Yesterday my daughter did not have any teeth. Yesterday she was five months and 23 days old. Today she has a tooth. One. Day. Later. It happened that fast – nobody tells you it happens that fast. I thought that I would be happy about this, excited for this next stage of our lives. She would then learn to sit up totally on her own, we’d work on baby led weaning, starting with something yummy like avocado, as we are in Southern California after all. But I’m not happy about it. In fact, after my initial excitement and double checking and trying to get a picture and posting on FB, I became increasingly sad about this.
It’s happening too fast.
All of it, all of her growing up. And, what’s more sad to me, what brought me to tears as I watched her gnaw on this teething ring that’s been waiting patiently to have a purpose, is that her dad, my husband, has missed so many milestones already because he is deployed. In the past, I have been very good with deployments. I haven’t liked them, but I’ve managed pretty well. I’ve worked out more, learned to cook some fun dishes, organized and re-organized closets…all good. Even this deployment, which has been hard with a new baby, our first, has been OK. Not great, but OK. I have not loved at all having my husband gone – for the middle of the night wake-ups, the first illness, the laundry, the dirty diapers – but we’ve managed. We’ve Skyped or FaceTimed when we could, though not often enough. He’s called when he could, though also not often enough. Neither of which are even close to as good as having him here, for all the hard stuff, but for the good stuff too. But, regardless, we’ve managed even though: He’s missed her first real smile. He’s missed her first giggle. He’s missed her first fever (he’s probably happy about this). He’s missed her rolling over and sitting up and finding her hands and her feet.
I knew for all of these firsts that he’s missed that there were going to be so many more firsts that he WILL be here for that I just took pictures and sent him an email and simply soaked up being with my baby – mama and Charlotte time. But today, this tooth. This tooth took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting that I would be so NOT ready for this.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy, sort of. I am happy that she’s reaching milestones and she is happy. I’m enjoying every single minute of our lives together right now. But I am just not ready for it to be going by so quickly. It’s all happening so damn fast. I want to press pause and savor these moments for longer than they actually are lasting. I want to keep, permanently, the sweet baby smell of my toothless (not any more!) smiling gift of a baby. I want to have her remain in awe every time she takes her tiny little hand and touches it to my face. I want to keep the snuggles and the cuddles and the breastfeeding bonding and the little “I’m tired” whining and the “I like that” grunts — I want to keep them all and I want to give back this tooth that is making it all go by so quickly. Too quickly. I want to keep my baby a baby. At least until her daddy can come back home to us. 😦