Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Hi, Dentist!"

Carter strongly dislikes doctors.  It could be from some trauma from his past.  It could be just something he dislikes.  We may never know why, but the fact remains.

On the day of an appointment  - I wear extra deodorant and plan a Starbucks trip for myself afterwards.

It's ugly, guys.

The ENT, the pediatrician, the optometrist, and the dentist.  Ohhhh, the dentist.

The good thing about screaming his lungs out at the dentist is that his mouth has to be open it might as well have noise coming out of it.

We had a dentist appointment on Monday.  It was an early release day, so I spent the afternoon pumping him up.

"Carter! Today we go to the dentist!"
"You will be so brave!"
"You can say 'hi, dentist'!"
"You open your mouth nice and say 'ahhhh'!"
"First dentist, then we'll visit dad!"

This always seems like it will work, until we get into the exam room and he has to climb into the chair. The movement of the chair seems to trigger some anxiety, and then the rest of the visit goes downhill from there.

My mommy instincts told me that having the chair in place before we even walk in the room might help a little bit.  Maybe instead of screaming bloody-murder, he would just cry a little.  Thankfully, our dentist is awesome and agreed to move it into place before Carter's appointment.

Let me set the scene - we get out of the car, and Carter is excited.  Like he always is.  He's saying "Brave! Dentist! DAD!" and all kinds of adorable things.  And my mommy heart is beating so fast, hoping that we can conquer this dentist thing.

We walk in the office and Carter is so happy to be there.  The receptionist says 'hi' to Carter, and he responds with "Hiiiii, Dentist!".  We laugh at this sweet little boy, and take our seats.  The dentist comes out, walks us back, and Carter climbs right into the chair.

"Hiiii, Dentist! Brave!"

So far, so good.

The dentist got busy, hoping to get the majority of his work done before the fit started.

"Carter, can you open your mouth for me?"

"Hiiii, Dentist"

Every few minutes, he would try to say "Dentist - Dad" while the dentist was working.  He was telling the dentist that first he had to do the whole dentist thing, and then he could visit his dad.  He hasn't quite figured out the fine art of talking while the dentist is working in his mouth, so he used his hands a lot :)  Needless to say, it was pretty cute.

Before I knew it, we were done.  Carter had an exam, a cleaning, and a fluoride treatment.

He didn't even shed a tear.

Six months ago, I had to wrestle him in the chair and when we left, I cried great big tears for our scared little boy.

Monday, he didn't even need me in the room and when we left, I cried great big tears for our brave big boy.

I'm not going to lie, the first days of school have been rough on our Kindergartener.  One particularly difficult night, around 4am, I cried outside his room, praying he would go back to sleep.

Sometimes, I don't know how to be his mommy.  He's so complex.  He's such a mystery.

And then we have a moment like our dentist appointment on Monday, and I realize that I was handpicked to be his mommy.  I don't know why I was picked, but I was.  All I can do is the best that I know how.  Sometimes it will have me crying outside his bedroom door at 4am, and sometimes I'll be throwing a party because he made it through a dentist appointment.

Somedays I'll be hoping he grows up, and other days I'll be begging him to stay small and squishy.  Somedays I'll have no idea what I'm doing, and I'll feel like I'm completely winging this parenthood thing.  Other days, I'll feel equipped and prepared and full of wisdom and strength.

This is being a mommy.


Here is our little buddy, after his dentist appointment when we went to visit his daddy.

{No - he doesn't ride with his seatbelt behind him. 
We had just parked, which is his signal to whip that thing off and climb out as fast as he can.}

He's pretty cute, isn't he?

So glad he's ours.  So glad we're his.  So glad to be learning this little mystery, day by day.  It's like opening a new gift every morning.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "BRAVE!".  Carter and Mama, both.

+Kindergarten Note: Things are improving quickly!  Kindergarten is a big change for him, and we are thankful that his team at school is so willing to try new things in order to help him best! His sleep is finally becoming more regular, which makes everyone happy :)


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