I have a 1966 Mustang Convertible named Miss Lucy.
I bought it way before we got the kids, before I was even with CC.
My dentist drives a 1966 Thunderbird Convertible.
I’m pretty sure he bought it with the money we’ve paid him since we’ve started going to him. I don’t remember seeing it until a couple years ago.
I had to take #5 to the dentist. I didn’t want to go because approximately eight months prior to this, I got my dentist house seats to my show for his wedding anniversary. All this means is I filled out a piece of paper at work; it’s such a small thing and no money comes from me. Then my dentist and his wife sent me this AMAZING bouquet of flowers in thanks.
Here’s a pic of them, poor phone quality, but you can see how pretty they are:
I was moved. I wrote a thank you note, eventually. The letter was overdue when I wrote it. Then I buried it. So here we were, eight months later, and I hadn’t properly thanked my dentist for the flowers and this is why I didn’t want to take #5 to get his toothache fixed. Besides, I knew he would have at least one cavity. They always do.
I don’t micromanage the kids’ hygiene, I can’t. I tell them to brush their teeth, their hair; I tell them to shower. I make sure they go into the bathroom. I don’t stand there and judge how well they are doing it. I only get involved if one comes from brushing their teeth with visible Cheetos imbedded across their incisors, or if I hear the water run for thirty seconds and one comes out wrapped in a towel, dry as the Sahara, still wearing their unsteamed glasses, claiming to have taken a shower. But I can’t micromanage. Jesus, I can barely manage.
This day I could not in good conscience get out of the dentist run. CC had let me sleep until 9:37. He ran all the errands. He made all the phone calls about doctors appointments. He was doing yard work, for Pete’s sake, and I’m intimidated by the leaf blower.
So I went and picked #5 up from school. Such a cute kid. He’s eight. He saw me and just about bounced right out the door; I could see him look back, like the secretary called his name and reminded him that I needed to sign him out before he left. I asked him to show me his teeth, which actually looked pretty okay. But he had one nostril caked in green snot, and one nostril caked in blood. I stopped by home for a washcloth and attempted to clean the nose a bit.
Me: Does your nose keep bleeding?
#5: No, it’s just been like that for a long time.
Me: You mean you haven’t washed it off ever?
#5: No. Should I?
Me: Um, yeah.
And how is it that it doesn’t come off in the shower? And how is it that I haven’t noticed it? And what, exactly, qualifies as “a long time”?
At the dentist, it was quickly determined that #5 had two cavities. I sheepishly gave the dentist my ancient thank you note and thanked him again about ninety times. #5 got a Fluoride treatment.
The thing about the cavities is that I really blame myself, even though I had nothing to do with the genetic plan that laid out the enamel strength of their teeth. Our pediatrician, whom I hate, gave me a prescription for vitamins with Fluoride for all the kids. Nobody would take them. I couldn’t remember to remind them. And? I don’t sanitize their toothbrushes in the dishwasher like their mother did.
#5 picked out a bendy pirate from the toy drawer and was putting it into yoga poses on the drive home, which is about ninety seconds with traffic. He was cracking himself up. Everything seemed fine. We got out of the car, then onto the sidewalk and he said, “My tummy hurts,” and just like that, threw up. He had totally swallowed about half of his Fluoride treatment.
I helped him through it. He threw up twice and as he was kneeling down dry heaving, he said, “Hey, is that a piece of food?” and I said, “I don’t know, why don’t you pick it up and find out?” He laughed, then dry heaved. He was grabbing his crotch and squirming, said he had to go to the bathroom really bad. But every time he tried to walk he threw up again. Luckily, I had the nose washcloth with me and got him stable enough to run inside. He simultaneously peed and threw up in the toilet, which impressed me, and figured he was done.
I got him settled on the couch and he started to cry a little. So I held him and I said, “You didn’t throw up on yourself and you didn’t pee your pants. Sounds like a pretty good day to me!” He laughed a little and buried his head in my shoulder.
Then he said, “You know what would really make it a bad day for you? If I threw up on you right now.”