some errands. Again the tooth fairy stopped by leaving Eddie another Sacajawea.

And yes, now I have two teeth in my jewelry box. I even gross myself out with this. Really.

But Eddie is so proud. It is the first thing he shows people, and if someone notices his chest puffs up and he tells the stories of how those teeth came out.

We have even spotted an adult tooth coming through. OMG it’s HUGE. My baby is going to have monster-sized teeth. Cortney assures me that is “normal” because they are “adult” teeth. What business do anything “adult” have being part of my son?

Cortney also took one look at that tooth coming in at a weird angle and said, “That is also what ‘braces in our future’ looks like.”

BRACES?

Excuse me while I faint from how fast time is taking my little boy away. First it’s a lost tooth, next thing you know he is getting marrying and leaving me.

Who knew a dang tooth could send me into emotional turmoil?  This does not bode well for all the future milestones does it?

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