Becoming A Big Girl

It’s a very big day for my girls.

At ten we will head to a brand new dentist. A pediatric dentist this time, not my grown up dentist whom I love, but is impossible to get in to see. He is also way out in Durham and the mix of the waiting list and the drive made this move inevitable.

When I called this new dentist the woman on the telephone instructed me to arrive early for paperwork. Then she said, “You can wait and we’ll take the girls back.”

Oh, I thought. They’ll be going back without me?

My daughters are strong-willed and feisty, but going strange places without their mother does not happen without a fight. They are champions in the skill of temper fit throwing, too, and being a twin has its advantages in this sense. When a mom has one kid in the midst of a tantrum, she can pick that kid up and head for the hills. When a mom of twins is faced with a double temper fit it takes a lot of finagling to handle the mess. Often she ends up standing there and watching, eye rolling and apologizing to strangers, bribing and silently cursing. Deep breathing always helps, but can’t stop double trouble if they are deep in the zone.

I asked the woman on the phone if she was, “prepared for the tantrums.”

“Oh sure,” she said, “we see them every day, all day.”

In preparation, Sophie and Grace and I have been discussing the visit. I explained that it’s not a big deal. It will be like going to school where they high-five me at the door and then run off to play. There will be other kids in the office and they’ll all be opening their mouths wide and even getting x-ray pictures of their teeth to see underneath their skin.

“How cool is that!” I said.

“You can do it! You don’t need me! All big girls go to the dentist without their moms!”

And they won’t have me. It’s different from pre-school where I sat outside the door the first day and listened to them cry. I can’t peek through a window to make sure they really are okay. I must rely on them to be brave and strong and confident. I must rely on the lessons I’ve already taught them and wait and hope for good results.

It’s also the first adventure where each will have to rely on her sister for strength or hand holding or a hug.

I am excited for this part the most. I want them to lean on each other more than they do. They are lucky to have a twin, but they haven’t taken full advantage of the gift.

As an extra “motivator” the Playdough dentist game that is a constant commercial on Nickelodeon will be gifted upon their completion of this first really big girl moment.

I heard a quote once when I was pregnant that I am reminded of often.

It said, “When you are pregnant, your child belongs to you. Once they are born, they belong to the world.”

I’m handing my kids to the world today. It’s a big test that life has handed to us. I’m going to plaster a big old smile on my face as I watch them walk through the door to the other side.

They can do this.

I’m sure they can.

Will I be okay?

Of course, I will. I am their mother, after all, and this is what I signed up for!

baby deals
They've been asking for the thing for ages. It's weird, I think, but a perfect present for a successful Big Girl visit to the dentist!

4 thoughts on “Becoming A Big Girl

  1. Oh good luck!! Poppy has always loved the dentist – she loves the attention and they give her coins for the lucky dip machine afterward. I’ve never had tears from her. Hugh on the other hand is a different kettle of fish entirely. I leave with my ears ringing every time. He SCREAMS, and I mean SCREAMS! I have to sit him on my lap facing me and then lean him back onto the dentist’s knee grasping his arms. Poor boy – always torn between letting him scream or worrying about scaring him and scarring him for life. My dentist insists we need to let him know he can’t get away with it. Last time was a little better he would get on the chair if I got on first! The things us mothers have to do for our kids:)

    1. James had this reaction at the first dentist I took him too…maybe it was too early, maybe it was because it wasn’t a real pediatric dentist. Finding a good pediatric dentist with a kind, gentle hygenist has made all of the difference! It doesn’t hurt that they are all cute and young…James is a big flirt! And instead of trying to hold down a scared and squirming caveman, he trots in on his own and comes out all proud! Hope it gets better for you and for Hugh!

  2. They will do great, and so will you! James loves the dentist, although he was not pleased with his choice of watermelon flouride last visit. He would recommend the bubble gum or the strawberry to the cousins. A real pediatric dentist is the way to go, not only is all the equipment the right size, they have better flavors, can deal with tantrums, and usually have a treasure chest for hunting in after you’re done! Best of luck!!!

  3. Wow. That feeling of sending them “off on their own” is so crazy. I look at my boys and think they are so little but also know that it is good for them to learn to be independent and to support each other. I had a similar experience. Ed was taking the boys to his parents for part of spring break. He was downstairs packing the car and since I’m hobbling around, I sent the boys down in the elevator BY THEMSELVES. Our building is small and they wouldn’t get lost or anything and Ed was waiting for them by the front door but still. They rolled their little suitcases into the elevator and looked at me with big wide eyes. The little one said, “I don’t want to go by ourselves” and his brother said, “It’s OK. You don’t have to be scare. I’m here with you” and took his hand. Heart melted.

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