Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not so much with the fillings

First the good news: Paolo had a fantastic Easter and birthday, due in large part to my fabulousness and star parenting. I'm still a little high from the first successful birthday party I've ever thrown for my boy that included real, live other children. The two-week-long extravaganza of colored eggs, candy, family visitors, presents, and more candy wrapped up just in time for Paolo's dreaded dentist appointment yesterday.

I know some people hate going to the dentist, and that's cute and all, but I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that Paolo could be flayed alive and not react more violently than he does in a dentist's chair. He had an appointment yesterday to get three fillings. I won't go into why he has cavities. It's a long story with competing theories and, let's face it, the Internet is not big enough to contain my guilt.

Sam and Paolo arrived at the dentist's office at 8:00 A.M. sharp, as instructed, so that Paolo could down his multiple sedatives. Only they appeared to have no effect. One hour later, the boys were ushered back to begin the procedure, and Paolo went completely apeshit. The dental assistant tried to gas him to calm him down, but the gas had no effect either. Sam had to restrain him just to keep him in the chair, then pry his mouth open so the dentist could at least LOOK at the state of the cavities. Filling them was out of the question, as you can't put a drill into a writhing wolverine's mouth without doing serious damage.

The dentist explained that Paolo would have to see an oral surgeon who could knock him completely out because his pediatric practice doesn't have that capability and, clearly, the most his office can do is not enough in our...situation. Paolo, who had not stopped screaming since the door to the waiting room had opened, sat up and vomited the useless narcotics all over himself, the chair, the floor, and his father. Sam picked him up and carried him out of the office, apologizing to everyone he laid eyes on. He stripped Paolo down to his underwear for the car ride home, and he threw up again on the way. The End. In case we promised you a phone call to report on the visit, and you didn't get one, this is why.

So why wasn't I there? Because I make it worse, to my eternal shame. When Paolo cries like that, with terror, I go to pieces. I used to be so damn tough, but that kid's cries make my bones melt. Besides, I think Sam had enough mortification to deal with yesterday without having to carry us both out of the dentist's office.

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