Last week, my phone notified me that I had an upcoming dental appointment. The first thing that I did was text my neighbor to arrange child care.
But then I got to thinking…
Momma raised three of us by herself. She dragged us all over the place and we just had to learn how to behave in adult situations. Hmmm… Maybe I shouldn’t be avoiding this with Bennett. Maybe I should embrace the challenge of teaching him appropriate behavior and see this as an opportunity to help him grow emotionally. Ugh. This could be really hard. He’s going to want to touch everything and the noises might scare him. But I don’t want to be a parent who always chooses what’s easiest for me. The hard stuff can sometimes be the best stuff.
So, sure enough, I gave my neighbor the ol’, “Never mind.”
This morning, Bennett and I trekked to the dentist with an arsenal of books, snacks and a few strategic toys. He knew just what to do when he arrived in the waiting room as there was a bright red, plastic toy barn staring back at him. So, yes, we had to bring that back into the room, too. First, I held Bennett in my arms as we pointed out the light, the chair, the equipment, the computer, the instruments that buzz and whirr, etc. (What interested him the most, however, was the attention he was receiving from the ladies. He’s such a flirt!) Then I plopped him on the floor next to me with his goodies and laid down in the chair while my toddler got comfortable in my peripheral vision.
All in all, it was incredibly painless. My mind was completely prepared for the worst, yet the worst never manifested itself. Sure, we had to pause a few times to remind him to look at a book (instead of picking up a dental tool) or keep him from leaving the room; but, seriously, it wasn’t a big deal. Hopefully this early exposure to my dental appointment will help Bennett to be comfortable for his future appointments. Additionally, hopefully he’ll continue to learn how to entertain himself. It’s a priceless ability.