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Thursday, May 5, 2016

No sympathy for Mom

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I was raised in a family that had very little sympathy for minor injuries or illnesses. One of those families that would laugh hysterically first, when you fell, then ask if you were okay, and then later feel bad for laughing if you were really hurt. Well, why should I expect any different from my kids then if they share the same chromosomes as my twisted family. At family get-togethers, some of our best laughs are reminiscing about different times one of us fell, no kidding. Could be 20 years ago, and it's still a knee slapper.

So, I shouldn't have expected anything less after my trip to the dentist last week. I know going to the dentist is routine and most of the time only causes a small amount of pain, no matter what you have done, so it's not like I anticipated much sympathy. But since I was getting numbed, I knew what to expect with my kids once we got home.....ridicule, belly laughs and possibly some pictures to capture the moment.

Last week I had some minor dental work done on some old fillings and it'd been years since I'd had anything more than a cleaning. I was dreading the numbing shot and drilling sounds but I kept telling myself if I could bear three children, one al naturale, as well as endure major knee surgery, I could, for Pete's sakes, brave a couple little needles poked into my gums. No big deal. However, I obviously was NOT paying attention when they first scheduled my appointment, because I thought they'd be numbing one side on the bottom. So when she said she'd be numbing the top gums, not only on one side but both sides, I was a little worried about the effects this was going to have on my face once this whole ordeal was over.

All the girls were in school that afternoon and I'd planned a few errands to run before I picked them up, but as I laid there staring at the ceiling tiles listening to the two masked women tear into my molars, I wondered if this new face I was going to have thanks to the numbing would be too embarrassing to present in public. I remembered my oldest daughter asking me when I dropped her off at school that morning, with a hopeful smile on her face, "Hey isn't your dentist appointment today? So, will your face still be numb when you pick me up?" Apparently, she was really looking forward to my distorted expressions. I figured I'd look a little weird but that was when I thought it would be ONE shot, on the bottom tooth, not double shots all on top.

When the drilling finally ceased and all the pleasant dental tools were removed from my mouth, I sat up and began to assess my facial situation. When I tried to answer the Tech, my entire top lip remained stone still, my nose was about the only thing south of my eyes that sort of worked. So, essentially my bottom lip, chin and nose were now going to be how I expressed myself for the rest of the day. I shot out of the dentist office as fast as I could in hopes no one would say anything that would require me to smile, acting as if they'd never seen numb faces in that office...yeah, right.

Once I got in my truck, I whipped open the visor mirror and TRIED to give my usual smile. YIKES! It was beyond scary! It looked like a cross between the Elephant Man and the guy from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I couldn't help but bust out laughing at the site of my absurdly deformed face. I knew my kids was gonna get a real kick out of this later, but my immediate fear was how I was going to pick up my preschooler since I had to go IN to get her and how was I going to get my errands ran.

I did manage to slip in to the preschool superfast, grab my 4 year old and escape without anyone knowing half of my face was out of order. I then went to pick up the older girls, a little nervous about the ridicule I was about to receive. My oldest daughter got in the truck busy talking about her day and must have temporarily forgotten about the dentist.

I kept my responses to simple "Hmm's", causing no upper facial movements and made sure to look forward and not directly at her. It wasn't till I'd picked up the 9 year old and we were half way home when they remembered the numbing I received and asked me to smile.

I covered my mouth and refused to show them my hideousness until we got home. I wanted the moment of combined humiliation and amusement to be in a safe environment, not behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Well, after we got home, I flashed them my best smile and received the reaction I expected. My three girls broke out in gut-busting laughs, fell on the floor giggling, pointing and wiping the tears from their eyes. Despite the pain throbbing in my jaws, I laughed right along with them. I didn't expect them to ask if I was okay or was having any pain. I knew that if they were anything like me, they'd laugh first, then apologize for laughing later.

It was cheap entertainment enjoyed by all, at my expense, and thank goodness it was only temporary!

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Jennifer Morgan
Motherhood Moments
-- Jennifer Morgan is the mother of three girls and lives in McCook.