One of the best things about blogging is that it captures moments in time, allowing me to go back to earlier posts and see what I saw then instead of relying on my memories of that time. It's especially helpful as I try to gauge Bud's development. As I often say, I try hard to avoid comparing Bud to his peers and instead try to compare him to himself. Having almost five years of blog posts to sort through can make the comparison a lot easier.
In 2005, I wrote about a victorious trip to the dentist. It was victorious even though very little actual tooth cleaning happened.
In 2006, I wrote about a difficult trip to the dentist, and about how Bud's iPod helped him manage the experience.
You might want to go back and read those posts before you continue. Because Bud had a dentist appointment today.
Bud and I sat in the waiting room of our fabulous pediatric dentist, him listening to his iPod and me filling out paperwork. While I was still completing the form, the hygienist came out and called his name. I started to gather our coats and bags when the hygienist said, "Do you think he's ready to try coming in on his own?"
I was stunned. I knew that other parents waited outside while their kids went in - but Bud? Really?
But the hygienist has worked with Bud before. She knew what to expect. She handed me a pager and said she'd buzz me when they were ready for me. I asked Bud if he'd go in while I stayed in the waiting room to finish the paperwork. Without hesitation he walked off happily with his hygienist as I sat and stared in amazement.
When they'd gone through the office door, I looked at the seat next to me. Bud had left his iPod behind.
I waited for them to come back out to retrieve it. They didn't.
I finished the paperwork, then wondered what to do with myself.
I could be reading a book, I thought. I could be sitting in a waiting room reading a book while my son gets his teeth cleaned. I am the sort of person who has the sort of child who can get his teeth cleaned while his mother is sitting in the waiting room reading a book.
From behind the door, I heard a young child start to wail. I knew it wasn't Bud, but I also imagined that the sound would trigger panic in Bud. I stared at the pager, expecting it to start buzzing - expecting the hygienist to call in the cavalry.
The pager was silent.
When the pager finally sounded - after about the amount of time it takes to clean a child's teeth - I made my way back to join Bud in a bright and cheery orange room. The hygienist was giving him rides up and down in the dental chair while they waited for the dentist to come in and do a final check. Bud was calm and happy. So was the hygienist.
We sat and chatted, then met with the dentist, and then set up an appointment for Bud in six months.
The hygienist says he's ready now, so Bud will be getting x-rays.
And I will be bringing a book.