Baby Tooth is MIA in Which Mommy Done Bad

Shock tingles up through my body filling me up from feet to head. My hand is in the dishwasher delivering a glass to the top shelf when the realization dawns on me. The plate which held my child's newly lost tooth has been placed upside down into the top shelf of the diswasher. Checking the plate I find my fears confirmed. Her tooth is gone and I have committed a grievous error. This is a tooth that Violet not only wanted to put under her pillow but also planned to keep forever. Violet is already off to bed and seems to have forgotten about her tooth for the moment. Knowing that time is probably short, I start frantically searching for her tooth. Pulling out the bottom rack of the dishwasher and loudly lamenting the situation, I call to Nyssa, Violet's sister, and ask her to bring me her flashlight. Nyssa comes running and we begin to search through the dishwasher. "Is that it?" asks Nyssa.

"No, that is a piece of rice." I reply.

On we go, with me getting my head as far back into the dishwasher as possible trying to keep my weight off the open dishwasher door and Nyssa examining every little thing she finds. After a while we back track to the dining room table. Do you know how many things look like a tiny baby tooth? Every little white bit of anything could be it and given that I haven't vacuumed recently there are a lot of little bits everywhere. "Um," I tell Nyssa, "Maybe it is in the garbage disposal."

By now Patrick has come downstairs from putting Violet to bed. While relating the predicament to him, I stick my hand into the disposal. Feeling a sense of protection for my hand come over me, I announce to the room that it is on it's way into the depths of the disposal. Patrick stops mid-step opting to stay out of the kitchen until I am done rumaging. Nyssa notices this and wonders what the big deal is about garbage disposals and hands. So we begin her education of this dangerous kitchen appliance. I am uncovering all kinds of things in the disposal and to my amazement find myself searching these things very, very thoroughly. It dawns on me that this is yet another of those experiences parenting has brought me. Another one of those things I never thought I would do, that I wouldn't have even imagined doing. Things like catching vomit in my hands or eagerly cleaning mucus out of a sick baby's nose. Or, more pleasantly, playing night-night in the bottom of my closet for long stretches of time laying amoungst various clothing and shoes that had made their way to the floor to create a comfy nest. And even more surprised at being glad to be involved in, if not the center piece of this activity, because as a pregnant mom I was exhausted and at least I got to rest while keeping my child happy.

"Well, the tooth isn't here. What am I going to do?"

I feel like I have failed. I meant to protect that tooth and help Violet get it under her pillow but I really just totally and completely forgot all about it. As I poke around in the kitchen I start to form a plan. In our house we often communicate with the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and even the Easter bunny by writing notes and leaving them where the visiting guest is likely to find them. So, I will leave the tooth fairy a note and apologize for losing the tooth. Maybe the tooth fairy would leave Violet an extra coin to lessen the hurt of her mommy's mistake. But, Violetreally wanted to keep all of her teeth and had planned to ask the tooth fairy to leave her each one behind, how do I deal with that?

I am trying to reconcil this in my mind when Nyssa decides to try and help me. She finds a lovely piece of stationary and writes the tooth fairy a letter telling of the lost tooth. She then makes a fake tooth out of a cotton ball on which she puts a bit of red marker to look like blood. In her letter she asks the tooth fairy to take the cotton ball as a replacement tooth. It is so sweet and cute. But Nyssa doesn't know that Violet wanted to keep her tooth. As I start telling her about this, her attention wanes. Deciding to let it go for the moment, we move on with our evening. In the end I decided to leave the tooth fairy my own note with a confession of my mistake. The tooth fairy replied on that same note and left Violet a little something extra, just this once!

And, the next morning when Violet came running down the stairs and jumped into my lap for a snuggle, I had to tell her about the tooth and the note which I had slipped under her pillow. She handled it well, in her calm, sweet Violet-like way, though she did say she was really sad I lost her tooth, which pained me. After the news sunk in we quietly made our way upstairs together to find the note complete with a reply from the tooth fairy and six shiny quarters. Then we had to count all the money in Violet's clear blue plastic piggy bank adding in the quarters. Afterwards a happy Violet stayed behind to feed her piggy bank. Phew!

But it turned out that not everyone was happy and appeased in the end. It turned out that Nyssa was sad because I didn't leave her note too. "Well Nyssa, I dont' know why I didn't leave your note too, I guess I just didn't think that it would work with the note I wrote, I'm sorry!"

And, on we move into the new day ready for whatever comes and happy for it.

Shared On:  Sunday Parenting Party

I Am Going to Kindergarten


This is about me going to kindergarten for the last time. One last time as my youngest goes off for her big day at school.  The excited anticipation of the first day is palpable.  What to wear?  What to pack for lunch?  Who is Violet's new teacher?  And, will they take good care of my baby?  There will be new friends to make, a new school to enjoy and new experiences to be had.

I am 36 years old and I am going to kindergarten.  While I am excited about this big change in my life, I am also nervous and sad because my youngest child is off to school.  So sad in fact that I find myself tearing up at the school office while filling out paperwork for admittance into kindergarten.

"Is it your baby?" asked the kind lady behind the desk. "Yes, my last one." I replied. "Ah," she commiserates, "my youngest kid is in middle school this year."

After I finish filling out the paperwork and put down a deposit to hold Violet's space in the full day program, I go home grieving but happy. Violet is there waiting for me with big brown eyes, a hug and kiss, and of course a fabulous story concocted from her imagination.  I hope that I have made the right decision for her and our family to put her in full day kindergarten.  Only an hour or so earlier, I had received the phone call telling me that a spot had opened up for her in full day.  We were next on the waiting list.  I hesitated.  I had finally adjusted to the idea of Violet going only to morning kindergarten.  They had cancelled the enrichment program at our school that I had planned to send Violet to two afternoons a week.  So now it was all or nothing.  Full day kindergarten would mean she would be gone all day, everyday. That I would only be with my kids together, both of them at the same time.  The special alone time of the preschool years would forever and finally be over.

Two people have now said to me, "No more babies for you!" because Violet is starting kindergarten.

"How did this happen?" I wonder. "Wasn't I just pregnant with her?"

I can still feel her pregnancy in my body and soul.  I can still smell her sweet baby scent and feel my arms cuddling her while nursing in the wee hours of the morning, just her and me.  But she has grown so much and she is so very ready for the next stage in her journey.  Am I?  Am I ready?  Can I bear to watch my last child, my baby, go off into the world?  Mentally I know this is just the beginning and that I need to let her go with love and confidence.  I remember how my mother clinging to me as I neared the end of highschool drove me mad.  It could not have been a surprise after all that I would be leaving home soon, didn't she expect it?  Hadn't she known for years that this time was coming?  Now that I am here and experiencing separation, not for the first time, but on a new level, I am able to appreciate some of what she was going through.  All the while during the past 5 years while I changed diapers; made food; cleaned the house; read stories; scheduled activities; created art projects; put kids to bed; cleaned up astounding, sometimes disgusting messes; and more; my baby has grown up.  It was a sneaky wonderful thing to do.

In the meantime Violet's older sister is doing her own growing.  She is reading novels; developing artistic skills and learning things unknown to me.  I can sense her mind working quickly behind those beautiful hazel eyes.  I can feel her absorbing all she can from the world, from each situation and interaction.

The experience of raising children, of watching them grow magnifies the poignancy of life.  If you don't pay attention, you might miss it.  To take a moment and stop to see my children growing, this is truly bittersweet.