Feeling the pressure.
Yeah, well, I’ve decided pressure can actually hurt quite a lot. I’ve also decided Daddy will be doing the dentist visits with Small, because there is no way I can sustain cheerful, positive conversation on the way to one of the worst experiences of my life. Yes, I did give birth with a chemical induction, multiple interventions and pitocin contractions. This is worse.
When I was about twelve, some brilliant dentist decided I had two choices: four teeth pulled, or braces and possible later impaction of wisdom teeth. Well, that seemed like a no-brainer. Braces AND surgery, or four teeth out? I had the two pulled from the left side. Having teeth broken up and extracted, a numb face and a mouth full of blood is reasonably traumatic at any age, I’d postulate.
Going back two weeks later… well, it took three adults to get me in the chair, and I was not a large or even average-sized twelve-year-old. I still remember the sound. A dental drill’s whine is nothing compared to the cracking and grinding of one’s bones, just a couple inches away from your ears, or the godawful splintering and tugging sensation. After the second extraction, I had so much anaesthetic in my face that I chewed a huge chunk out of my lower lip, which took months to heal and left a nice lump of scar tissue just inside the left side of my mouth.
It’s fair to say I loathe the dentist. I’m attempting to make my peace with them and repair my relationship before embarking on deal adventures with my child, so these school holidays have seen me finally seek attention for the cracked wisdom tooth I knew was lurking. This time, thank god, there was much less pain and more … pressure. The terrible, terrible irony? After another x-ray, I’ve been given another choice: have it’s twin pulled or filled. I’m not sure how I’m going to muster the nerve to willingly surrender myself to another extraction and recovery, but apparently this is what growing up means. Think of that, the next time your child is unpleasantly denouncing you as “Not the boss of me!” and smile a little inside, for the delights of car insurance, mortgage repayments and responsibility for dental health are all going to be part of their great and glorious freedom.