Well, holy hell, Jane had her first dentist appointment today. And it was awful. Purely awful.
It was at a wonderful pediatric dentist's office. The place was great - toys, books, kid-friendly art, friendly staff - really perfect. The dentist came out to talk to us before we went into exam room - he was a very friendly older man who talked to me about how his whole goal is to make sure Jane doesn't ever get cavities - he said 99% of dentist offices have the goal of fixing teeth, and his is to make sure his patients' teeth don't need fixing - and Jane was smiling at him and all was well.
Until we went into the exam room.
Jane FREAKED. THE. EFF. OUT. He let her sit on my lap but every time he went for her mouth she screamed. And cried. And thrashed. I got kicked in the mouth at one point. He took her aside to talk to her a bunch of times. He had me leave the room for a while. He told her "kids who go there don't get to act like this." I wasn't upset that he was reprimanding her - he told me that kids to this to gain control, and frankly, Jane needs reprimanding at times - but for whatever reason, this is when I got weepy. Oh yes, they had to hand me tissues. I felt like such a loser. But Jane was gasping for breath because she was crying so hard and I felt like such a failure for not preparing her enough even though I really, really tried - so he was able to count her teeth and brush a bit, but let us go before the cleaning because he didn't want her to be terrified to come back.
Too late, I think. Even though she got a balloon, a new toothbrush and a purple ring, she told me when we left, "I don't want to be friends with him."
I asked them if she was the worst patient ever. They said no. I tried to do my usual thing - make jokes about the situation - by offering to bring Advil next time we came. But I felt so awful after. It was the worst appointment I've ever had with her, including the time they had to cut the weird-looking mole off her hand when she was one.
I think we'll BOTH need Valium when she goes back in three months.