A child’s life is full of milestones. First day, first month, first smile, first tooth, first step… each one a monumental advance in their mother’s eyes.
Sometimes, milestones come too quickly and you find yourself scrambling to baby proof against a 10-month-old child who has figured out how to climb over all the baby gates, escape from his crib at will, and use his dresser drawers as stair steps to gain access to all the stuff Mama doesn’t want him to get into.
Some milestones make your heart pound in your chest and your arms leap into position, ready to catch your child if he falls, hopefully before he can crack his head open. Like the time(s) K decided to climb straight up the face of the bookshelves to get a book.
From the top shelf.
Other milestones just make you laugh out loud and run for the camera, like the first time your son decides to scale the shelves of the fridge the same way he does the bookshelves.
Or the first time he climbs into your office chair and starts banging on the keyboard.
But those milestones are all Mama’s milestones in a way, for it is a rare child who remembers anything much before the age of 4. It has to do with the way the brain develops and how the corpus callosum is not fully formed until about that time, limiting true episodic memories.
A loose tooth is an entirely different matter.
Happening somewhere around age 5, your first loose tooth is a big deal. It is a milestone on par with the first day of school or your first bike or your first kiss.
In other words, it is a very big deal.
The other night, my niece called me. She was, as she usually is, talking rapidly and excitedly — so much so that you could practically see the bouncing joy right through the telephone. She has a loose tooth, you see. Her first one.
And do I know how she knows she has a loose tooth?
Because when she poked it, it moved!
(Little kid explanations never fail to make me giggle.)
About 6 or 7 years ago when K had his first loose tooth (or maybe it was B’s and only 5 years ago — I confess I don’t write such things down and don’t tend to remember the exact when of things), I came across a pattern in a cross stitch magazine for a pair of tooth fairy pillows, one with a girl fairy and one with a boy fairy.
I promptly stitched them up and the kids have happily placed their teeth in the little pocket year after year ever since. My niece, having seen these pillows and now having a reason to need such a pillow, very nicely asked for one on Sunday.
What else was this Auntie to do other than drop everything and start stitching? Luckily the pattern is a quick little stitch and by Tuesday night it was ready.
Congratulations on your first loose tooth, darling girl. I hope you like your pillow!