Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You've come a long way, Sweetpea

Sweetpea had two teeth pulled today!

Lest you fail to cheer with sufficient enthusiasm, may I remind you that, less than two years ago, my wisp of a daughter singlehandedly held off a dentist and several of his assistants on three separate occasions, injuring at least one, for trying to take an x-ray. Because it beeped.

This morning she let a dentist (a different dentist, mind you -- our parting with the last one was, frankly, mutual and had nothing to do with that restraining order he filed) put a mask on her, numb her up, and yank two unsuspecting canines right out of her face!

I could hardly sleep last night, what with all the PTSD (post-tantrum stress disorder) flashbacks. They had prescribed us a little something to take the edge off the nerves this morning -- but frankly, it tasted funny and didn't make me feel much better at all. Maybe I needed a bigger dose. All the way to the appointment, I drove with one eye trained on my rear-view mirror, watching for signs of the storm that was surely coming.

And yet ... when her name was called, Sweetpea merely ducked her head a little, cast a doubtful glance my way, and slouched over to the dental assistant like any normal 8-year-old.

Fifteen minutes later the dentist called for me, and I thought: Ah. Here it comes. I was prepared for the sound of Sweetpea's screaming. I was prepared to apologize for any bodily harm she had inflicted. But I was not prepared for this:

Disapprovingly: "She gave us a little trouble, mom."

"She ... gave you? You mean they're out?"

"Oh yes, they're out, everything's fine. But at first she said she wasn't going to do it."

And again, more slowly, because I was obviously not fully appreciating the gravity of her words: "She said she wasn't going to. She was a bit obstinate about it."

Much to my credit, I refrained from laughing in her face.

When I brought Sweetpea in a week ago to have the teeth assessed, she told the dentist she was not going to have any teeth pulled that day. The dentist replied, "I agree. Let's not do this today."

(What she meant: "Let's do it another day." What Sweetpea heard: "I win!")

So this morning, when Sweetpea once again did not feel like having any teeth pulled, she simply repeated what worked last time, fully expecting the same result. In my house, we don't call that "obstinate." We call it "logical."

When the dentist replied firmly that no, actually she was going to pull the teeth today, Sweetpea complied without much further ado.

In my house, when a child -- our child -- capitulates after only one rebuttal, we don't call it "giving us a little trouble." We call that "progress."


  1. Yeah! What a success! Jenn

  2. Kudos to a great mom. And a clever bit of storytelling. Yeah, Jill. I loved it.

    Uncle Doug

  3. You get major credit for not laughing in her face, I'm not sure I could have stopped myself.

    Treat yourself to something nice!