It Will Hurt (but there will be ice cream)

Hank was so brave he earned a whole extra carton of ice cream (he chose butter pecan because he's half American)

Hank and his hard earned ice cream.


(getting on our coats)

Hank: Mom, I am beyond anticipation.

Me: Are you now nervous?

Hank: Very.

Me: All people fear the dentist. Everyone.  The dentist will not take it personally, unless you bite them.  Never bite your dentist.

Hank: That’s not what I am worried about.  They are all very nice.

Me: Then what are you worried about?

Hank: (pause) Will it hurt?

Me: Would you like me to lie to you or do you want to face the truth?


Me: I need to know the level of preparation you can handle, because regardless you will still be having this procedure even if you cry, especially if you cry.

Hank: Mom, will it hurt?

Me: Yes.

Hank: (groan and buckle with a nervous giggle)

Me: They will entirely numb your upper lip, but that injection hurts, like a vaccine. It is a pinch and a burn and then they will be working in your mouth with bright lights and pressure for 30 minutes, but I promise you that you can handle it.


Me: You survived mononucleosis. You have gotten IV’s. You have been sick for weeeeeeks at a time with high fevers and whole body pain.  This will be 30 uncomfortable and probably scary minutes of your life but it may save you years and years of painful braces.





Hank: 30 minutes is better than years.

Me: Yes and this will be the worst experience you will ever have at the dentist.  Every other visit will be like a spa day.  This is not typical.  Do not judge the dentist based on today.  Go in, be as brave as possible and know after 30 minutes you will never have to experience this again.

Hank: And I get to eat ice cream.

Me: I got two huge cartons just for you.  No one else.

Hank: But what if I need braces?

Me: Then I will get you braces.

Hank: But they are so expensive!

Me: And I will gladly pay any price for your smile! I love your smile! And besides you take care of yourself and I want to invest in that.  Most other 10 year olds need to be reminded to take care of their oral hygiene, but not you! Twice a day, every day and flossing without me saying a word!

Hank: I like to take care of myself.

Me: And I like to support that. So… are you ready?

Hank: No, but I am going anyway.

Me: Brave people are just as scared as a coward, they just do it anyway.

Hank: Will you hold my hand?

Me: I will hold your hand and won’t let go.


(Hank endured the cutting of his upper frenulum with only tears and minor wailing. I myself would not have done as well. Three hygienists were in the room to restrain him, but he sat still as a stone and everyone was beyond impressed with how he endured while they completed their work.  Hank has ten stitches and earned himself an extra carton of ice cream and a day off school.  It was not easy for him, but I held his hand the whole time which he said helped.)



Molly with her Uncle Deshi (Jesse) and I. Photo by Grace

Molly running to catch up to her Uncle Deshi (Jesse) with me in the background gamboling. Photo by Grace


Molly: (chirping from her bedroom)

Me: (entering without knocking, singing with great exuberance) Goood morning, STARSHINE! The Earth says HELLLLLOOO! You Twinkle Above us! You twinkle below!

Molly: MAMA STAWP! No singing.

Me: (defeated)

Molly: Mama, I DREAM.

Me: (sitting across from her) Tell me all about your dream.

Molly: I dream mama left baby at Continente (supermarket).

Me: You dreamed that a baby got lost at Continente (supermarket)? Got lost from their mother?

Molly: Yah! In the bathroom with hand dryer AND MAMA I was baby and you were the mama.

Me: You dreamt that you got separated from me in the bathroom of Contiente (supermarket), the one with the scary loud hand dryer?


Me: And you didn’t know where I was?!

Molly: (so super serious) That was my dream.

Me: And did you find me?

Molly: Yah, just now.  I find you now when I wake up.

Me: Was it a scary dream or were you brave?

Molly: Hum, I call you.  I be brave and I call you, “Mama! Mommy? MAMMAA!” And the hand dryer was SCARY LOUD and I no see you and I call you and I scared, but I no cry and I brave.

Me: Do you know what to do if you ever really in real life get lost?

Molly: No.

Me: In forest you hug a tree, in the city you sit on a bench and in a centro comercial (mall) you go to someone at a balcão (counter), someone who works in a store and you say, “Ora, com licença (Now, excuse me) I am lost and I need help.

Molly: Eu estou perdido e precisa ajuda (I am lost and need help).

Me: Exactly.

Molly: Wow.

Me: Did you know I got lost at a centro comercial (mall) once when I was little like you?

Molly: (riveted) You did?!

Me: Yup and I knew what to do.  I went into a store and I walked up to the woman working behind the counter and I said, “I know where my mommy is, but I don’t know how to get there.  Can you help me?” And she said, “Yes, I can help you.” And then a police man came.

Molly: A police man?

Me: Yes, which made me a little afraid, but then the police man said, “Joy, I know where your mommy Kate is and I would like to take you to her.” So he picked me up and carried me to my mommy and she was crying and because she was crying I started crying, but until then I had been very brave and not scared because I knew what to do, but because of the police man and my mom crying I started to think I was in trouble, but I wasn’t.  And then my mommy said, “I am crying because I am so happy.” And then I got a balloon with feet and had a nice lunch with my grammy and grandpa and your grammy and grandpa snitch and uncle Jesse…

Molly: (eyes wide) Uncle Deshi! I love Uncle Deshi!

Me: I know! So what do you do if you ever get lost from me in a dream or in real life?

Molly: Um, I go say, “I lost, but I know where my mommy is!”

Me: And you stay with them and I will find you.

Molly: (bolting into my arms) I love you so much!

Me:  (soaking in the best hug ever) I love you so much.  Be brave and I will always find you.


The Doc Is In

Molly sporting three tutus One is black and was requested because, "More POOF please, mama."

Molly sporting three tutus. 


Me: (clockwatching)

Molly: (concentrating on her coloring)

Me: MaGoo…

Molly: Allll done com (with) colors, mama. Now, I a doctor.

Me: Fantastic.

Molly: And you’re sick, mama?

Me: Unavoidably.

Molly: You come to my clinic?

Me: Yes, for treatment

Molly: Yes. Tree-mint.

Me: Where is your clinic?

Molly: In my room. Come on!

Me: (three minutes to bedtime, groan) Oh doctor! I need your help!

Molly: (bouncing off to her room in the three tutus she insisted were necessary this morning)

Me: (slothing my way behind her picking up books and things along the way, knock on the door)

Molly: (opens the door wearing a stethoscope) The Doc is in!

Me: Doctor, I am sick.

Molly: Come into my clinic.

Me: (groan)

Molly: What the problem, mommy?

Me: I ate a live octopus and he is wiggling in my stomach.

Molly: Oh, that is a problem.  Lay down on your face.

Me: So the octopus doesn’t escape?

Molly: I need to check your back.

Me: Oh.

Molly: (stethoscopes from my skull to my feet) The Octopus is dead.

Me: He is?

Molly: He is now food. Do you feel better?

Me: I do.

Molly: MY TURN!

Me: (formulating a plan, take the stethoscope) My name is, Doctor Hanford, what seems to be the trouble?

Molly: I ate a dinosaur!

Me: You did? In one sitting?

Molly: (pinching her fingers for scale) It a little dinosaur and now he wants to get out!!!

Me: You didn’t cook him?

Molly: NO! He so cute, so cute I just… Gobble Him UP!

Me: (riots of laughter) Well, there is your problem. (applying the stethoscope to her stomach) Hum… ah-huh… hum.  Did your dinosaur have spikes?

Molly: No, it a pterodactyl.

Me: A flyer! Well, then you must be admitted to the hospital overnight.

Molly: Overnight?

Me: Like a hospital sleepover.

Molly: Hurray!

Me: We will have to get you into pajamas, right now, then brush our teeth, then read a book to the pterodactyl in your belly and one to you and then you will have to go directly to sleep. That is my prescription.

Molly: Okay! (bounds off toward her pajama drawer)


(And that is how bedtime last night went off without a hitch. Molly is eagerly awaiting her pterodactyl poop, but that is a whole other conversation!)