One of many, not alone

Dave and I found ourselves debating how many teeth Tess has lost. It started with the bloody one right before bedtime that she wiggled out herself. Then the one she lost during the school holiday concert. But the nighttime bathroom tooth – Dave swears that happened, but I’m not buying it. There’s no gap!

I’m noticing that people with one kid don’t forget how many teeth their kid lost. They know exactly how many teeth are supposed to be in that tiny mouth, which ones have ever wiggled, and how and where each loss happened. That kid’s bicuspids are studied regularly.

When you’re one of five kids, that is not the case. As one of six, I remember being super offended when Mom had to think for a second about how much I weighed when I was born. But for all of the joy of each individual entry into the family register, there’s a bleary fuzziness that goes along with the details. It doesn’t subtract one ounce of joy from the experience! But it does become a lot of lost teeth, especially when Tess and Remy are losing them simultaneously. (The tooth fairy is very busy over here!) And dates for who crawled when, and earliest, and so on and so forth get mixed up too. This is why we’re such ardent social media junkies. We can always check Facebook or this blog.

Personality changes are more important and interesting anyway. Those are the defining stories for each kid, the ones we never mix up. So we keep lists of who said which hilarious thing and put them in our annual photo book. We laugh over Lilou calling everyone by every Au pairs’ term of endearment, Tess filibustering bedtime with nature commentary, Remy being absurdly polite and sweet, Griffin ignoring everything we say and YELLING, and Sylvie’s beatific smile. We constantly find ourselves referring back to one kid’s high heels phase and another’s obsession with Imagine Dragons. All of us laugh over the kid covered in cream first thing in the morning, or the funny conversations between siblings as they empty the dishwasher.

The best part of their childhood so far, of their own admission, is each other. So they may not have a fully kitted our baby book each, but they do have annual Family books. And we’re always delighted to celebrate the tooth fairy, but get a bit more surprised about the tooth falling out sometimes than parents wrangling fewer teeth!

We survived the first week of school! Tess and Remy were excited, but Lilou is down-right giddy. It is adorable! Griffin, however, is having none of this and keeps putting his shoes on hoping that he will get to go to school today. It’s going to be an interesting year!

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