A few short months ago, if you had the opportunity to rummage through my purse, you would have always been able to find at least 4 packs of fruit snacks at any given time. Why? Because my kid was obsessed with them. He insisted on having at least 2 when you picked him up from school every day; they kept him occupied while I got my grocery shopping done; and they held him over if dinner was running behind. We eventually had to set a limit of no more than 2 packs per day.
Then, after a routine cleaning at the dentist, we got a referral to a pediatric specialist for a few too many cavities showing up on his dental x-ray.
My first reaction, I’m not gonna lie, was to ask if we could just pull all of those teeth. They’re going to fall out anyway, why not take care of that now and get a big cash-in from the Tooth Fairy early? After a very judgmental look from the pediatric dentist, I was told that the cavities would have to be filled and that one of the cavities was so bad that Noah would need a crown.
A CROWN!!!! ON A 4 YEAR OLD!! Seriously.
She then told me to cut back on the juice and soda. I informed her (trying to recover some sense of dignity) that the child doesn’t drink juice and he has never even had a soda. I then mumbled under my breath while simultaneously coughing, “But he does eat a lot of fruit snacks.”
She exclaimed, “Oh no! That’s one of the worst things you can give a child!”
Cue the mommy-guilt. You might as well call child protective services now. I’m an unfit mother.
This onslaught of mommy-shaming turned me into a drill sergeant about dental hygiene and sugar. Needless to say, he is no longer allowed to have fruit snacks. And he is no longer allowed to brush his own teeth. In fact, his tooth brushing regimen might include me putting him in a headlock. Whatever, it works.
Well, yesterday was the day for him to get his cavities filled and get the crown. He was pumped about going because it meant he got to miss a full day of school and the pediatric dentist has awesome toys and prizes.
I, however, having read the numerous pages of paperwork and anesthesia warnings, was a nervous wreck. I’m not going to confirm this but I may have done a good bit of vomiting the night before.
Once we get there, bright and early, Noah plays with the toys and I get to, once again, go over all of the warnings and health history questions (not to mention handing over a small fortune). I’m doing pretty a pretty good job at concealing the anxiety. My husband calls it “Get shit done” mode.
They give him a very small cup of Versed (medication used in children before a procedure or anesthesia to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and cause forgetfulness of the procedure) and we go to a small room to read a book and wait for the medicine to kick in. In less than 10 minutes, Noah gets this sheepish grin on his face, leans forward, and topples, head-first out of the recliner. I manage to catch him before he hits the ground, thank goodness.
He proceeds to yell at me like a drunk person about a My Little Pony sticker. He says over and over again (and imagine this in a drunk college-kid slur), “Where’s my Pinkie Pie sticker? Mommy, mommy, mommy, where did you put my Pinkie Pie sticker?” He then sat there, all smiley, just saying “mommy” and giggling.
I began to wonder if they gave him medication or straight whiskey.
Well, I was sent back to the waiting room where I could just stew in my own anxiety. Turns out, I was nervous for nothing because he was an excellent patient. Everything went great and now he has a shiny, silver tooth to show off to all of his friends.
I also got an early glimpse of what he will look like as a drunk college student. Overall, I’ll consider it a win.