Scheduling dances, tooth extraction, kids’ calendar, mothering

This morning I picked up a voicemail from the dentist’s office asking if we could move Hazel’s appointment back an hour, as there had been a cancellation, and it would be doing them a favor if I could grab the earlier spot as our current appointment time was an overbooking. I called my nanny, and she agreed to come in early, as long as she could also leave early to work on the big paper she has due this week. I talked with Ted, who also had a dental appointment this morning, and arranged for him to come home after it so that he could take care of Hazel while I took the twins to their swim lesson with our nanny. Then I called the dentist’s office back.

“Oh, someone else already took that spot, sorry,” said the receptionist, with what my inner dragon took to be a casual tone bordering on flippancy.

grrr, argh, snort. “Excuse me??”

She got defensive when I said that I would have appreciated a call letting me know that they didn’t need me to take that spot, as I had changed around everybody’s schedule on short notice in order to do so.

I called our nanny back. She didn’t pick up, and was presumably on her way already. I left a message saying that if she wasn’t on her way, she could come in later if she wanted, as we were back to our original time.

The dentist herself called, saying that she had heard that I was mad about not getting the earlier time. I said no, that I was irritated that after that spot had been filled I hadn’t been notified, as they had asked me as a favor, and I had changed everything around, impacting a number of people’s schedules. She offered a variety of options, including that I come in at 9:30, which was when I was expecting our nanny to arrive. She said that I could come in later, but that she had a loud and challenging patient at 10, and we probably didn’t want to coincide with him. I explained that I wouldn’t know when I could come in until I heard from or saw the nanny. We left it that I would come in when I could.

I called our nanny back, and left another message saying that we’d go when we could, and not to worry about it.She arrived at 9:40. Hazel and I took off. We made it by about five minutes before 10 am.

The morning, rather than being the calm and peaceful one I had hoped for as a way to help Hazel going into her extraction, was instead harried and somewhat frustrating. But there we were. We went into their small examination room, and Hazel was shown the nose covers that deliver scented nitrous oxide to small patients. She picked orange. They also showed her the numbing agent they’d use, grape flavor. She asked if it would hurt. They said no. I said no. Hazel took her usual spot on top of me in the chair, and we waited for a bit.

The dentist came in, and rearranged us so that Hazel’s head was on the chair instead of my chest. Then they took out the Novocaine needle, and stuck it into her gum.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. I forgot to tell her about that. When she asked if it would hurt, I forgot about the shot, which really hurts. She cried, tried to get up, said, “I don’t want you to do that!”, cried some more. Excuse me while I take that needle and stab it into my heart. Crap. I held her hands, held onto her, and we struggled through three more jabs before she was more comfortable. I couldn’t watch while they pulled her teeth, though I am sure it’s not a big deal. I just held her hands, and let them tell her how well she was doing.

My poor baby. She’s my first. Everything she experiences is new for me too: I am learning as she does, and sometimes it is so incredibly painful. I don’t want her to hurt, because it hurts me. But that is entirely unfair and unhealthy, so I try to handle my internal crap responsibly so I won’t put pressure on her not to feel her feelings.

So, I apologized for not remembering about the shot, and read her a sweet tooth fairy story the dentist brought in. And when we got home I stayed with her while Ted and our nanny took the babies to their swim lesson. Hazel and I got out the stamps and stamp pads Ted and I bought last night, and started stamping up our new family activity calendar. We color-coded it: I am purple, Ted is green, Hazel is blue, Joanna is orange, and Emily is red. Activities are represented by a shoe for soccer, 8th notes for piano lessons, a dolphin for swimming lessons (I did a reasonable job of splitting the twins’ lessons so that the dolphin for them was half orange and half red), a cupcake for treat days, and our initials for Hazel days with Mommy, Daddy, or Mommy and Daddy. We also decorated her little tooth box, put it inside the fancy tooth box Ted and I bought for her last night, and wrapped it up in red tissue paper.

She went off happily to coop preschool, ready to show her teeth to everyone.

Tonight, her gums started to hurt. Ted gave her some more children’s IB, and I snuggled with her for a while after we got the babies down. In fact, I told her she could stay in my spot while I was downstairs. That was partly a clever maneuver on my part: if she’s asleep when we go upstairs, and I would be shocked if she wasn’t, we can slip her presents under her pillow before Ted carries her to her bed. And then, in the morning her teeth plus two little gifts will be there. And hopefully, she will feel better.

Tonight’s funny: at coop, Ted told me, he found himself saying, “Hazel, you can have your teeth back after you finish your snack.” hahahahahaha.


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