Archive for May, 2012

Potty training. Still.

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You know how you can smell a dirty diaper? There is no mistaking it. When I asked Nathan if he pooped, he sniffed the air three times then said, “No. No poop.” Apparently, he doesn’t realize that MY nose still works.

Potty training is going so slowly. There is progress- he tells me when he needs to go to the potty and I take him. He has good bladder control now. For example, visited a theme park a couple weeks ago. After we were there a few hours, I checked his diaper and it was dry! So I took him to the potty where he promptly emptied his bladder. He still has yet to go #2 in the potty though. And getting him to pee on the potty can sometimes be frustrating when we’re at home. Especially when he tells me (always when I’m busy) he has to pee and I stop whatever it is I’m doing to take him, and then he won’t go. When we’re out and about, however, he will generally try to hold it.

Sigh.

I’m contemplating putting him in regular underwear rather than diapers. I know I’ll have a few messes to clean up, but maybe that will help him understand that he needs to pee/poop in the potty and not his diaper.

He can’t be in diapers forever, right?

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Kisses really do heal the pain :-)

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So yesterday as I was walking around the house, I managed to twist my ankle. Don’t ask how I did that just by walking. I tend to be prone to clumsiness somehow! Anyway, it hurt like the dickens so I said, “OUCH!” as white pain shot up my leg.

“You okay, Mommy?” Nathan asked from his room. My sweet boy is always concerned about others getting hurt.

“Yeah, I’m ok. I just hurt my ankle.”

“Hurt dee ankle?” he asked.

“Yep,” I said as I lifted my leg and pointed to my ankle. “I twisted it somehow and now it hurts.”

“I kiss it and make it allllllllllllllllll better?” he said, worried.

“Aw yeah that would help a lot,” I replied as I hobbled over to him.

He gave my ankle a kiss, patted it gently, and said, “There! All better Mommy!”

And sure enough, it was.

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First visit to the dentist

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Ok, so remember last time I talked about Nathan face-planting in  a parking lot and knocking his two front teeth loose? Well, this post is about the ensuing dentist visit.

Nathan hadn’t been to a dentist yet. It was something on our to-do list, but for some reason, I thought that kids didn’t need to see a dentist for teeth cleaning until they were three. (They actually need to go at age two.) So I called my dentist, who by the way is AWESOME.

Side story: I’ve been having some tooth pain but I didn’t have a dentist and had no idea who to call. So I asked my mother-in-law who she sees because she has some sort of innate ability to pick amazing doctors. I haven’t had my teeth cleaning in years (I know, shame on me!) because my last dental visit was rather traumatic. I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and my dentist at the time (who I had been seeing for almost 20 years) was becoming cranky and rude in his old age. My teeth were impacted, so they had to be cut out. I swear, I could feel every single bit of it even though I had numbing shots. As I was screaming in agony with tears flowing down my face, my dentist told me that it was “impossible” to feel pain after having the shots.

I have not been to a dentist since then.

So anyway, I went to my mother-in-law’s dentist and was blown away by how friendly the staff was, how careful they were with my mouth, and how knowledgeable and helpful the dentist was. I am scheduled for a deep cleaning soon, a couple fillings, and to replace an old filling… and I’m not feeling all panicky and anxious about it because I know they will take care of me.

What’s really cool about them is how understanding and compassionate they were towards Nathan. I didn’t have a sitter that day, so I had to bring him with me. He freaked out. Totally. Complete with hysterical screaming and thrashing… and he wasn’t even the one seeing the dentist! They were so understanding, however. They gave him three race cars, a bouncy ball, and let him play with a set of display teeth. They cajoled him and spoke softly with him, and even sat with him and played while I was getting x-rays. They were super awesome and they now have me as a client for life!

So back to my story. Since Nathan didn’t have a dentist, I called mine to see if they accept children his age. They said that they do… but only as long as the child will allow them to look into his or her mouth. I may have chuckled a little. With Nathan flying into hysterics when I WAS THE ONE SEEING THE DENTIST, I knew there was no way he would allow anyone to look into his mouth. So they recommended I take him to a pediatric dentist.

When I called, I warned them that my three-year-old is incredibly strong-willed and would more than likely fight tooth-and-nail (gotta love the pun) when they try to check his mouth. She replied that they only deal with children and they are used to it, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

Awesome!

When we walked into the door of the pediatric dentist, there was no wailing. No frightened screeching. No flowing of tears. The waiting room was kid-friendly (of course), complete with tons of books, a few toys, and some paper hot-air balloons swaying gently from the ceiling. When we walked in, Nathan took one look around and said “Wow!” as he darted towards the bookshelf. He scampered about the room, alternating between playing with toys, pawing through the books on the bookshelf, and running up to the receptionist to tell her over-and-over again what his last name is.

When it was time for us to be called back, Nathan went willingly. We went through a brightly-painted hall, passing by a display of neatly arranged stuffed animals as we walked into the equally festive and colorful dental room. Nathan willingly stepped onto the scale when they asked and hopped up onto the cleaning bed with a smile on his face.

Getting him to lay down was another story. He knew something was up, and he didn’t like it. The dental hygienist explained to him what they were about to do. After much ado, we were able to coax him into laying down. He fought somewhat but she was able to check his teeth to see if they were ok to clean (since he’d never had a cleaning before.) Even though his front teeth were loose, he was good to go for a cleaning. She showed him the “spinning toothbrush” and even let him hold it. She let him pick out the flavor of his “toothpaste” (grape) and the  flavor of his fluoride treatment (strawberry.) But as soon as we tried to lay him down, the thrashing and screaming commenced full throttle.

Fortunately, they were able to work with him and we were able to get his teeth cleaned. And the good thing about a child screaming bloody murder during a cleaning is that their mouth is wide open, allowing great access! Lets just say that he fought so hard that he was completely covered in sweat by the time it was done. So much so that they had to wipe him down with tissues!

When it was finished, without any hesitation whatsoever, they whisked out three bins chalked full of toys onto the bed next to us and told Nathan to pick out what toys he would like. He picked out some cars and some stickers and proceeded to roll them happily around on the floor, even as his tears were still freshly glistening on his sweaty and flushed cheeks. But then Nathan wanted to roll his cars elsewhere, so two assistants escorted him out to the waiting room where they sat on the floor and played with him for THIRTY MINUTES while I spoke to the dentist about his tooth injuries.

Seriously, this dentist was super awesome and I was thankful and impressed that he took such a long time discussing it all with me.

Basically, Nathan had a 50/50 chance of loosing his two front teeth because his gums were so red and angry that either the teeth could die or their own or might have to be pulled for the good of the permanent teeth that are developing behind them right now. The dentist explained that it if the teeth survived, it would take about a month or longer for them to tighten up but in the meantime, Nathan could eat whatever he wanted as long as it was cut up into tiny bites. Absolutely no biting into anything with his front teeth, and no falling. He said just one more fall on those loose teeth and it would be over- the teeth would not survive.

So once we were finished, I walked back out to the waiting room and saw Nathan having a total blast with the assistants. They were all sitting on the floor, rolling cars back and forth. Nathan didn’t want to leave!! It was awesome how they took care of him and saw him as a person rather than a number. I felt like they really cared. I will definitely be using them for now on!

So as of today, it looks like Nathan’s teeth are going to survive. His gums have regained their healthy pink look and the swelling has disappeared. His teeth are still a little loose, but they are definitely tightening up. It looks like everything worked in his favor and he won’t lose his two front teeth, thank the Lord.

Did I mention that it’s stressful being a parent?

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Oh my poor little man

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So it’s been a while since my last post. A lot has been going on here! The biggest news of all is that Nathan had another emergency room visit over the weekend.

I had just finished working out and was meeting Nathan and Paul at a nearby restaurant. I arrived first, so I got a table and waited for them to get there. Although I was sitting near the middle of the restaurant, I could still see them through one of the windows when they got there. I watched as Paul and Nathan got out of the car and started to head towards the door, and then saw Paul turn back towards the car to get something. When Nathan turned to follow him, he stumbled and fell. I couldn’t see exactly what happened, but I saw Paul swoop Nathan up and carry him back to the car. I just figured the little guy skinned his knee. And then I saw a woman quickly walk over to them with a roll of paper towels. Worried, I picked up my phone and started to text Paul to see if everything was okay when he called me and told me it was bad and that I needed to get out there. I quickly snatched up my things and briskly trotted out to the parking lot.

Then I saw a mound of bloody paper towels on the trunk of Paul’s car.

“Is he okay?” I asked the woman who was standing there. She gave me a sad smile and may have patted my arm. I can’t remember- I had tunnel vision and my entire focus was on my child. I ran around the side of the car and saw blood pouring like a faucet out of Nathan’s mouth.

“He fell and knocked his two front teeth loose,” Paul said as I knelt in front of my wailing child. With shaking hands, I raised Nathan’s upper lip and could see strands of skin hanging down from his mouth. His teeth were severely loose and blood was pouring from his gums and lips where he had nearly bitten through them. As you all probably know, mouth wounds bleed a lot. There was so much blood, however, that it was hard to see exacly what was going on. We went through so many paper towels trying to wipe up all the blood. After about half an hour, we were able to stop the bleeding enough to get him to the emergency room.

Nathan, being the spirited little boy that he is, was quite angry with the doctor checking his teeth. He screamed and kicked and sounded exacly like a wounded mountain lion. It was heartbreaking. Fortunately, the doctor was very understanding and patient and dealt gently with Nathan. He said that Nathan’s front two teeth were loose and his gums were angry and swollen, but he didn’t hit his head or have a concussion so he should be okay. He said to follow up with his dentist within the next few days so they can see exactly what kind of damage had been done. When he was finished, he hunted down a grape popsicle for the little guy, who tearfully slurped it up.

A nurse then came in who seemed very bitter and was apparently unfamiliar with children. She declared she needed to get his vitals (temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. *insert dry laughter.*)

“Well, we can’t take his temperature when he’s eating a popsicle,” she said with unmasked irritation as she eyed Nathan sadly slurping the icy deliciousness. No kidding, Ms. Smarty Pants. Then she tried to put his finger in a device that would read his pulse, but you’d think a viper was hanging onto Nathan’s finger the way he screamed about it. She kept telling him to sit still… seriously woman. HE’S ONLY THREE AND HE’S IN PAIN. And then? Then she tried to take his blood pressure. THAT was an EPIC FAIL. He kicked and writhed and screamed and frantically tried to get the cuff off his arm while screaming that it hurt. He knocked the wires loose, aggravating Ms. Meanie even more. She said he needed to sit still and calm down or she wouldn’t be able to get a reading.

I may have laughed a little loudly.

Of course, she couldn’t get a reading for his blood pressure because he was way too upset. “Well,” she huffed. “It won’t read because he won’t calm down.” No shit, Sherlock. She pretty much yanked the cuff off his arm, irritation oozing from her pores so thickly it was almost tangible. Apparently, this woman had never been in the same room with a child before. I think she should find a different job.

At any rate, after all that, we were finally able to head home. Nathan’s upper lip was so swollen from the impact that he looked like a pitiful little duckling. His gums were a vicious purple color, and the abrasions on his upper and lower lips were bright red. Poor kid looked like he had been through the mill. We stopped at a nearby ice cream parlor and let him eat his fill of chocolate ice cream, which lifted his little spirits somewhat.

After all that, next on the agenda was getting him to a dentist. That’s another post in and of itself, so I’ll write about that next time.

In the meantime, keep the little man in your prayers.

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