A fter a year and a half of procrastination, I finally forced my kids into the dentist office for their six-month (18-month for us)...

A fter a year and a half of procrastination, I finally forced my kids into the dentist office for their six-month (18-month for us) check-up. I had been falling prey to the desperate pleas to keep putting it off for too long. It was time to get back in the dental chair and see what we were dealing with. I fully expected the boy to have at least one cavity; I have to fight him daily to brush his teeth. I was not worried at all about my sweet flower; she automatically brushes every night before bed, without being asked. As I stated earlier, the crying and pleading were exhausting me, so I scheduled the appointment and made my wonderful husband take them. They know that Daddy has no tolerance for any mess and I knew he was just the one to deal with the dental office.

The dreaded day arrived and Daddy set off with the children, dragging them down Route 10 to Dr. Maurer’s office (he really is the best dentist around) with not even the merest whisper of a fuss. I sat anxiously, staring at my text messages waiting for the news that one or both made a fool of themselves while getting their teeth cleaned. I didn’t have to wait long for an update, both were behaving perfectly well (of course, Daddy is there), but cavities were found.

As I stared at the message my husband had written, my heart quickened and my stomach clenched with fear. Surely what I was reading was a joke (my husband does have a sick sense of humor)! But unfortunately, the news that my sweet girl had FIVE cavities was true. I was horrified, I look at her teeth, I check behind her, not every day (I’m no supermom) but enough that I would have noticed all of these little monsters in her precious, perfect little teeth. Not so, for these cavities had developed between her teeth, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t get after my six-year-old to floss (that obviously has changed). Of course the boy had no cavities. At least one of the two was decay free. Making me feel less like the worst mom in the world for putting off the appointment for so long.

I began to panic; this is the same little girl who cried because she had to get her teeth cleaned, and no way could she withstand getting cavities filled! My husband tried to stop the panic train as it raced its way through my mind. Every possible bad scenario played through my mind like a movie; I was more terrified than my sweet girl. After frantically scheduling an appointment with a pediatric dentist who provides sedation (for the girl, not me, though I needed it), I went online to read this new dentist’s sedation procedures, and let’s just say that I decided to take my chances with the laughing gas at Dr. Maurer’s; I knew that he would take care of my girl.

Of course, I was right (even though I sat in the corner of the room wringing my hands together until all of the drilling was over). She got the laughing gas, and as Dr. Maurer walked in with his super hero glasses on to make her giggle, I knew we would be just fine. She was an angel through the entire process, and I have to say that Dr. Maurer was wonderful with her. He told her every step of what he was doing in his calm and patient way, and that made all of the difference.The laughing gas didn’t hurt either!
She now feels like a pro, and knows that the dentist is not scary. For all of you parents out there, take it from me; go for your six month check up! They can catch things before they get too bad, and if you are really smart, you will take your family to Dr. Maurer! Happy brushing!

With their new daily structure (after the nightmare of non-structure that can be summer). I am happy to report that I know that this year will be a good year based on the smiles and enthusiastic re-telling of all the happenings at school. My boy has begun his last year of elementary school. It didn’t really hit me until the second week of school that this was a year for “lasts.” Last year for elementary school, last year for recess, last year for starting school at 9:15 a.m., it makes me feel so nostalgic for his kindergarten year (which was just yesterday). He has grown so much, physically and emotionally. This summer I noticed how he is maturing, helping around the house without being asked, volunteering to do things for me and for his grandparents, cutting the grass, washing dishes; he’s making my life a lot easier. I am so proud of him.

My precious flower began first grade, no longer the bottom of the totem pole at school. She is making new friends and enjoying her new school (after much anxiety on my part). She adores her new teacher, who has the very appropriate name of Mrs. Lovin, and she comes home each day with stories to tell, always with excitement. She is settling right in to her new environment and has been welcomed with open arms by her new school. When she is happy, I am happy.

I realized this weekend (as we made our grand re-appearance at our old church) that our little family has entered a new phase. I looked around church and saw so many young families, pregnant mothers with toddlers holding their hands, babies in the nursery, children singing during Children’s Church. I realized that we were no longer in the “young family” phase. We were moving into the “seasoned veteran” phase. Our children are older; they don’t need as much from us anymore. I don’t need to bring five extra bags of diapers, snacks, and toys. with me when we go somewhere.

We are now to the point where I can grab my purse and head out the door in less than ten minutes (because let’s be honest, even the older ones take forever to get their shoes on). It doesn’t take planning around naps and meals to go anywhere, and it is very freeing.

I like my little people and who they are becoming as they grow into themselves. They are both loving, thoughtful, and kind individuals. I am so happy that they are happy this year, and that they both get to spend their days with wonderful teachers like Mrs. Lovin and Mrs. Henry (who is one of the very best according to the boy). They both make my children love learning and get excited about school. I am so thankful for them and am looking forward to the excitement of the new year.