The Wiggly Tooth

The Wiggly Tooth

My second born has always marched to the beat of her own drum. She didn’t walk until nearly 15 months, she only talked when she felt it was necessary and now as we enter the loose tooth stage she again is taking her sweet precious time. At 7 1/2 she had only lost two teeth (exactly one year apart), I was beginning to worry as she seemed late to the game; I kept reminding myself that she took forever to get teeth so of course they would take a while to fall out.

Last week she finally had a very wiggly tooth, every time she spoke or took a bite it moved; I tried to convince her to let me pull it out. We were 10 minutes late for school having a standoff because I was worried she would mistakenly swallow this tooth while eating at school. She protested and exclaimed, “My tooth will come out when it’s ready!” I tried to explain that teeth don’t just fall out on their own, they come out when you pull them or when you are eating and I was concerned about her choking or unknowingly losing the tooth at school.  She wasn’t budging so I dropped the subject and didn’t say a word for a couple days. This girl is stubborn and I knew there was no convincing her to try pulling this very wiggly tooth.

The Wiggly ToothFriday evening came along and I was braiding her hair before bed, she was watching her iPad and I suddenly hear a little something drop. Before I could ask what happened, she holds up her tooth and says “My tooth fell out! It fell out on its own just like I said it would!” She was beaming with excitement and pride because not only had the tooth fallen out, but also she had proved me wrong!

In that moment, I self reflected and everything about my second born made sense. I am always so busy trying to push her to meet a milestone when I thought she was ready and always concerned when she missed the deadline. I was always wondering, is she too young, too old, not ready, unprepared, but what I keep forgetting is that she is Leighton. My child is an individual and my job is to set the conditions for success; not create the deadline for it. I looked at that tooth and I looked at her smile and I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. My kid was right, she had taught me yet another lesson; just like reading, walking, talking and so many things it will happen when she’s ready. And guess what, two days later another tooth came out on its own…

Seleigh is a New Orleans native currently residing in Waggaman with her husband and two daughters. She stayed local and received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans and Master’s from the University of New Orleans. She currently works at a New Orleans charter school as a School Operations Leader. As a life long civil servant she has found her passion dedicating her days to NOLA’s youngest residents! Seleigh spends her weekends running between extra curricular activities for her girls, festival hopping and enjoying dinner at her favorite restaurants.


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