Whose Kid Is That?

So, I said enough, "I'm so Sorry's", to permeate their brains and irritate the entire staff of the dental office for years to come.

We have all been there. The moment we realize we have birthed an evil devil-monster, capable of tantrums you thought only possible from the drama of Hollywood.

Shocking right? Wait, which part? The part about realizing your children are capable of such dastardly behaviors, or the part where I called him an evil devil-monster? While you’re nurturing you’re shock and awe, I will set the scene of the offense so I can carefully walk you through the rest of my horror.

Picture it, a dentist office in the twilight zone year of 2020.

A 5 year-old who suddenly decides he doesn’t want to cooperate with… ANYTHNG. Add a pandemic into the mix and said 5 year-old has to also wear a mask. This already sounds like loads of fun. Not only are we at the dentist that he has suddenly decided he hates, it’s not for something simple like a cleaning. He is here for cavities. Yep, they are going to drill on my recently possessed child’s teeth. Oh glorious five-thousandth day of the year 2020; you just keep handing over more and more gifts.

 I’ll  skip most of  the gory details, and I’ll tell you that I considered calling in a priest to perform an exorcism, and a doctor to perform a blood test to make sure this was actually my child.

He thrashed, growled, and kicked. I threatened, I begged, and I gave him so many of, “THE LOOKS” that my face hurt. My child is an oak. He was unfazed by my useless mom threats and faces. Whatever monster was holding his soul hostage in that dental office meant business.

 So, I said enough, “I’m so sorry’s”, to permeate their brains and irritate the entire staff of the dental office for years to come; but I really felt  it was time for my 5 year-old learn some humility.

Perfect timing right? Everyone has all the time in the world for me to teach my child a lesson right in the middle of their busy work day.  Of course, in the moment we feel like we should fix the situation at hand immediately, so we waste everyone’s precious time a little more because we haven’t taken enough of it with our antics.

So I continue on, wasting everyone’s day telling my child things like, “you better say you’re sorry!”, equipped with my angriest mom face. You know the one I’m talking about. The one with the BIG EYES and purged lips. Think, Samuel L. Jackson in “Black Snake Moan”. Are you with me?

Most likely your beautiful offspring doesn’t perk right up with an apology that makes everyone weep. It’s probably something more like, “srrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhh”, while his eyes roll deeply into the back of his head. To which we reply, (still wasting everyone’s time for our own satisfaction) “WHAT????”. The apology never gets any better. It’s just a continuous waste of time and a slightly louder string of, “SSRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH!”, with more attitude. Those are obviously not my genetics. He must get that from his father. I love to apologize. I apologize for fun, for no reason even. Show me a person and I’ll show you how to apologize. Apology was probably supposed to be my middle name. Anyway, enough about me. It’s not about me, who cares about me. Back to the children.

So what do we do in this situation?

Did our kid actually learn anything by being made to mumble something incoherent and waste everyone’s time? Or did it just make us feel better as parents to show the world that we don’t allow our children to become publicly possessed? I don’t have an answer for that question. I’m still crawling through this parenting thing like a drunken walrus.

However, after some thought, my husband and I decided that our son would make the dentist a card and we would help him write an apology in his own words.

It took about 25 hours for our recently exorcised child to mean his apology and come up with some acceptable words other than, “ssrrrrrrrrhhhhhh”.

Was this the right decision on our part as parents?

Was it our best choice? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe I will find out at his next dental appointment.  That is the experiment of parenting! Everyone does it differently. It is also what makes life exciting, or maybe terrifying for the type A people of the world. We all try our hardest, do our best and we learn along the way. Now, did it make me feel a little better to apologize to the dentist repeatedly, and make my child waste his time with empty mutterings of an ungrateful buttholish 5 year-old? Yea, a little. And so what? Sometimes we have to do little things to help us along the way. Parenthood can’t be 100% selfless giving. We would completely lose ourselves and eventually run out of things to give. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, and it’s the one thing there’s no instruction book for. Parenting can be completely draining. We have to be fed and encouraged as parents too, so we can enjoy the rewarding beautiful parts of it.

Don’t beat yourself up.

I say that also to give myself a reminder. We can’t get stuck in the weeds. We can’t let the tiny humans win with their tiny person out of control feelings. They are still learning what to do with all of the new things they are feeling. It’s our job to show them how to manage those crazy emotions. Even if sometimes it’s not so elegant or publicly appropriate.

Above all, make your babies feel safe.

Safety may be the very reason they are acting like wild fools in the public eye. They know you love them and that you can fix the crazy they are feeling. Isn’t that a nice way to look at it? They probably have far more faith in us than we do ourselves. Everything comes in a season, and seasons don’t last. Try to perfect your big eye, purged lip, mean mom face while you can. It can be your greatest weapon when mastered.

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