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Saturday, August 10, 2013

"I Knew He Would Use Pliers!"

I felt a blog post welling up inside me this morning and thought about just how long it has been. So long, that apparently I forgot my log in information, and I don't know how use Blogger anymore.

Too many moments have escaped the written log in past year and more. I watch my kiddos grow up by the month, week, and day, and can't seem to get enough them. Well, except for those moments that have been too frequent at times where the Girl-Child, in all her budding 'tween attitude, makes her little brother the constant subject of her disdain and criticism. She is very good with words and uses them as a source of meanness toward her little brother. While she only does this to her little brother because he is an easy punching bag, I've been working hard with her to stop this. Meanwhile, her little brother is as boy as a boy can get, and when he gets fed up to the point that he can take no more of his sister, he just pops her one. It's imperative that I succeed in putting a stop to this at the first glimmer because it rolls downhill fast. The more annoyed Daughter gets with her little brother, you know-for breathing or just simply existing-her little brother finds even bigger and intentional ways to annoy her even more to get back at her for displaying such disdain towards him. Yes, this is the season we are in. No more poopie diapers, but still a lot of "crap" to deal with.

Usually, though, my heart swells with that indescribable something when I have the gift of time to just enjoy being with my kids with no pressures. When I can take a step back and just really notice them--still young and childish--but growing up so quickly. I was enjoying one of those peaceful kick-back mornings with my kiddos today--at least as peaceful as a morning can be when it includes my Girl-Child having a tooth extracted. She has always been an amazing trooper when it comes to the dentist. There was the event of the previous baby tooth extractions in 2009. There was also the dental surgery of 2008.

The Girl-Child seems to have a recurring issue with baby teeth just not coming out properly before the permanent ones feel like they need to come in. This time the offending loose tooth managed to become wedged between the molar on one side and the new permanent tooth that had erupted at a strange angle adjacent to the molar. I came to the conclusion last Sunday that the only way this tooth was coming out was if her dad took his needle-nose pliers to it or if we took her to the dentist for the job. Since Daughter has no issues with the dentist, and has even been known to LIKE going to the dentist, I made the appointment as soon as possible to get 'er done. Our dentist is actually an hour and half away (that's another story), but her orthodontist is near, and he was able to do this job for us. We were cautioned that he did not have nitrus gas, however. Daughter has never had nitrus gas, so all would be fine unless I was going to need a toke or two to get me through the ordeal.

All the talk of a "tooth extraction" at the dentist office had the Boy-Child intrigued and excited, as seven-and-a-half-year-old boys tend to get. He asked with great enthusiasm and excitement if they were going to use pliers to pull his sister's tooth. None of us knew. The Girl-Child didn't seem to remember exactly what the tool looked like the last time she needed to have a tooth pulled. I asked her if she was nervous about what tool may be used for this procedure, and she nonchalantly said, "No. I mean, I just can't wait to get this thing out of my mouth!" and she went about happily skipping around the house. That's my girl, happy and skipping about at the idea of getting a tooth pulled.

The orthodontist is really laid back and welcomes me, and the Boy-Child, into the exam/treatment room whenever he works on the Girl-Child. The previous dentist who did the previous extractions required me to be in the lobby while they did unknown procedures on my then six-year-old daughter, so it's a good thing my girl likes the dentist and had no issues with me being in the lobby while she had "procedures" done on her teeth. It is also no wonder why the dentists always love her. What dentist wouldn't love a six-year-old who sings and hums happily with a mouthful of bloody gauze after having two teeth pulled? Meanwhile, I would be in the lobby having anxiety attacks, worried about what was being done to my daughter and how she was handling it. The dentist has that effect on me whether I'm in the "torture chair" waiting for my dental cleaning and looking at all those posters of dental diseases and rotten and misaligned teeth, or sitting in the lobby watching videos on proper brushing techniques and looking at close ups of tooth plaque.

Today, I tenuously asked Daughter if she would like me to stay in the room. While I didn't want to suggest or imply that this was going to be horrifying and scarey for her, I also wanted to offer my support (even though it could be horrifying and scarey for ME). She said she'd like me to stay, which meant the Boy-Child would be with us as well. He was really excited to have a front row seat to the dental torture of his big sister. He perched on the edge of the chair closest to her, his face radiant with curiosity, and waited with great anticipation to see what would happen next. I felt like I needed to offer him some popcorn and a soft drink to add to the ambiance of his entertainment. He is such a boy.

The numbing swab came first. That was the part the Girl-Child later said she disliked the most. Really? Big needles, pliers, numb jaw, and she hates the swab the most? Then the needle. The thing was HUGE! The doc always chats with me about politics, gardening, or professional stuff as he knows I'm a licensed health care provider myself. I was thankful that today he chose gardening. My weak stomach was in no position to jaw about politics today. We chatted about heirloom lettuce while Daughter waited patiently for the shot to take its numbing effect, and Son waited impatiently, ready for something to happen that involved more action.

Next thing I knew, the doc turned around with the tooth held in his long dental pliers. Son beamed with excitement and exclaimed loudly, "See! I knew he would use pliers!" Something about his excitement over watching the dental chair torture on his sister felt simultaneously amusing and macabre.

Daughter skipped happily out of the dental chair and out to the car as pleased as she would have been if she'd just eaten an ice cream cone. I gathered my weak stomach and shushed Son who continued to jabber away enthusiastically about the pliers he knew they would use, paid the bill, and met up with my happy girl at the car.

Daughter had asked yesterday if we could go to the library today, and I had told her we could after the dental visit if she felt up to it. She commented on how weird her numb jaw felt, but she was simply not going to miss an opportunity to get books from the library. Like most library trips, the kids each snatched books off the shelves like they were candy. I interrupted Son snatching up and stuffing book after book in the bag and pointed out to him the two large Star Wars anthologies he had missed on the shelf just above his eye level. Son paused, completely enraptured, gazing at the Star Wars books on the shelf. It was like a moment suspended in time. Then he snapped to his sensed, grabbed them both, hugged them close to his chest, and announced that he was now ready to go. He carried them to the counter and laid them down in a most decided fashion, waiting for the male librarian to check them out to him. He became even more pleased, if that could be possible, when the librarian went into the same enraptured trance that Son had fallen into when he first saw them on the shelf. Mr. Librarian thumbed through one of them longingly and started in on some Star Wars dialogue with Son that reminded me a lot of Daughter's Rosetta Stone Spanish studies with the computer. I knew something important was being discussed, but I just couldn't decipher it. Then I realized that Mr. Librarian was enjoying quizzing my seven-and-a-half-year-old Boy-Child with Star Wars trivia. Uh oh. He had met his match. He fired off questions to my Boy trying to stump him. My Boy fired off the answers back at him like a dare. And it was on. The Girl and I stood there bewildered at what was transpiring. Then a question from Mr. Librarian about something to do with the AT-AT. Son paused. Uh oh...was the stumped? Mr. Librarian repeated the question. Pause. Daughter jumped in responding something about "AT&T" and giggled as I clarified with her that the question had nothing to do with phone service. Our giggling brought the Star Wars trance to an end as both Mr. Librarian and Dear Son snapped out of the fifth dimension to shake their heads at us.

The awesome come-what-may summer morning with my kiddos continued to unfold with a trip to Freddy's where ice cream, or whatever my Girl and her awakening jaw could tolerate, was permitted as a reward for her wrangling with the pliers in the dental chair. There were no mean words from the Girl towards the Boy now. Both were in bliss as they decided to share a burger and fries so that they would have room for ice cream afterwards. I savored the time with my sweet ones as our hands bumped together in the onion ring basket. Dear Son snuggled up next to me on the bench and pressed his body into mine while we munched. His love language is physical touch. Dear Daughter sat across from us. She has a bigger "bubble" than her brother. She was just happy because there was ice cream involved.

It was a priceless summer morning--just ambling along together with a tooth pulling, new library books, burgers, fries, and ice cream. These are the sweet times I cherish and wish could last forever (well, not so much about the tooth-pulling). The drive back home was typical. It was silent in the back seat. Little bellies were full of the stuff of American diner food and the kiddos both had their noses in their books. Daughter was reading about Mollie, the American Girl of the 1940's. Son was studying his Star Wars encyclopedias. I admired their sweet faces in the rear view mirror and felt thankful for the sweetness of the day and the company of my kids. Then the silence was broken as Dear Son began to jabber about Star Wars and Jabba the Hutt and something about a spider droid and a brain suspended in some liquid in a jar and how it was red, and on and on until Daughter could stand no more and pleaded with her brother to stop the talk that was making her feel queasy. This sort of thing, NOT having a tooth pulled, is what makes the Girl queasy.

Just a day. A meandering summer day with my Girl and my Boy. Wish I could save days like this up and re-savor them in the future, because I know there will come a day when I will miss it all: taking the day as it comes with my young ones, driving them to appointments, watching them choose their books at the library, listening to them chatter in the back seat about the things they love, and most of all watching them eat ice cream and bumping hands with them in the onion rings basket.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't checked your blog page for several months, and decided to do so today. I was not disappointed. Enjoyed reading about your recent afternoon with the "kiddos"!

Hugs from Husband's Mom

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