First of all, thank you for the sweet notes, e-mails, and phone calls we've gotten today. We've read some wonderful Scripture and been reminded of some amazing promises, and we've felt much more at peace about where God has us right now.
It's nice to feel loved. :-)
But there are other important issues at hand. As I blogged about in last night's post, Jack had a big day yesterday, and I'm sure he would love for me to share photos from his first trip to the dentist. Now before you think I'm a terrible mom for allowing my child to have teeth in his mouth for close to two-and-a-half years before finally taking him to the dentist, you need to know my reasoning. There's actually what I like to consider an ingenious plan at work here.
I've heard horror story upon horror story of small children's first trip to the dentist. Some involve kicking, others involve clawing, but they all share the common thread of fear and crying. It only seems logical to me that a one-year-old (isn't that when you're supposed to first take a baby to the dentist?) would be terrified at the experience of a strange person in a mask getting right in his face while wielding a sharp-looking object that makes creepy noises.
That seems logical to me because I am terrified at the experience of a strange person in a mask getting right in my face while wielding a sharp-looking object that makes creepy noises. There, I said it.
And I think the saddest part of the whole thing is that as new one-year-olds, most little ones don't have the receptive communication skills to even understand what's being said to them. So any attempts we make at preparing them for what to expect -- or any cutesy little explanations we offer about the Tools of Death -- are futile (not to mention the fact that Junior can't even hear you over his blood-curdling screams).
So, what do you do with all of that? In our house, you don't go to the dentist until you're three. (Technically, Jack has another month until he's "of age", but I couldn't let the golden opportunity of Watching-Abby-Go-First pass us by!)
At three years old, little ones are perfectly capable of hearing, comprehending, and remembering something they've heard. Also at that age, they love reading books about anything and everything, and gracious knows there are loads of Elmo Goes to the Dentist books out there to help them know what to expect when they first visit Dr. Clean Teeth.
So we started talking about Jack's big day (we play it up as a rite of passage) about a week ago. Telling him all about the colorful chair he would get to sit in and the treat bag he would get at the end. Then as we sat in the waiting room, I went into a little more detail about what the dentist and hygienist would be doing during his check-up. But judging by his face, I wasn't so sure he was still buying the fun factor...
...so I shifted gears and helped him and Abby find his name on the New Patient board.
When they called us back, Abby hopped right up on the chair (she begs to go to the dentist -- not that I'm saying my plan is brilliant or anything), and got started with her cleaning.
(This is where I need to insert the fact that I did ask if it was OK to get my camera out to take a few photos. The hygienist, clearly expecting a little point-and-shoot camera the size of my palm, said, "Absolutely!"
OK, you said I could.
So I opened up the diaper bag and pulled out the eight pounds of camera I use at all of my sessions. I need pictures, people!)
But back to the story...If Jack's waiting room face was titled "Uncertainty", then his exam room face should be called "You've Got to be Kidding Me"...
I was a little worried my No-Tears plan was headed south, so I put the camera down and picked Jack up to talk to him a little more about what was going on. He pepped back up a bit and cautiously decided he wanted to give it a try as well.
That was, until, he realized he actually had to open his mouth. Wide.
I decided it was best to sit back and let the hygienist work with him. She was telling me something over her shoulder about some pressure point in his mouth that would make him open up, but Abby felt time was of the essence, and she announced that you could just pull his mouth open if you really tried. Which she then proceeded to do.
Once we decided the lady who gets paid should probably help Jack open his mouth, we were back on track. You can see that he was a little nervous, but he did just what she asked him to. (Notice the next generation of Dentist-Lover scoping out the action in the background.)
And as promised yesterday...
Now this next part had the potential to get ugly. Not only had I forgotten about the x-rays, but I wasn't supposed to go with him to this little section of the room. So I stood back and did thumbs-up signs accompanied by my best impression of Izzy's "cheese" face, and Jack sailed right on through.
What you can't appreciate from that photo, though, is the proportion. Here's a better view...
I think that's one of the most adorable -- and pitiful -- pictures I've ever seen!
After a quick look from the dentist (who mentioned that Jack might want to lay off the thumb), we were off with treat bags in hand. Izzy even got a duck (whose head she tried to bite off).
And for the record, the dentist said those were some of the cleanest teeth he'd seen in a while. Another successful visit down!
Now if their Momma would just go.