It’s official. Charlie has her first tooth. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning of the end.
There’s a lot of excitement that comes with baby’s first tooth. Adorable, toothy smiles. New foods. New words! But for me, that excitement is tempered with sorrow. It sounds dramatic, but I am truly devastated by this milestone.
My exact response upon discovery of the offending tooth: “No, no, no, no, no! Baby, no!” (**cue all the tears**) But the hub’s? “Thank God!” (He’s a great dad, but much prefers the company of toddlers to the care of infants).
Now, waterworks and cries of opposition may sound like overkill for just a little tooth, but to me, it’s not just a tooth. It’s the end of babyhood for my last baby. Charlie is going to be 9-months-old soon. That will make us 3/4 of the way through her first year of life. I know that she’s growing bigger . . . older . . . everyday, but while she continued to smile at me with that beautiful, toothless mouth, I could pretend like time wasn’t rushing by. I could ignore that the tiny newborn I could once cradle in one arm, now takes up my whole lap. I could choose not to notice that the infant who once relished just snuggling in my arms, would now rather tear through the house in her walker. But now that she has teeth . . . now that her wonderful, gummy grin is gone forever, her imminent toddlerhood can no longer be brushed aside. It’s coming. Ready or not.
You’d think that after the first child, the milestones would get easier . . . that you’d get used to them. But it isn’t true. If anything, knowing that Charlie is our last baby, that all of these firsts are our last firsts, is harder for me. I’m not ready to be the mom of just toddlers. I’m not ready to not be a mother of a baby.
Here’s the thing we all know, but are never really prepared for: our baby, at some point, will stop being a baby. Whether we want it or not, one night, we’ll lay that baby down to sleep, and they’ll wake up a toddler. My baby. My last baby.
I’m not ready. I’m just not ready.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my closet, sobbing into my tequila.