Exhilaration driving home today under the flowering pink and white crabapples on Green Bay Road, hearing Mia pitch in her little voice to the Hey La, Hey La chorus of The New Pornographer's "Bleeding Heart Show." “Turn the sound up,” she called. I had a to-go cup of sweet, sweet caffeine. It’s spring. I felt young.
We were driving home from the dentist. Mia got her first filling today. She was awesome – brave and calm. I hadn't told her much about the procedure so as not to scare her – was this selfish? Perhaps, but it turned out to be fine. I couldn’t have anticipated the dentist’s speed and euphemisms. He talked to Mia in a very soft voice and described everything he was doing. When I heard that unmistakable whizzing of the drill, he called it "cleaning your tooth."
Yes, she wore a little gray elephant mask over her nose for the nitrous oxide. I couldn't really tell how she was reacting to the gas - she didn't close her eyes or giggle or squirm or anything. I sat by her feet, gave her the fuzzy white elephant to hold. I thought, this is one of those moments when you trade control and protection for trust and you just deal with the results. I felt calm and resigned. I felt old.
He finished in twenty minutes. Mia slowly sat up and looked through the little toy box to choose a tiny purple lizard. The right side of her mouth looked a little droopy. But there were no complaints. “Alright,” she said when Dr. Dentist told her to chew on the other side of her mouth.
I’m sure the new stuffed lion, a bowl of oatmeal at Cereality and some Homer's ice cream helped too.
I found this video on Web MD about St. Louis Children’s Hospital using nitrous in their emergency rooms to alleviate kid anxiety.