Today was Max’s date with the dentist. He had two cavities back on the molars, and even though they are baby teeth, those suckers stay around until he’s 8 or 9 years old, so we had to fix them.
For those who aren’t up to speed, here’s the nitty gritty of toddler dentistry. To get them amenable enough that they dental work can get done, they are dosed with some goofy sauce (a sedative that also creates a touch of amnesia. Nice!). I had been freaked out that Max would become a gibbering nutcase when the sedation took effect, but other than a little extra giggling and some wobbly legs, he was the same boy before the procedure.
After the sedation kicks in, the kid is wrapped up in a restraining pappoose and taken back into the work room, while mom and dad lose their minds in the waiting room.Though both the wife and I were crazy with upset, or particular manifestations were different. she couldn’t bear to be any farther away from him than she absolutely had to be, and I wanted to bolt away from the thing I couldn’t stop. So, she sat vigil and I got us coffee from the Tim’s around the corner. My rational mind knew that he needed to get his teeth fixed, he was safe and he was resilient enough to weather this little storm, but the powerless feeling of not being able to save him from something unpleasant drove me out of the room.
When I returned with coffee 10 minutes later, the work was almost done. they found a third cavity while excavating the first two, so we gave them the green light to fix it too. 5 minutes later, a puffy faced and sad boy was handed back to us. The poor guy couldn’t communicate with us, between the swelling in his mouth and the muscle relaxation of the sedative, and I think that made things even harder for him.
It took a lot of hugs and kisses from mom for Max to calm down, and for the next hour or so he would occasionally wail with sadness. But, as he snuggled on the couch and relaxed with his mommy, things slowly got better. He didn’t want anything to do with me, so I had to help on the periphery as mommy’s assistant. After a 2 hour nap and a little more relaxing, he was ready to go to his favorite restaurant, the pink restaurant (AKA the Mandarin). After dinner, we went to the bookstore, toystore and fishy store, and he was back in fine form. Whew.