Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Brush With Widowhood

We had a major scare for our family the other day, just before noon on a sunny winter day. Luckily everyone is 100% fine, so I can blog about it now.

DH was driving home to meet us for lunch (I generally work from home and don't have any more business for the year), when a woman in her car very suddenly pulled out in front of him without looking, and t-boned the front passenger side of his car. Our car is totaled, and will be in the shop for at least a month. No one was hurt - and that's what really matters! Cars can be fixed. The other driver admitted total fault. One of DH's fantasy football buddies, B, who we've had longstanding plans to get together with for their holiday Open House, was one of the police officers immediately on the scene. He drove DH home. B is a widower who remarried after his first wife was killed in a car accident at age 45.

When they arrived on our doorstep, I had a horrible flash of what it would have been like if DH had been hurt or worse, and B was the one who showed up on our doorstep to give me the news, with DS standing next to me and DD napping upstairs.

We are just so lucky that neither of the kids were in the car with him. The impact would have been on DS's side of the car. Oh, my heart hurts just thinking about it!

You believers out there, say your prayers tonight. The rest of us, hug your kids tight, because the simple fact that we're even alive and kicking right now means we are so lucky, I can't even fully comprehend it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We heart the Pediatric Dentist

Today I took both the kids to the Pediatric Dentists' office, who are relatively new in town, and have actual fellowship training in the field of pediatrics. But their biggest qualification in my son's eyes is the cool train set and tunnel slide they have in the waiting room, along with the kids' movies they play on ceiling-mounted TVs over every exam chair. There is one other local, self-proclaimed "Pediatric Dentist" in Podunkville who is suspect, and is all about cheesy marketing tactics like pictures of himself with each patient turned into a refrigerator magnet in primary colors with a fugly font (design snob coming out here), and pushing of freaky baby teeth extraction, which is IMHO way too aggressive of an approach for a child under the age of 6 without any permanent teeth! Anyway... DS has been going every few months just to have his teeth brushed well, and to acclimate him to sitting in the exam chair. It has taken about 9 months, but he has finally warmed up to the idea of letting the dentist look in his mouth for several minutes at a time. And today was his first tear-free visit!

Because DS was on the bottle for a ridiculously long time (3 years, ugh).... I was sure he'd have massive teeth problems, so we have been extremely proactive about dental care. Happy to report there isn't anything wrong with his teeth as a result of our inability to get him bottle-free on a more normal timeframe. He is a big fan of strawberry flavored toothpaste and mouth rinse at home, and chocolate flavored toothpaste is a special treat reserved for going to the dentist.

As we were leaving, and DS was about to get a prize, he suddenly asked the hygienist where the potty was, and he went. I had a realization: holy shit, my kid finally is really, truly, and actually potty-trained! Thank you baby Jebus!!

DD did really great during her very first dental visit today, as well! She loves to get her teeth brushed - all 6 and a half of them. She has 4 on top, two on the bottom, and the dentist discovered that about half of a molar has erupted on her top right side. Hmm, so that explains the nighttime crankiness we experienced recently. I had a damn hard time going back to sleep after her first wake-up, but I had mis-attributed it to having watched a superscary episode of "Celebrity Ghost Stories" on the Biography Channel. Note: it is not only the tales of hauntings that are scary, it is the visuals of these once-beautiful celebs I recall from childhood having turned into old people and/or bad plastic surgery cases! Yikes!!

Speaking of ghost stories, I want to send a thank you shout-out to Caramama and Paola for their recommendation of the delicious gothic book "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. It was my pick for the non-shitty book club I just joined, and so far it seems to have raised my esteem in some of the other members' eyes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Benign Neglect' of the '70s and '80s

"One sometimes sees these exhausted, devoted, slightly drab parents, piling out of the car, and thinks, Is all of this high-level watching and steering and analyzing really making anyone happier? Can we, for a moment, flash back to the benign neglect of the 1970s and '80s? I can remember my parents having parties, wild children running around until dark, catching fireflies. If these children helped themselves to three slices of cake, or ingested secondhand smoke from cigarettes, or carried cocktails to adults who were ever so slightly slurring their words, they were not noticed; they were loved, just not monitored. Those warm summer nights of not being focused on were liberating. In the long sticky hours of boredom, in the lonely, unsupervised, unstructured time, something blooms; it was in those margins that we became ourselves." -- Katie Roiphe in the Financial Times (as quoted in the December 3, 2010 issue of The Week)

Does Roiphe's jaunt down memory lane/dig at modern parenting strike you as gospel or gorilla shit? ( steal a delightful line from "True Blood"'s Queen Sophie-Anne)?? Discuss.