Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Trip to the Dentist

So Henry has bad teeth. After tossing and turning about this for many nights, I have come to the realization that there is no way of knowing why his teeth are rotting. But as a perfectionist, first child, daughter of a dental assistant, this is hard to accept. It could be something I didn't eat while pregnant. Or perhaps it is that Henry has been allowed, as a second child, to indulge a bit more in sweets. Then, it could be that Henry is still an avid all-night nurser, and I'm so tired I haven't yet done anything about it. Maybe he has weak enamel. Maybe we didn't brush well enough. Perhaps genes? I could drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. But when it comes down to it, his enamel is breaking down, he has a cavity, and we have another four years or so until these baby teeth begin to fall out.

So this first trip to the dentist. I was prepared for Luke to have fits. He is my spirited child, after all. But Luke was perfect. So good, in fact, that Henry followed his example and sat, by himself, in the dental chair for the first half of the exam. But after that it started to go south. Henry started crying, and had worked himself into a wailing frenzy by the end. But, in true Henry style, the moment he got up from the chair he was all smiles again.

Henry's next visit was last week. He needed to have a tooth filled. His dentist planned to fill it quickly, not using any anesthetic, as the shot would be more painful than any pain from the work itself. But Henry was on to what was happening. He started crying as we walked back to the room, and was wailing as the chair began to recline. He spent the entire 15-minute procedure screaming and thrashing, trying with all his might to bite one of the dentist's fingers off. I was holding Henry and we were both a sweaty mess by the end of it.

Luke, meanwhile, sat on a chair and calmly read books the whole time. Apparently Luke is my spirited child except while under the mystical charms of Dr. Morin. Luke murmured dreamily, as we put on our coats in the waiting room, "I love Dr. Morin." One might wonder what, exactly, Luke loves so much. Somehow, I think that Henry's "bad" behavior made Luke feel really good. It was probably nice, for once, that Henry was losing it.

Yet another reminder not to be so quick to label my kids, not to carve a place for each of them in my heart and soul that is so permanent and fixed that it cannot be changed. Henry, with his charm and winning smile (all the more reason to toss and turn over the crumbling mess that I envision in his mouth!) can be difficult. He can throw a tantrum with the rest of 'em. And Luke does have his shining moments.

Of course, when I asked Henry the next day if he wanted to go to the dentist, he smiled and said, "YES!" Oh, that Henry. He is a charmer. And that Luke. I don't know what to say about him sometimes. I'll try to keep my heart wide open for the both of them.


zouhuaquan said...
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Molly Sabourin said...

It is so easy to categorize children! Thank you for your eloquent reminder to "open our hearts" to all aspects of their personalities. I love visiting with you through your blog and seeing the pictures of your boys. I almost choked on my coffee when I read about Luke's "no beer" consequence for Craig. Your honesty is truly comforting. Keep writing!

Dove Knits said...

Poor Henry!

I love that they both surprised you :)

(This is Tanya, having found your blog through Molly's.)

Ser said...

It is so fun to hear from both of you, Molly and Tanya! Maybe now I will be inspired to write more often, as I will need to please my adoring fans. :)

Tanya, I visited your blog and your knitting is amazing!


theflyingmum said...

No way, Star Wars Monoploy? My son is an absolute Star Wars geek at the tender age of 5! But I'm gonna hold off on getting the game because I know it would turn into exactly what you described in your "Force" post. And I am so not inspired to role play...
Sorry to hear about the little ones teeth too. We have yet to visit a dentist, but it is on the calendar for this spring.

Ser said...

Role playing is all we do around here . . .

My husband got Star Wars Monopoly as a gift 9 years ago. I think the game came out just as the first/last three movies were about to be released, so who knows if it is still available.

And what is it with these little ones who can become experts on things via some sort of cultural osmosis? Luke has never seen Star Wars, that is for sure.

Jenny said...

I love that Dr. Moran has Luke under his spell. I was chuckling over that part about Luke saying, "I love Dr. Moran" as they left, and how good he could be. How cheering it is when our kids rise to the occasion.