Monday, March 19, 2007


No not the restaurant, not that the salad with those spicy pecans isn't pretty good. Papoosie Girl lost her first tooth this past week! Actually, lost is not exactly true, I kind of pulled it (gently!) out for her. She has been having a bit of a problem with her bottom two middle teeth (technical name?) as her "big" grown-up teeth are already in behind her baby teeth. The dentist encouraged her to wiggle as much as possible as the grown-up teeth need their space and those baby teeth need to make an exit - fast. If not they will need to be pulled in the next few weeks. So finally, one of them got a little wiggly. Of course after a crazy March Break filled with a fun trip to Niagara Falls for a few days and many errands and outings I was not exactly paying close attention to said teeth.

One night after supper she told me it was loose and being the ever-present-in-the-moment Mom I had a close look, discussed it carefully with her, and gently told her what I was doing and pulled it out ever so softly. Or, if you had a spy-cam in my house you would know it was more like, yeah yeah it is loose, "great honey" while I was busy doing something important like picking up the blankets and pillows from the floor for the sixth time in the past hour. I did manage to peer in right before bath and I could see the tooth (kind of gross but accurate description) could bend all the way over in both directions. I took a facecloth and without really thinking asked to have a closer look and - yikes - pulled it out. I was surprised at how much it bled, but after lots of rinsing with cold water all was well and she was thrilled.

By now you have probably figured out I didn't exactly think this through so well. Now I am in a whole new territory involving that ever stylish tooth chaser, the Tooth Fairy. We have a dilemma, several actually, but I am getting ahead of myself. We girls are flying solo on this night as Daddy is working late. Papoosie Girl is desperate to show Daddy the tooth and is so excited we make a few calls to Daddy and Nana to share our good news. She begins to regale me with stories of classmates who have received $5 and even $10 from the Tooth Fairy, at this point all I can think of is, what is in my wallet, anything?

At this point my girls are clean and we are back downstairs for our milk and snack before bed. Papoosie Girl is extremely upset because she wants to simultaneously leave her tooth for the Tooth Fairy and keep it to show Daddy. Thinking as fast as one can at 7pm after being with two small children all day, I suggest we write a quick note to the Tooth Fairy asking if we can, under these special circumstances, keep the tooth. We have several books that talk about losing teeth and a critical component of this transaction that has not gone unnoticed by Papoosie Girl, is the fact that the tooth is taken away. She is genuinely distressed about this and decides to not even leave the tooth at all, just forfeit any potential loot to keep her tooth. After much convincing we decide to write a note to the Tooth Fairy asking for permission to keep the tooth. So the note goes into the baggie with the tooth.

So now she lies fast asleep, with her tooth and note in a baggie under her pillow and I face yet another dilemma. What will the Tooth Fairy say to Papoosie Girl and how much money, if any at all will she leave? This is when having a hard-working husband who works long hours sucks. I called my best friend who like me thinks anything beyond a loonie or twoonie is ridiculous. Since I have a twoonie and no loonie, a twoonie it is. Now I have the loot, I need to work on the note. As you can see I was not very creative by this time...not to mention I am getting a little scared she is going to notice soon that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy have similar penmanship. So the note is removed from the baggie and the card from the Tooth Fairy is left on her desk with her tooth.

Whew. I was exhausted by the end of the evening. This little milestone not only made me so wistful for the day when that little tooth broke through for the first time, it made me so sad to realize these milestones are making way for other accomplishments. Like everyone I poured over the checklists of milestones. Holds head up, smiles, coos, rolls over, sits, first tooth, stands, walks; and always was thrilled when one of the girls hit the milestone. I diligently kept track of the ages of each of these and was always looking forward to the next one. Now Papoosie Girl's milestones are so lofty as reading, writing, adding and subtracting. While these thrill me in so many ways, I pine sometimes for those baby steps in the first few years. My heart aches a little when I see her gap-toothed smile. Where are all those perfect Chicklet baby teeth going? I don't want to see my daughters wee six year old mouth full of those monster grown-up teeth. Is it bad to admit that I love her perfect baby teeth?

The flood of emotions caught me off guard. I had never given much thought to losing teeth since Papoosie Girl's have been so firmly intact. It is a visible sign every time she smiles that she is growing up, a real punch in the gut. How can you want so badly to see and meet this person your child is becoming and at the same time miss the baby they were so much you feel sick?

Milestones are like that. As much as you eagerly await them, they bring you one step further away from where you started.

Technical Edit Note:
I fought long and hard with iPhoto to edit the top photo to remove the TV and to rotate that image and by gosh it did edit and rotate every time, it just never sorry to those more capable than I who are cringing right about now.


Omaha Mama said...

What a lovely tribute to a milestone. She will appreciate this in the future and we can appreciate it now.

No, I don't think it's horrible to fear the permanent teeth. I remember my pictures from grade school, before my head caught up with my teeth. Horrifying for sure! And they are so serrated. So jagged. So BIG!

She is a gorgeous girl, I'm sure she will look just fine with her new grown-up teeth. In a few years.

NotSoSage said...

Ah, I get teary about the milestones, too. PG looks so happy!

Alpha DogMa said...

Yeah, Papoosie Girl! I think your note was brilliant. I'm going to keep that in mind.
And yes, a twoonie is plenty. I remember that we got a dime for an incisor (is that the front ones), and a whole quarter for molars.

bubandpie said...

The definition of childhood in Peter Pan is that Peter has kept every single one of his "little pearls" (which he gnashes threateningly at Hook). I so get that now - I adore those little teeth and I don't look forward to the process of losing them.

cinnamon gurl said...

Funnily enough, I just wrote a post called Milestones about my son's first steps... and how much more emotional they were for me than I expected.

My niece, who's 8, just got her permanent teeth in front, only to have them broken off when she was pushed and fell on the ice rink. Somehow that just really makes me sad.

Mad Hatter said...

What a lovely and funny tribute to those wee pearls. I loved the line about Santa, the Easter Bunny AND the Tooth Fairy all having the same penmanship.

Mimi said...

Beautiful post, Jen-G! You capture the bittersweetnes of all these changes: a mark of success, but also a mark of loss, in a way.

Congratulations to Papoosie Girl!

Sandra said...

I am a bad, bad blog reader. I can't believe I missed this one. As you know, I so get this. A million times over. Little shot is very much looking forward to the tooth fairy part of this whole deal.