Delightful Dentist

Max is 5 and a half.  Two weeks ago he went to the dentist for the first time in his life.  Since moving here back in August, none of us had been to see anyone for teeth.  SOOO of course when choosing someone for your very special people you are really just praying that they will be kind enough and patient enough to get a look…  That’s how I thought it would go.  Get in..maybe sit in the chair…possibly cry…Max too, quick look, and then leave without much knowledge of the inside of his mouth.  I mean it’s taken us a LONG time to get a solid brushing routine down with our little guy.  The thought of a stranger digging around with hard tools just didn’t seem possible!

Enter Dr. J.  OMG is he for real????  Did we dream him up and wish on a star and POOF he appeared???  Of course I googled first.  Read reviews then hit the Facebook moms page for the true grit.  So many highly recommended him I thought we must choose him.

I think every parent fears what seeing the dentist will be like for their child.  Especially a sensitive one with mouth issues or trouble brushing.  So with my precious son we have the sensitivities and add in a very unclear picture of what he is imagining and taking in.  He isn’t to the point with his Proloquo app to type how he feels or to ask a random question to have his fears calmed.  I try to predict anything whack and put it out there before we ever get INTO the whack.  I close my eyes and hope for the best….then I open them and watch as he blows me away.

There’s something very special about a professional who can meet a child and INSTANTLY make them laugh and smile and breathe.  Ok wait….children and me cuz inside my guts spin at about 300,000 miles per second in the face of uncertainty and new places and people.  Then I try SO hard to look calm while sounding super soothing and loving and then my laugh will come out to signal I’m a wound up nut.  Oh well.  5 min in we were all laughing and my daughter was up in the chair like a champ showing Max how it all works.  Thank God for my babies having each other in this big wild world.  Dr. J. chose not to pull my daughters front sideways tooth that day so Max wouldn’t be traumatized by needles and blood.  🙂

Max was next.  Got to ride in the chair.  Got his fingers and ears counted with the dental mirror.  imageSeemed almost into the whole thing.  I got a video and used it to capture enough pictures to do up some cards for his iPad.  image

This helps SO MUCH as videos and pictures really connect with him.  He can play them over and over and over and get used to an idea without having to relive it until comfortable.  He is able to share his experience with his friends at school.  When the time comes to go back, we can go through them and prepare ourselves for it all.

Today was his second appointment and just like the first Dr. J. took patient, caring, time with our son.  He let him enjoy the chair which he sat on all by himself.  He let him suck water out of a lil cup with the sucker.  He counted my teeth while I crossed my eyes and made silly sounds.  He went “up, up, up” and “D, D down” and “ba ba back”.  And then, he got Max to open his mouth while putting the dental mirror IN…..yup last time I caught a quick moment where it came near but nothing like today.  3 times.  Even blew air on his front teeth quickly…big jump from his hair 2 weeks ago 🙂

I’m pretty sure Max will run in next week, looking forward to seeing his dentist and riding in the chair.  He told him next time he could wear some sunglasses and we shall see how far it goes.  Knowing he’s allowing these little 10-15 minute visits to get to know Max and let him get comfortable with these new surroundings and strange things changes everything.  The idea of taking my little boy who has Autism and Aarskog Syndrome, who has no words, to the dentist has gone from likely not going to work out…could very possibly be a horrible nightmare for my sweet Max ….to YAY it’s dentist day and we are ever so lucky to have found someone willing to take his busy day and slow it down super super slow, break it into tiny steps, find the fun, connect, and encourage.  Something assumed scary has found it’s way into Maxim’s world and become something he can handle and not only that, thrive through.

Today I saw him being brave.  I saw his sweet round face knowing where we were and what we would be doing.  I saw my sweet, smart boy leave behind his toy and march into the dentist office to try new things with no tears.  All because of this extra time and patience and care that our new dentist takes with him.

When we got home today he raced up to his room.  I followed not long after to find him cuddled under his blanket, laying on his side, smiling looking out his window.  His look said “holy crap I did it!  I did it!”  Then he aimed his lil fist towards his space ship wall decal and we did a “5!…4!…3!….2!…1!….BLASTOFF” celebratory cheer…sweet day…super sweet day.




You want me to carry you? Good!

Why do I carry my 5 year old?

I know I get crazy looks as I chug by with my sweet L’il boy wrapped around me, legs twisted around so tight.  I don’t care.  I really don’t.  Stare all you like.  I’ll tell you a little bit about my son so you’ll know that you’re witnessing one of few very special moments I get with my son.

My son has been behind his entire life.  With every milestone.  I bottle fed him longer and I tried to get him to eat solids much, much longer than most and I tried to help him crawl and walk a lot longer too.  I tried to get him to sleep happily for months and months and months.   I tried to get him to talk and still do.  These days I try to get him to connect with me.   When he does, I want to sit with him or hold him or lay with him and shut the rest of the world out.  Heading into my daughter’s school is one of those times that always seem to be ours.

I’ve just picked him up from his school and we are alone for the 15 minute drive.  We put the windows down and off we go. I ask the same questions.  Did you have a good day?  Are you tired?  Do you want a drink?  Are you hungry?  He will nod for all of these or not seem to hear me at all.  Once we park he climbs up into the front seat to sit on my lap and buckle us in.  He LOVES seatbelts!  We pull it too far as I say ah aaaa Ahhh then he lets it go as I say ACHOOO!  It’s a complete exact repeat every school day. Then we get out and he usually hears a bird or plane and will motion his hand towards it.  He’s very pleased if he can discover something to show me.   We stop at the corner so he can make sure not to miss any cool trucks going by.  His favourite will always be a lil school bus.  Rare thing for us to see here.  He giggles with me and clings to me and looks at me.  He presses his cheek against mine and we look at each other suspiciously until we crack up.  When we walk together and he requests a lift I can’t refuse him.  Oneday he won’t want me to carry him.  And what if that day he hasn’t snuggled with me?  What if we don’t get any special Max and mommy time that day at all?  He doesn’t talk so he can’t just have random conversations throughout the day.  He gets immersed in anything he’s doing so I can’t always break into his world.  It’s those few magic moments in our routine of the day that belong to us.  I want to enjoy them and truly wish they could last forever.  When I have him held tight to me I feel I can do anything. I am strong and he is protected except it’s me that is the one who is being protected.  My little boy shields me and reminds me what to hold onto.  He helps me let go of silly worries and uncertainty.   He is so lovely and joyful.   It may just look like he is being treated like a baby but this is not the case. It’s just a mom and her son trying to soak up any chance of connection there might be however it may look or appear to keep him from achieving independence. Don’t worry, he keeps growing and keeps learning and changing and getting older and more grown up.  We walk as a family a lot and he puts in his share of miles all on his own.  I’ve never met a more determined person than Max.  I step aside when he wants to do something himself.  I have seen him start using the big kids swing and now he has started riding a bike with training wheels.  (I would never have thought it was time but his daddy knew better) It’s a beautiful thing to see your child thrive and try new things.   It’s also obvious that these tiny little steps we take together will oneday end.

I carry my 5 year old.   It gives me a guaranteed moment of cuddly closeness with my son.  I know I’ll get him to look at me at least once eye to eye.  I know I’ll get a smile.  I know we will share an observation.  I will hold onto this for as long as he will let me.