#Mama moments : My Toddler’s First Trip to the Dentist

To be honest I’ve been putting off taking A to the Dentist for a while.

I imagined crazy screaming and that it would be absolutely unbearable alone, so simply decided that I wasn’t going to do it by myself. My plan was to wait until my husband was free. He has a knack for lovingly encouraging my daughter to do things that she is scared of. Great strategy. But I kind of didn’t check when my husband was free. I didn’t try to co-ordinate his work at home dates with dental appointment dates. In the salsa of toddler life, I didn’t make a Dentist appointment.

Months of procrastination and two whole years of A’s life later, I decided enough was enough. When brushing her teeth I noticed she had a molar coming in which had a flap of skin on it which looked a bit odd to me. She had also had most of her teeth for at least a year.

clean mouth teeth dentist

I booked a dentist appointment for just us two.

To try to prepare her, I spoke to her about the ‘Doctor for teeth’; she likes doctors and has good understanding about what they do.

We spoke about how Dentists are really nice and help to look after our teeth. I even broke my basically zero screen time rule to show her a Youtube video of a child visiting the dentist.

This week we had our appointment.Everything was fine until we got into the Dentist’s room. As usual she keenly observed everything and seemed fine as I placed her on a chair with her favourite toys as my teeth got checked. With my limited vision, I noticed that she watched as my teeth were examined with a mirror and then cleaned. However,when I was done and  no longer horizontal, I could see that she had tears in her eyes as she watched me ardently. I think the noise from the cleaning equipment must have scared her; she hates the vacuum cleaner. She may have also been worried about me. She gave me a small, brave smile.

When it was her turn to get her teeth checked initially she did not want to go on the dentist’s chair with me although I managed to coax her onto it. She sat on my lap and did not want to open her mouth. She held ferociously onto ‘baby’, her beloved doll.

 

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Luckily the Dentist was good with children. She spoke to her about looking at her doll’s teeth. She asked her questions whilst managing to get a quick glimpse of her mouth. The dentist explained to me that everything she could see looked great. She also reassured me that the flap of skin on her molar was common when teeth are coming in. The Dentist did not want to push A further, as she was mindful that she wanted her to feel comfortable at future visits. My daughter got a sticker. We agreed that we would try again in 6 months.

I feel bad that I left the appointment so long. A part of me also feels a bit useless, as I did not manage to get A to open her mouth although I know that  I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.

Seeing the tears in her eyes after I got my teeth cleaned makes me realise that although my daughter is very independent and clever, emotionally she is truly 2 years old and needs my support.

We’ll try again in 6 months. Next time, I’m definitely checking my husband’s diary and will  be taking him with us. I’m also vowing to take some time out to schedule fixed appointments for the year ahead so that I do not get distracted by life and book appointments in good time.

Any tips for taking a toddler to the Dentist and  getting them to actually open their mouth?

I hope you’re having a good week

Nat

xx

 

#Mama Moments: A’s first injections

So recently A had her first injections. Being a curious little munchkin, she was just simply really happy to be in the nurses office and contentedly

close up of white syringe
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

sat lapping up her new nurse-related stimuli.

As the needle went in her chunky, little thigh there was silence. She had dealt with it amazingly well. Suddenly she let out the biggest wail I have ever heard from her tiny lungs and her face went a worrying shade of red. As the second needle went into her thigh, she wailed even louder. The entire time she cried, she looked at me as though I had betrayed her.

#mamamoments

Becoming a mother without a mother

So today is my first ever mother’s day. I feel more emotional than I ever imagined I would be. Motherhood is turning out to be amazing. I feel so grateful and lucky that despite the horror stories, I survived pregnancy and birth. I managed to grow a healthy little girl who is incredible. I am lucky that I do not have to rush off to some job and get to choose if/when I go back to work.

But despite all this awesomeness, today has a tinge of sadness. My mother is not quite here.She has not passed away, thankfully. She is not ill but despite this she is still not here being my mother.

It’s complicated so I do not even know where to begin. She is not a one dimensional villain as she is caring in her way. She is intelligent. Her influence is the source of my fundamental fun- loving, book reading, forever- learning nature.

However, despite all of these niceties, she is markedly flawed. Although I am firmly an adult she is desperately controlling. She is dishonest. She is competitive. She is abusive. I feel upset that as I was pregnant, I could not ring her for advice or to share my experiences as I journeyed to motherhood. Instead I had to set up boundaries and distance so that I did not start to believe that some of the issues that occurred in this pregnancy were due to some fundamental, disgusting manifestation of my essence, like she continuously told me.

I have made progress in my expectations and have learned that there is a stereotypical god-like, angelic, flawless idea of mothers which is grossly unachievable.

However, having A has made me even more angry about the way she treats me. When I look at my gorgeous girl I could not imagine going out of my way to harm her or abuse her or make her feel small. I love her so much that all I want to do is love her and nourish her and let her know just how special she is.

I am starting to accept that my mother is not who I want her to be.

I am starting to realise that as well as being my mother, she is also a person with her own issues, struggles and flaws.

It was and still is, difficult at times being a mother without a mother. However this adversity has highlighted my resilience, strength and built my determination to be a reflective, thinking mother who does not take my own issues out on my children.

I have found opportunities to learn about how to be a mother in surprising places. I have realised that lots of people in my life, some who aren’t even women, show me qualities that I would like to emulate. I would love my friend Emma’s enthusiasm and positivity as a mother. When I’m with my granddad I always get the sense that he savours the moments we spend together and I would like to conjure that with A.

I want to capture and pass on my grandma’s luminous pride in my mere existence.

Unfortunately I am becoming a mother without the guidance of my actual mother but this experience has helped me to realise that there are lots of people who show me qualities that I would like to radiate as a mother regardless.