Last week, we had to take my 14-month-old son to the dentist for the first time. Well, to be more specific, my husband had to take my son to the dentist for the first time. I had a conference for work that day I had already committed to.
The first dentist visit was not something we had planned on doing just yet, partly because we had neglected to put C. on the family dental plan when he was born. When he was born, the last thing we thought of was a dentist – he had no teeth! So when I picked my baby up from daycare, and the teachers told me he fell and bumped his face, I didn’t think much of it. He was cranky, but then again, what baby isn’t at 5:00 p.m.?
In the morning, when C. gave me one of his big “good morning” smiles, I saw that the perfect line of four bottom teeth were now a perfect line of three with a crooked outlier, and I realized we’d be seeing the dentist sooner rather than later. An internet search that day successfully scared both my husband and me with the gruesome thoughts of what could happen if we didn’t have it looked at, and suddenly I found myself on the phone explaining the situation to a pediatric dentist. Arrangements were made to have my husband bring C. in the next day.
I dropped C. off at daycare that morning and drove to my conference. As I sat through sessions and talked with contacts, foremost in my mind was that I wouldn’t be there for my little one’s first big trip to the dentist. And it was going to be a painful one, not that first “fun” one they do for little kids. Thank goodness for my husband, as we’re able to “cover” for each other when we need to, but it’s hard not being there for your child.
I try to remind myself that every mom makes sacrifices in one way or another, and we all just do the best we can, learning along the way. I’ve read that those moms who think they can be everything to everyone at all times are those who are much more likely to be depressed, so I try not to let such thoughts weigh on my mind too long. But they do seem to come up every now and then. While a dental visit for me is routine, for my babe, it’s an event, and I hate to have not been there.
In the end, the official dental report is that the tooth will be fine, if a little crooked. C should not suffer from the maladies as seen online; he just has a bit more character to his smile now. The dentist had my husband tip C. backwards into her lap so she could see his teeth, and pushed on the wayward tooth to ensure it was still in there securely. After much crying, C. walked away happy with a new toothbrush that he held on to all day, even through his nap. We’ll go back in a month and have it checked out again. At which point, I’ll try to make sure I don’t commit to another conference at the same time. Of course, I’m sure there will be something else, either with my schedule, or more likely, with my baby’s.