August 29, 2011

pulling teeth.

last week, we had an event.
anna and drew needed to have some teeth pulled.
i knew anna was nervous, but i was unprepared for just how nervous.
when she sat down in the chair, she started to cry.
she refused to open her mouth.
we have the NICEST, NICEST dentist ever.
he's a dad, with daughters.
after much coaxing and encouraging and explaining and bribing (i tried everything)...
we LEFT the office with all our teeth still in our mouth.
anna was VERY scared.
i was kicking myself that i hadn't prepared her better for this experience.

we talked on the way home. 
she asked if i was mad at her.
i told her i was very disappointed. 
but, that i was mostly sad for her.
because i knew she could do hard things.
we talked about different strategies when dealing with pain and fear.
(pulling the teeth wouldn't hurt, just getting the numbing shots might hurt a bit.)
i told her about labor, and blood transfusions, and how her aunt rebekah had chemo and radiation.
we discussed mental things that she could tell herself to replace the scared thoughts going through her mind.
1. That she could remember the doctor was kind and trying to help her.
(I told her that I always imagined love pouring out of the doctor's hands into my mouth.)
2.  That even if it was horrible, it would be finished by dinner time.  (Shorter than a movie.)
3.  She could pray.
4.  She could hum a song.
5.  She could think the very worst-- that she'd die.  And still, it wouldn't be that bad (she'd be in Heaven).
6.  She could think about little babies with cancer and burns and lots of hard things who have to endure pain every day-- and remember how blessed she is.
7.   She could remember that a little pain now would save her a lot of pain later (her tooth was a baby tooth that had gotten infected).
8.  She could think about how happy she would feel when she was finished.
9.  She could know that angels would be round about her and Jesus could help her do hard things.
10.  She could count to ten and the hard part would probably be finished.
11.  That NO MATTER WHAT-- she just needed to keep her mouth OPEN!!!
She could scream, she could cry, she could squeeze my hand-- she just needed to keep that mouth open wide.

Drew had an appointment the next day.
I told Anna that she should come with us and take Drew's spot.
I told her that it was her choice.
That I would pray for her, and that her dad could give her a blessing.

The next morning she said she wanted to do it.
I gave her my ipod with church music on it. 
She got a blessing, and we said a family prayer for her and drew.
we went back to the dentist.
anna went first...
she was scared, it was a bit painful, but SHE DID IT!! 
both anna and drew were very brave.
and, it was hard.
when they were finished, they were SO excited.
especially Anna.
and, i was so happy for her.
i never doubted that she could do this.
and now, she knows she can do hard things.
i don't think kind mothers just comfort their kids when they are scared.
i think kind mothers TEACH their children that they are brave.

we aren't crossing the plains or plowing the fields.
but, my kids can learn great lessons in the dentist office.


beckyjune said...

You are such a wise, wonderful mom, Jen. I learn so much from you. Even after the years I have under my belt I still feel pretty clueless sometimes.

LAURA said...

I learn so much from you too, thanks for having this blog and updating it so often, it gives me the encouragement I need as a mother of littles.

Marie said...

So, SO proud of you, Anna! Way to go!

..and Jen, hats off to you. As the other moms have shared. I learn something from you EVERY DAY as well. Tough to admit because my ONE son is 25, but the "lessons" you share are as timeless as motherhood itself. ♥

Blessings for a great day!

Teachinfourth said...

Rock on...I though am so sick of the dentist I could vomit. I won't, but I could.

I'm just saying...

Been there three times for the same problem. Hopefully, they'll get it right.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...