Of my 3 boys, my youngest isn’t as thrilled. He hates the dentist, just like he hates the haircut place, anything that involves putting noisy things close to his head he can’t tolerate. So when the time came for our youngest to head back for an examination, he let us all know that he wasn’t going in without a fight. So after much screaming and kicking, I picked up my boy and tried to walk him through the door to the dentist. Now he’s only 5, but he’s a strong little dude. Well my plan backfired and somehow I was tripped up by his kicking legs and BAM! I fell to the floor, flat on my face in the lobby.
I have to admit, I was hurt pretty bad and embarrassed just as much. I could hear the man behind me ask if I was ok, then tell the receptionist that he thought I was injured. I remember that I couldn’t even speak, since I knew that the only words that would come out were not kid friendly. So there I was, a mom with a bad limp, begging the staff if they had any other ideas on how to get my fired up, redhead son into the dentist chair.
After a lot of coaxing, he finally went in, but they were never able to do a cleaning, so I had to be happy with just x-rays and a report that he was cavity free. But this day brought back that little hidden fear I have that my youngest may have “issues” as he gets older. You see, my oldest who has a mood disorder didn’t show significant problems until he was 7 years old, but when he was younger, I do remember that I couldn’t brush his teeth without pinning him down, just like my youngest is today. And after the surprising looks from the dentist and the haircut place and hearing questions like “What’s wrong with him?” You feel that thought creep in... what if my little guy struggles too, what if this isn’t a phase but only a precursor of what’s to come?
It’s really too soon to tell, but my youngest has had night terrors like my oldest, he’s a very picky eater and he’s had a hard time conforming to authority which was seen last year at preschool when we had to have a parent/teacher conference on the first day of school. As the school year progressed, his teacher would say, (while moving her hand in a rolling wave motion) your son is just up and down during the day.
Now this all may be just a little boy imitating behaviors he’s seen in is older brother and like many other kids, has some childhood fears, but it’s hard to not wonder if he’ll be ok. I guess once you have a child with a mental illness, you tend to look at your other kids with a critical eye.
If you asked me today if I thought my little boy has a problem, I would say “No! Absolutely not!” But I have to be honest and admit to you that when I was on the floor in the dental office, the thought did cross my mind for just a second, then I picked myself up and looked at my little guy and thought... naahhh.
So can you relate, have you had these thoughts too?