Monday, December 19, 2016

Loose Teeth, Lunch Bags, and High Chairs

Tori has a loose tooth!
Normally I’m pretty pleased with her milestones of growth. As she grows she becomes more and more delightful. Thus far in her 5.5 years of life, there have only been 3 things that made me cry a little.
The first milestone that really hit me was when we retired her high chair. It wasn’t a real high chair – just a booster seat permanently strapped to our dining room chair. But it had the attached tray and a five point harness to hold her in. I remember undoing the straps and the seat and looking at it with tears in my eyes. We had recently decided that Tori would be our only child, and so we knew the little pink chair would be going away forever. My little baby no longer needed my assistance to eat and drink - she was sitting at the table, using utensils, drinking from an open cup. What had happened to the little baby who lunged at the spoon, or ate an entire hard boiled egg without pausing or letting go? Now she was a little person!
Not sure about this whole solid food thing

The second milestone that hit me hard was the first time I packed a lunch for preschool. I had decided to send her to preschool when she turned three, but due to some changes in circumstances, I started her about four months before her 3rd birthday. We went to Target together and she picked out a Hello Kitty lunch bag. I stood in my kitchen, looking at the spotlessly clean pink and white bag, wondering what to pack, and I burst into tears. What if some jerk kid made fun of her Hello Kitty lunch bag? Would the mockery cause her to go into a lifelong neurotic depression? How could I send my innocent baby into the cruel world with nothing but her wide eyed hopes and Hello Kitty lunch bag? It was the first time I faced putting her into an environment that I didn’t completely control, and it terrified me. 
Hello Kitty is facing the door
And now, at five and a half, she has a loose tooth. I’ve been thinking about this whole tooth thing, and honestly, who decided that we only keep our first teeth for 5-8 years? We live to be 80 years old! We should keep the first teeth at least 10 or 15 years, am I right? My little girl is not capable of brushing and flossing a permanent tooth! I remember when those tiny little teeth came in. I had just weaned her from breast feeding, and suddenly, two teeth just popped out, like they had been waiting. She never had a hard time with teething, just drooled and chewed, but no fevers or whining or crying. She has perfect little pearl white teeth, with plenty of space around them, and yes, a slight overbite because we let her use her pacifier until she was almost 4 years old. And now those little teeth are loosening, making way for scary big adult teeth; teeth that will fill her mouth in strange new ways, changing her adorable grin. I never understood why Peter Pan having baby teeth was such a big deal until now. 
Pictured: adorably UNscary teeth
Baby teeth are like kittens – you can’t be afraid of a child with baby teeth. When a kid with baby teeth has a tantrum and gnashes those teeth, it’s adorable, not disturbing.
So here it is, another milestone hitting me. I love watching my daughter grow. I’m proud of who she is. And I look forward to witnessing her continued exploration of this world. But for the next few weeks, I will let myself feel a little bit blue about the loss of baby teeth.

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