Today was no different. "He has a little cavity again," says Ms. Dentist.
"Why does he have one e-v-e-r-y time we come?" I wanted to know.
"Well," sighs Ms. Dentist, "could be his chalky teeth, could be diet, could be reflux." I had to inquire about the meaning of chalky as it pertains to teeth. New to me. Rough and slightly more porous than they ought to be, in case you were wondering.
Not only had our traditional six month cavity made an appearance, but his seals were worn off his back teeth. Gone.
"Gone??" I was scratching my head by this point in the conversation. "How does that happen?"
"Well," Ms. Dentist sighs again, eyebrows raised and shakes her head, sucks her teeth. "Could be his chalky teeth, could be diet, could be reflux."
"And," she continued, "sometimes it's just hereditary. Do you or his Dad have reflux?"
"Yep. His Dad. And his Grandmother, both Grandfathers, and a couple of aunts and uncles and cousins."
"Well!" Ms. Dentist's arms opened wide, palms up. "There it is. See you next time to fill that cavity and reapply his seals. Have a wonderful day."
There it is my foot. I got my kids by adoption, not by birth. Our entire family tree could be toothless. Every relative on every branch of both our family trees could have hiatal hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, heartburn. (Incidentally, hunky hubby calls relatives that are fairly far out the branches of the family tree 'branch kin'. It makes me cringe when he does, but it does paint a pretty accurate visual image.)
At any rate, no consanguinity. (I love that word.)
In the car after we left Jr. Mint's asking me about reflux - is it the same thing Dad has, what are we gonna do, why do we have to do anything, why does he have to have yet another doctor, can't he just be a person who has reflux?
"No," I said, "you can't. Know why? Because it's fixable. And if we fix it now, you won't have to deal with it in your adult life. You won't need that additional doctor. You won't have to take medication, sleep on a wedge or raise the head of your bed, stay away from spicy food, or have people cart you to the ER when you think you're having a heart attack. It's just like your teeth. We do braces now so you don't have headaches and TMJ and tooth erosion and bite problems when you're grown. You spend a lot more years being grown than being a kid. You want to go into adulthood with every physical advantage we can muster."
And then, then, here's what came out of my mouth to wrap up that snappy little diatribe. "Someday you'll thank me."
Nnnnnnnewwwwwwwww! Did I? Did I, did I really say it? Yeppers. In any event, I digress. That's immaterial to the point, but I felt the need to confess. I've become my Mother. *shudder*
We had forty eleven errands to run after the dentist, for which the first two Jr Mint couldn't eat or drink anything (for thirty minutes after the fluoride treatment). So now I have a Gloomy Gus accompanying me, dreary and dejected, put-upon. Grievous, heinous, shocking information had been uncovered which threw my nine year old into such a deplorable funk I was tempted to cut short the errands.
"Mom! How can you take this so calmly??? I have another cavity, which means another shot in my mouth, more drilling, FAT lips, NO eating for HOURS after, and nowwwwww, on top of all that, I got Dad's REFLUX TOO????? This is big, Mom. I'm nine years old, I have five doctors." (insert big eyeroll here)
"Ok, lets try to approach this from another angle," I respond. "You know how when you have plantar fasciitis during soccer season, and your feet hurt so badly, who is it that knows exactly what to do? And why?"
"Dad. It's Dad. Because he has it too."
"Uh huh. And when your neck is sore after you come home from the Chiropractor, who knows how to put ice packs then heat packs on it and rub it down with muscle rub?"
"Dad. It's Dad. Because he has it too."
"Yessir. And when you have writing assignments and you're sitting at the kitchen table with a pencil in one hand and your head in the other, who is it that knows exactly how you feel and commiserates with you?"
"Dad. It's Dad. He hates writing too. Mom? Do you guess God knew all that when he made me your son?"
Did He ever.