I don't like going to the dentist, and my avoidance of them probably makes my visits much worse than they would be if I went regularly. I've been taking my kids every six months like clockwork, though. Today, my kids dental work made me even more anxious than my own. And I wasn't even there.
Last week, at his regular cleaning, the dentist decided Jimmy's adult teeth weren't coming in evenly and so he needed two baby teeth extracted, to put in spacers. Jimmy was totally cool with that. No fear. No questions. After that appointment, I even asked him if he understood what "extraction" meant. He knew. No problem.
So today was the day, and miraculously my husband had the day off work. I was glad to be able to leave the girls with him so I could go and sit with Jimmy for his . . . gulp . . . extractions.
But my husband said he'd go instead. I said no, no, no, I need to be with him. Surely he'll want me to be there, I'm his mom.
My husband rolled his eyes, and reminded me I have issues with dental work. True, but this is my baby. It might be painful for me, but I still want to be there.
Like when my 5-week-old baby girl needed a spinal tap, and they had to squish her in a ball and try three times to get a good draw and she screamed the whole time, but I stood there talking soothingly to her, trying to touch her when I could, while tears poured down my face and I tried not to shake. A hospital corpsman put a hand on my back and gently suggested I could wait in the hall, and I tried not to bare my teeth at her. I will NOT leave my babies when there are needles, or dental instruments, involved.
But my baby boy is almost eight, and his Dad would like a chance to be there for him. Especially since he's been deployed for so much of the kids experiences. Jimmy loves spending time with his Dad.
I told my husband, we'll let Jimmy choose. Then I grinned and joked, I'm sure he'll pick me, especially if I sniffle and tell him I'll cry if he doesn't pick me.
So when Jimmy came home from school, I explained it was up to him, he could choose one of us to go with him. He asked, why can't everyone go? I explained one of us had to stay with the girls.
Then my husband says, "If you go with me, I'll drive you in the Z." I couldn't believe the shameless bribery! I gasped and looked at him, open-mouthed. He looked at me with wide-eyed pseudo innocence. The Z is my husband's 2-seater sporty non-family car, and Jimmy is over-the-moon when he is occassionally allowed to ride in it. I saw his eyes light up.
I tried, "But you might feel better knowing I'm there with you, just think who you want to . . . "
My husband interupted with, "C'mon, how old are you, you don't really need your mommy there, do you?"
I gasped again! He's such a rat!
Jimmy smiled at me and said, "Yeah, I want Dad." I was disappointed, because I was so worried about him getting a sedative, and worried about complications, and began to feel extremely anxious about it all. And admitted to myself (though NEVER to my husband) that maybe it really was better if I weren't there.
After it was over, the girls and I met the boys at Jamba Juice, and I saw Jimmy come out drinking a smoothie. I walked over to hug him, and saw a dark red smear under his bottom lip. Immediately concerned that it was blood, or bruising (what did they do to my baby?!), I looked closer and realized it was just raspberry smoothie. He kept sucking in his bottom lip and rubbing his teeth over it.
I asked how it was, he just said flatly,"Fine." I looked at my husband, and he shrugged. As we all walked to some benches, I noticed Jimmy was walking slowly, and kind of unbalanced. He sat and drank his smoothie completely blank-faced. His eyes were empty, and it was scaring me.
Then my husband asked if I wanted to see the teeth. He shook a little box at me. Jimmy looked up at the box, expressionless. "They're huge," added my husband as I opened it.
They were enormous, pointy, vampire-y looking things, with the roots on them, and oooohhhhh, I felt woozy then. I closed the box and handed it back.
I just sat back and put my arm around Jimmy. Kissed his head. Yeah, it was probably better I didn't go.
Jimmy was mostly back to normal a couple of hours later, and STARVING, since he had to fast before his appointment. And now he's sleeping, hoping the tooth fairy leaves him more then usual for these particular teeth. She sure as heck better!
Fortunately, I happen to know she's a big softie.