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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Did I tell you the one about the Dentist in December?

You know when Papa and I committed to this season of crazy, we knew what this year held in store for us.  I guess part of the problem is that although I actually embrace many parts of crazy, this crazy busy goes against every part of how I envision myself and how I want my family to live.  This constant go go go and lack of slowing down to see the little miracles I am so blessed to have around me really stresses me out.

I'm sitting in the dentist's office right now.  Waiting.  And wondering... do you have those little things that you use to measure your success (or lack there of) as a mother too?  For me I think my yardstick includes dinner around the table.  The quantity and a quality of the discussions I have with my older children.  And among many other things... dental care.  Ya, that sounds weird... but brushing and flossing and visits to the dentist... I use that (among other things of course) to tell myself if I'm living up to my own standard of being a good mother or not.   To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that I even did this until very very recently.  

Where am I going with this?  Well, I actually take care of my 3 youngest's teeth better than I did with my 4 biological kiddos. I "help" them brush and floss more often, and we all see the dentist more regularly than before we adopted.  Maybe there's something about being an adoptive mom that makes me taking parenting more seriously... at least in the dental care department.  I remember making a conscious effort that if I was going to have a large family I certainly wasn't going to start slacking off even though I was 2 decades older than when I first became a mom.  BUT it seems that my dental care was not enough.  At the last dental check up, one of the kiddos had some serious issues. I'm not sure I can even put it in print what was going on in her sweet little mouth.  Let's thank God that she has an amazingly high pain threshold, or now that I think about it, maybe not because we would have had a earlier warning system if she didn't.  Nevertheless an obscene amount of money has been spent recently for an equally obscene amount of dental over the course of 1 month and 7 dentists visits.  Yes I said 7!  6 of the appointments have all been for the same child.  And yours truly has been pretty sure that she has failed as a mother.

Ya I KNOW that's crazy cause obviously I'm forgotten to remember
a)  the total lack of dental care and lack of nutrition 0-12 months of age
b)  probably poor or no maternity care
c)  infant malnutrition
d)  and the fact that some folks just have wickedly bad teeth no matter what

I really really beat myself up about this for weeks.  I am sure some of it is the money that is begin required during an already pricey Christmas season.  Maybe I'm starting to let go of some of the guilt now because were nearing the end of the emergency dental work.  But I think my guilt was more about the fact that I coulda (shoulda?) done more to avoid it all.  And maybe I could have with more brushing and flossing and more regular visits.  But somewhere in all this guilt, I forgot that kiddos that are adopted come from somewhere else and all that something else that was before me is totally beyond my control.  All that "before" stuff is part of who they are and what makes them so amazingly special, bad teeth and all, and a lot of the issues that children who are adopted show up later in life.  6 years into Tess and Jude's adoption and I was just so overjoyed and relieved to get past the initiation into the land of international special needs adoption. I guess I forgot that it never really ends.  Adoption is a journey rather than a destination full of the unexpected. Teeth and all.

So note to self.  We've made it over the I-just-adopted-a-kiddo hump.  But this crazy roller coaster ride that is adoption is far from over.  Lucky I kinda like roller coasters!

Okay, I am SO done complaining this month.  Back to my bubble of hot cocoa, ribbons, glitter and snowman making!  Bring on Christmas!

Nevermind... this visit isn't going as expected and I just had to schedule another dentist appointment.


  1. Aw, don't feel bad. There's only so much one can do, right?

    You're welcome to visit my blog over at !

  2. Oh my. I can identify with this more than I wish I could... "No cavities" was right up with my "good mom" identity as well. And then the burst bubble and a silver tooth, and mama eats another slice of humble pie, with gratitude for a full tummy and God's gifts always. Thanks for sharing this. I am grateful for your perspective and honesty...and we are all grateful for good dental care!!

  3. Ok, You are not alone and some children no matter how good you brush their teeth still get cavities. We are in the same boat. Be gentle to yourself.

  4. Our little Taiwan girl had ten cavities we discovered at one appointment a few years ago. Her front teeth were decayed. And even though we brushed and didn't eat a lot of sweets, it happened anyway. In our case it had been going on since birth or before and by the time we got her old enough to go to the dentist, there wasn't anything we could do about it. We had 5 visits in 7 weeks and it was certainly not fun for anyone. It's not you, it just happens.

    1. "it just happens" Okay. That's what I'm living on Andrea. Okay. Trying to let it go. Thank you.

  5. My twins are so different. Grace brushes her teeth 2-4 (yes 4) times a day and never forgets to floss or wear her retainers. Patrick forgets more than he remembers. At the dentist, Patrick got a great report, and the hygienist told Grace to try to brush more often like Patrick. Some kids have just have bad or good teeth naturally. It just happens.


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