I’ve been a parent for almost 8 years now, so I’ve experienced my fair share of horrors.
What, that sounds harsh?
Sure, but let’s be logical for a second: I love my kids more than anything – being their mom is undoubtedly the greatest joy of my life – but these same kids have vomited on me, pooped on me, bled on me and caused at least three agonizing cases of mastitis that my once-perky boobs will never forget. I am so used to finding boogers on things that it doesn’t even register anymore. Oh, and I haven’t slept in years.
So yeah, I said it. There are horrors.
The thing is, I’m generally pretty unfazed by things like illness, injury or bodily functions. I’m calm in an emergency and can handle a cut or a burn with relative ease.
Vomit is gross, but I’ll hold my breath and get through it in order to comfort my children. And poop? If you have kids, you don’t even care about poop anymore. It happens and it’s everywhere all the time. My children and 5 and 7 now and somehow, I still clean poop off of clothing every six months or so.
It doesn’t end; it just becomes less common and more confusing.
But there is one part of raising kids that chills me to my core – something I didn’t know about myself until recently, as my kids grew older and reached a new stage. It took this long, but I now know what I simply cannot handle as a parent.
LOOSE. BLOODY. TEETH. Ugh…I cannot even say the words without shuddering.
The image of a wiggly front tooth dangling from my seven-year-old daughter’s gums is enough to make me genuinely nauseous. Its presence screams in my face as she’s speaking, smiling or (gag) eating a meal.
Blissfully unaware of how she is torturing me, she casually moves it back and forth with her tongue, testing it out. She eagerly wiggles it in my face, asking when it will fall out. “Look, mom,” she’ll excitedly comment. “It’s bleeding a little. It must be coming out soon!” My daughter is eagerly awaiting another date with the Tooth Fairy. Meanwhile, the Tooth Fairy is wondering why the hell ‘The Tooth Fairy” ever became a thing and when this will all be over.
This phase is inescapable and it’s grosser than any diapers or flu I’ve ever dealt with as a mom.
My eldest is currently down five baby teeth with seemingly hundreds to go, and after that, I have a whole other kid to deal with. We’re talking YEARS of loose teeth ahead. YEARS! If someone wants to tap in and parent my kids until they’re in middle school, I’ll gladly take on diaper blow-outs and spit up in return. Those were the good ol’ days, honestly.
The nightmare of a child with loose teeth is not something that baby books or parenting blogs prepared me for. It’s not a topic that mom groups on Facebook argue about or older women in your family offer advice on. It just HAPPENS one day (and many days after that) and if you’re anything like me, you will lose your damn mind.
My children are growing up beautifully, and this is a part of that transition. As their limbs stretch out like baby giraffes and their faces reveal traces of the adults they’ll one day be, I’m stunned by how quickly they change. I love them so much it hurts, and it often feels like they’re growing up in seconds. It’s spectacular, and sometimes it takes my breath away.
But the loose tooth thing? I could do without it.
Wake me up when you have all your adult teeth, my darlings. I’ll be hiding under the covers until then.