D is down with the allergic cough yet again. We were buried deep in steam inhalations, inhaler puffs and homeopathic doses all weekend. Not that it was as bad as it sounds. When I thought that the worse was over, I was hit by a sudden and rather rude discovery this morning. She has been complaining of ‘another teeth’ for a while now and poking away inside her mouth with her grubby fingers. But as any mom of an imaginative 5-yr old will tell, there is a good reason why the good Lord gifted us 2 ears. I think no differently. Bu this morning as the poor lil thing sat eating her cereals at breakfast, she implored me so movingly that I gave in and asked her to open her mouth to check the presence of the phantom tooth.
And there it was.
With great cunning, concealing itself behind the primary ranks of able bodied front teeth, I could make out the jagged edges of the white monstrosity. Upon further examination I learnt that one of my baby’s lower row tooth was shaking and all ripe for sacrifice. I cannot tell you the acute sadness and despair that washed over me. The entire milk teeth shedding exercise is one I abhorred in my childhood. I was such a sissy that I’d not even let my dad come near me (he had some pretty macabre paraphernalia of thread, dettol and cotton). As a result what happened was that like the last leaf in O Henry’s famous story, the poor shaking tooth would be forced to hang on till its last dying breath, fighting valiantly for a cause whose conclusion was long foregone. In the meantime, the new age upstarts, the impatient replacements of permanent teeth would start crowding from behind. “oh c’mon you slow coaches, make way!” they’d say and come piling in. What all this translated to is a row of hideously crooked front teeth that leer back at me every morning. Grrr…
And now I see history repeating itself. Why can’t these teeth wait awhile before they start these rituals of adulthood? Why is she growing up so bloody fast? Earlier there were a host of words she’d mispronounce and now it’s only the odd ‘amimals or commutity helper’ that makes me smile like a loony. I can’t be called an indulgent mom by any degree of imagination and yet as she’s growing up, I find myself spending more time clicking her pics, recording her voice than before. It is as if that’s the only way I can squeeze her childhood in an airtight bottle and sip from it after she has gone away to become a doctor or fashion model or bring up a brood of horrid children or whatever. Or become a ‘musketeer’ as she says.