The inevitable occurred. Chandler's affinity for confections finally brought the dental report we have always dreaded. Cavities. And one particularly errant tooth would have to be extracted.Oh, joy.
If you read my blog on a regualr basis, I imagine that by now my parenting skills must seem suspect. In fact, you may even wonder if I know what I am doing at all. I concur with your thoughts and admit that the only consistent detail about my parenting over the past eight years is that just when I think I know what I am doing, I don't. Just when I have one mommy mountain conquered, another dadgum ditch brings defeat.
Flossing would be my nemesis this time as Chandler's cavities were located in the crevices between his teeth. Dental floss is like vegetable torture for my six year old, gagging as though he were using stalks of brocolli to remove fugitive food particles from his teeth rather than the bland, indiscreet piece of string that brings harm to no one. I'm certain that any floss belonging to Chandler has only been used to meticulously secure action figures to his bedroom door knob, encouraging good to fight evil as they swing from one villain to the next.
We have not yet had to deal with cavities so we were unaware of and unprepared for the course of treatment. Because of Chandler's age, the pediatric dentist determined that the use of anesthesia would be best for all involved and the least painful for the one for whom I was most concerned.
The day arrived, and we travelled to the outpatient surgery center of our local hospital. We helped Chandler into his gaping hospital gown and waited for the procedure to begin. A kind nurse brought a medicine cup full of cherry flavored "kiddie valium" that would proceed the laughing gas that would send him into a deep, peaceful sleep coveted by all sleep-deprived moms.
Chandler took well to the medicine. So well that I politely asked to sip on a medicine cup of my own. (Not really, but I wanted to. I told my husband it would help settle my nervous stomach, to which he responded that I should just go to the restroom.) As the medicine took effect, a gradual, goofy smile began to materialize on the face of my son while his unfocused eyes turned glassy and his speech pattern turned sluggish. He became fixated on a valentine sticker given to him, commenting repeatedly on its "sparkliness" in a slow voice sounding as though it were full of apple cinnamon cheerios. He leisurely wiggled his fingers in front of his eyes, fascinated that they actually moved and, even more fascinated that they belonged to him.
Chandler saw the world through the eyes of the late Jerry Garcia and I'm sorry to say he momentarily liked it. All that was missing was a tie-dyed hospital gown, an entangled beard and background music of the song "Truckin".
His surgery went very well although it would take a good amount of time for him to emerge from his psychedelic slumber. After many attempts to rouse Chandler, the hospital staff pulled the curtain around his bed and allocated him extra time to snooze away the medicinal effects, allowing him continued play in the dream game version of Candy Land in which I'm sure he was experiencing much success.
Chandler finally resurfaced in the real world and we were discharged with exit instructions from the nurse to eat plenty of popcicles and ice cream. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to load up on items that would soothe the distress that had just taken place in my little fellow's mouth. I watched with amusement as Chandler deliberately perused the ice cream aisle, looking to embrace and exploit the prescribed diet he would enjoy over the next 24 hours - popsicles and ice cream and push-ups. (Oh My!) His eyes still seemed a little glazed to me as I noticed a peculiar magnetic draw to one particular door of the freezer section. He stared for a moment, and with a shaky finger, pointed to the flavor below:
Hmmmmmm. Cherry again. Coincidence? I think not.
What a long, strange trip it's been.