The last 3 weeks have brought home to me the fact that DD is growing up and quickly. Why this epiphany over the last 3 weeks, you ask. Well, a couple of things happened that made it amply clear that I don’t have a baby anymore. That she is fast turning into an individual – a very opinionated, smart, clear thinking, though not always logical, individual.
Late last month DD got braces. I have always associated getting braces with being a tween or a teen. After all you have to lose all your baby teeth and have your permanent ones come in before you can sport all that metal on your pearly whites. It turns out that with the kind of teeth DD has – chipmunk teeth as we affectionately call them or buck teeth as they are popularly known – the braces need to be put on the front two teeth to push them back and straighten them. So her four top front teeth now have braces – they are the only permanent teeth she has on her upper jaw.
She has to wear these for 6-9 months and then follow this up with a retainer for 4 years and then once all her permanent molars come in, we’ll have to get her braces for the teeth on her lower jaw. This is going to be one long, time-consuming process. Braces come with a lot of responsibility. DD now brushes 3-5 times a day – after every meal. She cannot drink soda, sugary drinks, cannot consume anything that’s hard or pokey like chips, pizza crust and she absolutely can’t have chocolate since all these things may get caught in her braces and soda causes scarring. She’s handled the responsibility and the restrictions like a champ, so much so that she was at her best friend’s birthday today and she refused soda and apple juice of her own volition since both contained loads of sugar. She also refused chocolate cake.
To me, it’s easy to treat DD like a baby since a lot o her behavior is very similar to how it was 2-3 years ago. She still prefers it if I feed her every meal of the day, she loves it when I wash her hair. 3 years ago she chopped her friend’s hair off much to my consternation since they were playing hair dresser (this is grist for a separate post) She cut her bangs off, badly – I might add, a couple of months ago since she couldn’t get the tangles out of her hair when she was brushing the same. She still has the same number, if not more, stuffed toys that accompany her to bed every night. She still manages to make her way to our bed most nights, oftentimes causing either DH or me to sleep on the couch.
However, I have to concede she has matured. She makes a very strong case when she truly believes in something, she’s very articulate, she has started asking for more alone time these days. She has grown up enough to not end up teary-eyed when one of her friends ignores her or is not particularly nice to her. Instead, she tells them that they’re probably having a bad day and that they can play separately until her friend decides to get her act together.
Plus, today DD got her bunk bed. She’s gone from a crib to her Hot Pink toddler/young girl bed to a bunk bed. And today after I finally got the sheets and pillow cases on the mattresses, I stood there for a minute thinking back to the day when we moved into this house and DD’s crib stood where the bunk bed stands today. This, then finally, unequivocally told me that I have a child that’s grown up.
Here are pictures of the braces and the various transformations of her bedroom.
Mom to a quickly growing baby girl.
Her crib that she used until she was over 3
The mural on the wall in her room that a very dear friend of mine painted. It’s still on the wall though I am sure she’ll want it gone by the time she’s 10.
The hot pink young girl bed
The Bunk Bed