My daughter endured a painful day at the dentist…emotionally, not physically. She has three cavities—three—and one tooth has to be pulled! Her brothers have none, and she’s 10—I thought we’d escaped childhood cavity free.
The dentist talked to me after the appointment, I promised to be a better parent…sigh… The waiting room was full of mothers, their glances haughty—obviously their children had less than 3 cavities. “They’re her first ones I shouted!” Actually, I thought it, but shouting would have been far more satisfying.
The dentist hurried back to her cave, eager to crush another patient’s sprit, my daughter dissolved into tears.
“I don’t want cavities! It’s not fair. No one else has cavities.” More sobbing, haughtier stares…
“Honey, they’re your baby teeth and will be gone eventually.”
“Did J. have cavities in his baby teeth?”
“I don’t want cavities! You’re mad at me. The boys will make fun of me. It’s not fair!”
Fifteen, eternal minutes ticked by as we waited for check-out…tears cascaded down my daughter’s cheeks, a spotlight clicked on above us, an announcer beckoned bystanders. I held my daughter, answering her distraught questions about fillings and pain. Nothing I said soothed her, the other mothers exuded capability—haughtiness turned to pity…ugh.
We finally escaped center stage, entering the sanctity of my car. The drive home was tearful, but my daughter composed herself before entering the house. Her brothers were not to know, at least not today. That was fine with me, I’d had enough emotional trauma. Although, I did have a moment of panic when my daughter and son were eating dinner…
M—Have you ever had teeth pulled?
M—Does it hurt?
M—Good to know…and I really mean it.
Thank you, thank you, Son. Is there anything you need? Have I already said thank you? How can I make life easier? Would you like a car, an airplane, a trip on the space shuttle? Have I thanked you yet??