The kids have a dentist appointment on Monday morning. All of them. I haven't decided if I'm totally brilliant or totally crazy to take them all at once, but it's the way we do it. It's always a little hectic, but then it's over and we don't have to go back for 6 months. Unless there's a problem. There was a problem last time. Caliana had a cavity. She'd been to the dentist twice. 2 checkups and cleanings, and she loved the dentist. She asked to go back all the time. And now she was getting her wish. But I knew with all of my hard earned grown up knowledge that this time would be different. That she would no longer ask to go to the dentist. This time would be bad. I just didn't realize how bad.
Getting her there and in the chair was no problem. She had done this, she liked it. Dentist, yay! They put the nitrous mask on her, which looked like an elephant mask, with it's long hose carrying drugs to my 3 yr old's system (don't think I didn't agonize over it). It looked uncomfortable, and it must have been because she kept trying to take it off, but she was also trying really hard to be good and do what they told her.
I could tell she was scared when they put the mouth clamp in, and started to protest, and that's when the dentist made the decision to just go for it and gave her that evil shot in the gums, and my baby screamed.
I was given a seat by her legs, where I tried to hold her hand and calm her and also try to hold her still so the dentists could hurry the hell up already.
They held her in somewhat of a headlock, screaming, crying, snot running... and in holding her down, they were jamming the mouth clamp into her lip, because blood started dribbling down with her drool.
This all happened in a matter of minutes and I was helpless, torn between trying to help the dentist finish and wanting to punch her in her goddamn face.
And then my baby gagged, and peed her pants, and I told them to let her up. She was done. We sat there, my baby and I, both of us traumatized and crying. It was the worst dental experience of my life, and it wasn't even mine.
We go again on Monday, six months later, and Cali is protesting. She hasn't forgotten. We try to convince her that it's just for a cleaning...."they're just going to brush your teeth" we say, and she yells "I don't want the SCISSORS" and stomps away. And really I can't blame her. I don't want to go back either.
While I was still at work yesterday, I got this text from Patrick:
"will you take them out of the house somewhere, it's such a beautiful day. I know they would love to go to Mario land, oh please, oh please!" (punctuation added by moi)
This can be loosely translated into "get them out of here, I need a nap, when does school start again?"
But, I didn't have anything I had to do after work anyways, so I consented. "Mario land" is a creek that was given it's name when I was about 8, because it reminded my sister and I of the landscape from our beloved video game (the original of course).
I wasn't totally keen on the idea of creek mud, water, bushes, etc... so I tried to convince them to go the park instead, but they (meaning Damien) weren't having it.
Damien's the one who really loves it there. It's isolated and wild and a little dangerous.....all of the things that Damien strives to be within the confines of society. He takes off down the path and picks his way through blackberry bushes and roots, jumping rocks.....and Cali tries to keep up with him, and I try to keep up with her, but we fail, and eventually it's just us 3 girls. Cali is taking her shoes off, Emily is just standing, trying not to touch anything gross, and playing with my phone, and I'm wondering "what now?"
I tell Emily how I used to play there when I was little, how we used to pretend we lived there and would pick out our rooms among the bushes and rock croppings and make pretend food, and go swimming. She smiles at me in a way that shows me she's made it to the place between kid and adult, where there's a certain longing to play those games, but there's also that laughter at "those funny things kids do" that we adults have perfected because we've forgotten how to play.
And yesterday she was on the adult side with me. We sat on the rocks and tree roots. I proclaimed that this one was my "throne" and she laughed, and sat beside me. And we watched the "kids".
Damien stripped down to his shorts, and Cali stripped down to nothing, and they adventured. A naked little sprite splashing through the creek, her big brother helping her across a log. I wished I had my camera, and I wished I was little, and I wished I could think of something to do besides sit and watch. And I wished Emily wasn't giving it up so soon. Don't sit and watch Em, go play.
As we were leaving, Emily hurried across a slimy, muddy rock and slipped. She went down on her butt and arms and screamed. I grabbed her hand and she came up muddy and squealing "owww, ewwww, owwww, ewwww" and I had to laugh.
No matter how careful you are, life is going to happen, so you might as well strip down and frolic.
School's out. Thank god. Last Friday was Emily and Damien's last day, and they left straight after school to go camping with my mom.
Peace out 2nd grade
I had grand plans of all the things I would get done while they were gone for the weekend. I would catch up all of the laundry, I would clean and reorganize their bedrooms, I would scrub the walls and declutter closets. I didn't do any of it. Instead, Patrick and Cali and I, we just enjoyed the weekend. We took naps, we played outside, we watched movies, we went to church and six flags, we recovered. It's always so strange when part of the family is missing. The house seems so empty and quiet. Cali asks for them every so often, and when Grandma finally brought them home on Monday night, tanned and smelling of campfire, she was ecstatic and thanked grandma profusely for her brother and sister.
Since the weekend, we've been in full on summer vaca mode. Emily attempted to stay up all night one night playing video games, Damien's been barreling back and forth to his friend's house on his bike, we've had 2 friends spend the night, and bedtime has been stretched and extended and ignored and is no longer recognizable.
But for me, summertime means freedom in a different way. Freedom from the morning marathon. Dragging kids from their beds with threats of water in the face from the spray bottle, throwing together lunches, brushing hair, helping find socks, ushering everyone out the door 10 minutes late.....