It was a couple of weeks ago that she first noticed it. ‘Mummy, Daddy! Guess what! I’ve got a wobbly tooth, look.’ I’ve never seen anyone so excited about something that actually is a little bit gross. At first I wasn’t sure if it actually was, whether she wanted it to be wobbly so much that she was actually believing it was when it wasn’t. You see we have spoken about wobbly teeth in our house for almost a year now. To my little then five year old, losing a tooth was a massive deal. Often in the car on the way home from school she would fill me in on the latest goings on in her classmates mouths. ‘Mummy Harvey has lost three teeth now,’ ‘Guess what Hannah lost a tooth today,’ or even analysing ages and timings ‘so and so is younger than me but he has lost a tooth.’ She came home most indignant one afternoon and proceeded to tell me that one of her classmates had lost a tooth and he was in Reception. (she is in a mixed age group class) She wasn’t very happy that someone a whole school year younger than her had lost a tooth.
I’m not sure what the fascination was with losing a tooth. We hadn’t particularly talked about the tooth fairy, nor did she ever really mention that. I think it was more the fact that losing a tooth and indeed gaining a new ‘big’ tooth seemed to be very grown up, a rite of passage reserved for little girls who were transitioning into big ones. But it is something that we have discussed at length for many months in our house.
So back to the excitement of ‘the wobbly tooth’. The very first one. She kept flicking it with her tongue constantly and every so often kept reminding me that it was wobbly. ‘Feel my wobbly tooth Mummy.’ Sadly it’s not something I can be terribly enthused about, for some reason the thought of wobbly teeth makes me feel a bit queasy. I can still very much remember the feeling of my tooth being attached solely by a single root and it isn’t something that is a particularly nice thought. I was very enthusiastic and excited for her, but I drew the line at constantly touching it. This went on for a couple of weeks, with Jon and I even googling ‘How long does it take for wobbly teeth to fall out?’ because lets face it there is no instruction manual for this kind of thing.
Last Saturday Mads went to open a plastic toy with her teeth and she suddenly exclaimed ‘ouch’. When we looked in her mouth it was bleeding a little and the tooth was a lot looser. The next morning Jon went out on his bike and she came into our bedroom crying and really upset, saying that it was hurting and when I looked in her mouth it was hanging by a thread. Mads rarely cries, something has to be really bothering her, so I calmed her down and said that it would be out really soon and to try not to worry. She calmed down and then an hour later she shouted in excitement ‘Look Mummy it’s come out!’ And that was it, we had our first tooth out and a big gap in her smile. She was so excited, we had to ring Grandma, then her Daddy who was out on his bike and couldn’t really talk, and then she ran around the house in excitement. She also decided that she wanted to brush the tooth so it was super clean for the tooth fairy.
She carried it around with her all day and then it was soon time for her to put it under her pillow. She wasn’t hugely excited about this, in fact deep down I reckon she would have preferred to keep the tooth for herself, but still she was intrigued to see what the tooth fairy would leave. We put the tooth in a tiny plastic bag, as it was so small we would have inevitably lost it, and off she went to sleep. The next morning she woke and squealed out to us. ‘She left me a shiny £2.00 coin’ and she rushed into our bedroom to show us. We told her that we thought the tooth fairy bought £2.00 for the first one and £1.00 for all the ones after that! She went into school on Monday morning so excited to show her friends and her teacher.
And of course I had to get my camera out. For losing that very first tooth is quite a momentous part of a little girl’s life. I feel a little emotional as she is growing so fast. This little gap looks ever so cute at the moment, but it won’t be long until those big teeth start coming through. And just like the teeth that come through on the top change their smile when they are babies and make them go from having gummy smiles to looking more grown up, these big teeth will do the same. Parenthood is full of milestones that when they hit remind you just how much you wish you could slow down time just a little bit. I look at these photos and I see a girl. Not a toddler, not a little girl but a girl who is on the cusp of growing so very fast.