This evening as we are snuggled together on the couch spending some quality time together, Eva kept wiggling her loose tooth. This tooth has been loose for months and months, and this tooth is a very important of her life. We discuss this tooth almost daily, as she wiggles it back and forth hoping it will fall out. She even wrote a book about it this past spring at school and read it to her principal and his assistant as well as her kindergarten class (wow, I’m one of those moms…the brag about how-great-my-kid-is kind).
Tonight, the tooth has learned a new trick. She was very pleased to announce it now wiggles side to side as well as back and forth. I told her that it sounded like it was time to try to pull it out again. She tried, while sitting snuggled up next to me. Her little fingers slipped right off tooth, and she gave a frustrated sigh. I suggested that she try again with a wash cloth so she could get a better grip. She was eager to try it and asked me to get her a wash cloth from the linen closet since she can’t reach them. I thought about this a moment, knowing we had tried last weekend to convince her to let one of us pull it. She had said yes initially, but as soon as we began trying in earnest, she was done. She was too afraid that it might bleed or hurt. I thought a moment more before I answered her. The conversation went as follows:
Me: No, I’m not gonna.
Eva: (with a laugh) Why won’t you get a wash cloth? You just said I need one.
Me: Nope, no way. You are not allowed to lose this tooth.
Eva: But why? It’s gonna fall out on its own someday. I can’t stop it.
Me: Because I want you to stay my little baby girl forever, and you losing this tooth is one more sign that you are growing up. So no way, no wash cloth for you.
At this, she was silent for a little while. She played a game on my husband’s phone, still sitting snuggled up next to me. I went back to paying attention to the show on the television. After a few more minutes, she put the game down and snuggled closer.
Eva: Mama, even when I am all grown up and I’m a dult (she doesn’t know it’s adult, and I’m not telling her yet), I’ll still be your baby girl.
Me: (trying to suppress the instant tears) You promise? You’ll never outgrow being my girl?
Eva: I promise. I will always be your girl, but you do have to let me grow up.
Me: Okay. I guess I will get you that wash cloth.
She tried really hard to get that tooth out, and she even let me tug at it several times. She wasn’t fearful this time but rather more determined. Tonight just isn’t the night though, I suppose. It is still firmly entrenched in that little mouth of hers. Next time we try, though, I bet she isn’t fearful then, either. I love this girl, and I can wait to see the woman she will become, but every step closer to “dult”-hood makes me so proud of her.