Someday Rockstar will go back to this post and discover I put up a picture of him in cute little pink sunglasses and he might be pissed. Meantime however, he’s still all proud about acing his first ever dental appointment and hasn’t noticed.
“Why, Mum?” my son may one day ask. “Why was I wearing little pink sunglasses?”
And I shall either wimp out or say, “Son, it’s time you learned the truth, about your first dental appointment……”
“For some reason when Mummy filled the form, she ticked the box that said you were a girl.”
“This is also the reason, when you arrived at your station, the nice lady dentist asked you if you were a boy or a girl, resulting in you bristling in misplaced annoyance at the audacity of such a blindingly obvious no-brainer.”
So anyway this one was a really useful “parenting” opportunity because obviously Rockstar was nervous about seeing the dentist, and when his teeth checked out alright (was fairly but not completely sure they would*) I drive it home that had he not taken care of his teeth the outcome would’ve been very different.
(*<sheepish> I hadn’t been super anal about brushing twice a day, we’ve forgotten before, though I am super anal about a good swish of plain water after (the very occasional) juice he has when we eat out. And if he’s had candy, I never forget the brushing – it’s easy, when he doesn’t take it often at all…)
“(Friend) told me sometimes you need injections. Will I need those?”
Cover all bases, why not – “The injections are usually to numb the nerves that cause you to feel pain, so you don’t feel even more pain when they drill or have to take a tooth out. There will be times when you might still need them, like if your grown-up teeth need some help as they come out, but I can promise you it will never hurt as much as if your teeth are bad. And you can handle injections, right?”
Rockstar nods. He’s been alright about needles for awhile now (another reason say, a cane would never work even if I had been so inclined – he has quite a high pain threshold to match the
stubborn determined personality, in the past I’ve joked he’d have to end up in a hospital and me in jail before that ever worked so just as well my position is convincing over caning because otherwise I figure the kid just waits til they’re too old for you to do that), they had the 5-year-old vaccinations in school whereupon he’d come home scoffing that “no one (in his class) had cried.”
(I mention because I suspect there is some anxiety over first-time injections in school, I noticed a note in the school weekly email requesting parents not be around and reassuring us our kids would be well taken care of – well Rockstar pronounced that they were haha – there might actually be a lot more crying if we were there and then of course like yawns, it might be contagious…)
Come to think of it, I had another lesson recently about how important the “psychological” bit was, that I may as well mention here – Rockstar has a friend living nearby who prefers to bundle up even when it’s quite warm. During a recent outing (when it was going to be too warm) she discovered she’d left her cardigan behind, resulting in a few anxious tears. The weather forecast said it was going to be very hot, so I told her that, plus I had a spare in my bag that she could have at any time she actually felt cold. Then when we were out I occasionally asked her if she felt cold (it. was. boiling!) and of course she decided she really didn’t and so I rubbed in how she’d have had to lug it around if she’d brought it on a day it was so obviously unnecessary (in the end she never took me up on needing my sweater either – Rockstar btw might have tried it once, just to call my bluff, despite being very much a “cold weather person” like the dad).
Thing was, his friend stopped worrying about needing it but not having it, when she thought there was one handy… Which gave her time to realize she really didn’t…
And his new Nice Lady Dentist Friend exclaims at how “good” he is (btw, she speaks perfect English with the local accent), hands him a freebie Lightning McQueen child’s toothbrush, and meticulously goes through the instructional video on how to brush correctly, including pausing at various parts to check his toothbrush position! (But she didn’t want to be in any pics :D)
And then his classmates come running up because he has two other friends in nearby cubicles all getting their teeth checked at the same time (we’d all signed up for public dental healthcare tog)…
ps: We also got Rockstar ready by showing him Youtubes of dentist visits and explaining the various tools that might be used, in case he freaked out when he saw the medieval torture equipment about to make its way into his mouth…
But all in all the most useful illustration of “taking care of your teeth pays off” was when he was feeling a bit nervous getting into the chair and I said “Can you imagine how you would feel if you knew your teeth were bad and they had to do something about that….”
pps: Oh, and Kings was so bent on being there for this milestone he simply dumped the car somewhere in order to make it in time. He dubbed that the “HKD 400-Thereabouts Free Dental Checkup” because that’s what a ticket would’ve cost. But there was almost zero waiting time and so we were in and out just like that, getting off literally scott free…