Monday, August 18, 2008

Smile, Though Your Heart Is Aching

Jarrah had her first dental work on her unfortunately crapcake teeth this morning. I have been so stressed about it, I informed David he'd be coming with us. It was a good thing he was there. As soon as Dr. Baker started explaining how two of her molars are so far gone he needed to put crowns on them (at age 3!) I was blinking back tears. Way to go, Miss "Me Strong Like Ox" Mommy. David already has experience sitting by a hysterical female from this family while she endures probing in her orifices, so when they said only one of us could stay with the patient, I was out of there like a shot. Later, David squeezed my arm and said, "It's good that you weren't in there." Apparently, a little nitrous is not enough to ensure my daughter's docile cooperation, though it might have worked on me.

I sat blissfully ignorant in the waiting room, where I flipped through magazines about cooking and sleeping better while watching some revisionist version of Cinderella with half an eye. They were in there a mighty long time, I thought. In my mind, I kept seeing them running through the door screaming (or just one of them, alternating who in each variation) so I think I resembled a nervous bobolink whenever someone did come through the door, which was often.

When they finally emerged, the nurse led the way and Jarrah tottered into view, holding two balloons. Her little face was puffed up and dotted with chunks of dental crud. She looked at me, and at first she just looked sleepy. She focused on my face for a couple seconds, and then her expression crumbled like one of those cliffs that's just been dynamited. I put out my arms, she walked into them, and then she quietly began to weep. "Are you okay, sweetie?" I murmured into her hair.

"I cried," she whispered. "I cried because it hurt."

"It's okay to cry, sweetie. Do you want to hear a secret? Mommy cries at the dentist, too. I still think you're very brave." One of her molars was entirely encased in a silver crown, looking very gangsta.

The nurse told me that they were able to finish one side of her mouth, so we only have one more visit to do the other side, and we can do it before school starts. I'll be amazed if we can get her back there without a fight. Amazingly, though, she cheered up very quickly, and when I mentioned "Me Cluss-house" (My Kids Clubhouse) which is only two blocks away, she was eager to go.

"Or we could just have some fro-yo, go buy a toy, and have a rest at home."

"Let's have some fro-yo, go buy a toy, and then go to Me Cluss-house."

Ah yes, that's a better plan. When she got to My Kids Clubhouse, she made a bee-line for the snack counter, and--remembering all too well that I'd offered her every heart's desire--ordered a Lunchables and chocolate milk. I swallowed my automatic "In your dreams, babe" and quietly paid for it all. After making all food and drink disappear, she announced that it was time to play, and that's the last I saw of her until Joy arrived with the promise of pudding. Every time I saw her after that, she was sweaty, laughing and running, a pilled princess gown sausaged over her clothes.

Her mother, however, remains a wreck, though very proud of her brave girl. Still, not looking forward to doing it all again in a week and a half.


Caroline said...

Many hugs to you and Jarrah! :( Makes me all the more worried about taking Alex in with his obvious molar cavity.

Type (little) a aka Michele said...

"I cried," she whispered. "I cried because it hurt."

Oh Jesus, that hurt like a gut shot. I actually burst into tears. Ducky and I are on the next flight to San Diego to hug her. Brave little Jarrah! Glas she recovered so quickly, as only a kid can.

Anonymous said...

I cried, too, when I read that line. How on earth did you hold it together?! I'm so sorry that Jarrah has to deal with that, and I am sending lots of hugs to you. Being a mother tears at my heart more often than I ever thought it would. Lots of love and hugs to Jarrah and David - and an extra strong Mommy hug for you.



Anonymous said...

So, I guess I needed a cry too...

Anonymous said...

Oh, sheesh, Sam, you made me cry, too. I am so sorry--you poor things, all of you, but Jarrah most of all. This sounds like one of those times that you get to feel the wrenching pain that is the flip side of the all-consuming love for your kid. And I'm very sorry that she has to do it again.

How wonderful, though, that David is such a rock! Oh, I am so very glad he was there to help the both of you through the experience (and I'm sure he derived comfort from you, too, Miss S).

I hope that Jarrah's quick recovery at the Clubhouse bodes well for your ability to get her through the next one. I will keep my fingers crossed.

In fact, I've got a little something for Jarrah that I've been saving, and I think it is time to send it so she has a reward for being so strong at the dentist. I'll get it in the mail as soon as I can! ;-)

Miss J

Jennifer said...

Awwww....poor Jarrah!
Good luck when you go back!

Anonymous said...

Very harrowing for you all. But it's truly amazing how quickly kids bounce back. I don't know if David remembers the occasion, but I remember well when he was returning home from a brief hospital stay and we called on a little friend's birthday party. I thought David would quietly hand over the gift and be glad to get home and into a warm bed, but before I knew it he was out there running amok with all the other kids and no worse for it afterwards either.

Love Jarrah's Nanna

Anonymous said...

Poor little cupcake! lix

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Anonymous said...

I am so proud of my brave girl.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Sam.

I wish we could meet you again for MKC and fro-yo!