This morning you were excited. You came running into me shouting, ‘Mummy!’ at the top of your voice. I’m not sure what I thought might have bought this on: perhaps the discovery of sweets that your daddy kindly hides from me randomly around our house (to stop me from stuffing my face with them all at once); perhaps the realisation that today was tuesday and you didn’t have to wear your school clothes; perhaps the joy of grassing up your little sister for generally mischievous behaviour.
But no. It was far more exciting than that.
Looks like the tooth fairy might be calling at our house for the first time sometime soon.
Sure enough, you stood in front of me grimacing and pointing to your bottom two teeth. I reached out to touch them and felt that new little wobble.
Your first baby teeth are getting ready to come out. And after my initial wave of nausea (because it is a bit icky wobbling your wobbly teeth), I felt a little bit sad. Because this means one thing for certain: my oldest baby is definitely not a baby anymore.
It feels a bit foolish really. We have passed a lot of growing up milestones: you’ve started school, ridden your bike; you regularly behave like a teenager, moaning that your life is unfair and huffing and puffing your way through simple chores; and you even have a future husband picked out. So, I really shouldn’t feel shocked at the idea that you are getting older. It is, after all, inevitable.
But somehow this felt different. Your baby teeth – the last parts of you that can be described as ‘baby’ are starting to loosen and make way for the more grown up version.
I think about the tears and the temperatures and the teething rings and gels and powders and Calpol that marked the arrival of each one of those teeth, and suddenly there’s a little part of me that misses everything that made you a baby.
I don’t often feel nostalgic for the days when you regularly pooed on me, puked on me and dribbled everywhere, but for a moment I did. In fact, I felt a little lump in my throat as you ran off excitedly to show your daddy how they wobbled.
I never thought I’d be one to keep your teeth forever, but I’m now thinking that I might not feel it’s so gross keeping hold of your last baby bits.
As breakfast time went on, you wondered aloud how much money your teeth would fetch once out. I know you are particularly excited because the self-styled ‘Leprechaun Whisperer’ we met on holiday last year told you your first tooth would be worth fifty golden coins. I know that you have been waiting and hoping to lose a tooth since then. I know I’ve already decided those gold coins will be chocolate (in your face smug leprechaun man)… But it does still leave the question of how much actual money you will find beneath your pillow.
One friend has told me horror stories of payments of anything up to a tenner a tooth for children at their school. Another friend went for the ingenious sum of 2.30 (geddit). Every tooth fairy seems to pay differently, but I can remember having the one coin when I was little (I mean how many coins can the tooth fairy carry afterall? They are very little – and they have to fly). Surely one coin is enough. But as much as I don’t want to fall into a ridiculous competitive keeping-up-with-the-Jones’-tooth-fairy-debacle, I don’t want you to feel short changed by the pesky pixie either.
In the space of five minutes, I’ve shared your excitement; i’ve felt grossed out, tearful and, then, somehow suddenly a bit worried about making sure we get it right. Then this step seems like it will be the same as all of the parenting steps so far: excess emotion and irrational anxiety are my normal reactions to child shaped changes. And it looks like this time is no different.