As a mom, I get to do lots of super-fun things, such as take my 4 year old to the dentist:
Oh, don’t be so quick to congratulate me on my diligence and zeal for my child’s oral hygiene. The checkup visit was last week. This visit was to fill the cavity they discovered in his tiny little 4-year-old tooth:
Um, yeah, talk about a proud parenting moment. Try preparing your preschooler to sit still while two adults, virtual strangers, are going to root around in his little mouth. Try to swallow your guilt for all the apple juice (but it was calcium-fortified!) and gummy fruit snacks you let him have because it made him happy. Try not to remember when his first pediatric dentist showed you a plastic container filled with the frillion grams of pure cane sugar, the amount contained in one small cup of juice, and gave you dire warnings of this very possibility.
That’s right; we’d been warned, and graphically so. When we lived in PA, he fell ass over teakettle down half a flight of wooden stairs in our house, losing three of his bottom teeth as a result. We connected with a fantastic pediatric dentist, even though there were only 17 remaining teeth to care for. I guess now there are 16.5.
I often wish I could wrap my kids in bubble wrap until they’re, like, 25. OK, maybe only 23, but you know what I mean. The worst thing as a parent is not being able to keep your kids from harm. Bubta had his stroke; The Boss takes daily asthma medication and has a permanent scar on the very top of his head where the vacuum thingy attached to help him exit the birth canal. Nothing I could do to stop any of it.
Peezer was a superlative dental patient. He laid very still and didn’t appear the least bit tense, as opposed to his mother, whose shoulders touch her ears whenever she’s asked to open wide so they can get into her mouth to fix stuff. Peezer fixated on the TV – mind-numbing Cartoon Network schlock – the one time in recent memory where I was like, hey, watch the terrible commercials and everything! Enjoy the characters’ sass and sarcasm! Anything you want, baby!
Of course they cautioned us, don’t let him bite his lip while it’s numb. But of course, he did. Now his lip is all puffy. Hopefully it will go down tonight while he sleeps.
The good news, if there is any, is that he appears to be unaffected by the experience. Untraumatized. Still loves the dentist. If any kid should hate the dentist, it’s the Peezer. But he surprised me again. Made me very proud, even as I hung my head for having conributed to his having to have a tooth filled in the first place.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to brush, floss, rinse and spit, and wrap my babies in bubble wrap.