There are some situations that remind me to be humble. Today that reminder came at the kids’ dentist appointments. The first few interactions with our pediatric dentist were wonderful. The kids were on their best behavior, their teeth looked great, and the dentist and hygienists were overly complimentary. I left feeling like my kids were amazing, and it was, of course due to my outstanding parenting.
This went on for a couple of years. I loved their dentist, I enjoyed taking them for their check ups, and I pitied my friends whose kids didn’t like going. When the dentist would tell me my kids were cavity free, I would think, “Of course they are. How hard is it to take care of those teeny tiny teeth?”
Well, I was getting pretty cocky. At the last appointment in the spring, both kids were wiggly, and my five year old son threw up when they tried to take x-rays. No biggie, they could take them next time. Well, next time was today. My three year old daughter was still a dream. Perfect behavior, beautiful teeth. The boy still struggled with the x-ray bite tab, gagged a bit, but didn’t puke. I know he can’t help that, and I was proud of him for keeping his composure.
Then came the bad news. My son four cavities. FOUR. Sure, they’re all small, and sure they’re all concentrated in one area, but still. What kind of mother allows her five year old to have four cavities? I am that mother I was judging just six months ago. And if he has a hard time getting x-rays, how is he going to handle four fillings? We’ll see tomorrow, when we go back for the first of two appointments.
Feeling embarrassed, and properly chastised by the universe, I left the dentist’s office towing children with shirts full of stickers and goodie bags full of tooth cleaning treats. On the way out, we passed a puddle of vomit in the parking lot. I hope the staff doesn’t think it was from us.