Elia lost her first tooth when she was 4 (not even 4 1/2–just 4), and now that’s she’s 5 1/2 (officially, on July 10th), she has lost a total of 4 teeth, the 5th one about to go any day. I know I’ve posted about this before, but I just can’t get over the additional growth that’s going on. Yes, growing new teeth physically changes her smile, but during this age of the change of teeth, so much more development is occurring.
According to many well-known behavior theorists (Erickson, Piaget, Steiner, Freud), human development can be divided into several major stages. While some of the theorists mark different ages for certain stages, they all agree on one: the 7-year change. Of course, this occurs roughly around ages 6-7, but in general, by the 7th year of life children will have gone through a “major overhaul” in many areas of development. This also occurs again around age 14.
With Elia, it’s been evident that there is a lot of growth going on right now…some we can see (like her extra long legs, and, of course, the teeth), most we cannot. She has always been a highly sensitive child, and this has been intensified recently; everyday is an emotional roller coaster. She is learning social norms and expectations; playing with friends has become a top priority. And she seems to be taking in and processing an extraordinary amount of information. I find that I don’t have to explain abstract concepts as “toddleresque” as I did before. Sometimes I start to, and she surprises me with how quickly she gets it.
The other day she asked me if it was “tomorrow” in another part of the world. And then she asked if it is summer there, too, and how different parts of the world have different seasons at the same time. I clumsily tried to explain about the Earth’s rotation and axial tilt, but she jumped right in and started repeating it back to me in her own words. “So, when the Earth is far away from the sun, it’s cold. And when the Earth is turned away from the sun, it’s in shadow and it’s dark.” Oh, yeah. That’s way better than what I said.
To celebrate this special, multi-year milestone in her childhood, the tooth fairy has been bringing small gifts; keepsakes instead of money. In exchange for her first tooth, Elia received a sliver charm bracelet, along with one charm to hook on it. For every tooth lost, another charm is added. As opposed to cash, the completed charm bracelet will be sentimentally valuable and a very pretty representative of this important stage in her life. We both look forward to seeing the next charm on there (probably tomorrow morning, as her currently loose tooth is hanging on by a thread)!