William had a routine dentist appointment today. We've been going every 6 months since he was 20 months old. Every visit gets worse for him. His memory is such that he actually remembers that first visit at 20 months old and that's the one he refers to the most. His gum was poked and he still hasn't recovered, and I'm not kidding. I've written before about how William is an old soul, a kid with a memory and a mind like his Uncle Brandon, and has the emotions of a hormonal crazy 14 year old girl. Wrap all of that up into a cute little blonde package and send him to the dentist and it's a freaking nightmare. We've read books, discussed it, watched YouTube clips of little kids getting their teeth cleaned, let Drew go first and rave about the new toothbrush and her balloon - blah, blah, blah. His anxiety could never be penetrated regardless of the method.
Today, however, we experienced a breakthrough. He told me on the way the dentist that he was feeling a little cold, that when he gets nervous he feels cold. I could see in his face that he was nervous but he wasn't whining and there were no tears. I was afraid to discuss anything dentist-related so we chatted about other stuff all the way there. We pulled in and I expected him to fall to pieces but he didn't. We held hands and walked in and he was doing just fine. He told the lady about his stitches and we went to play the video games before he was called in. He took x-rays. He sat in the big kid chair and opened his mouth. He let her polish his teeth. He let the fabulousamazinggentle dentist poke around his teeth. They counted them in the mirror together. She gave us an A+ for brushing and congratulated him for being a member of the No Cavity Club. He got his goody bag and TWO balloons for being such a superstar. He was amazing.
This is a huge milestone. Especially for sensitive, emotional William. He'll be 4 in a couple weeks and I have to often remind myself that he is only 3 still sometimes. Today, though, he did not act like a 3 year old. He was brave and strong and talked himself through some of the times that he felt like he wanted to cry. I have never been more proud of him.
As with every dental visit, the child whose appointment it is gets to choose whatevertheywant for an after-appointment treat. Drew usually chooses ice cream. Today William chose to go to the pet store to look around. I love that. He had to go to school after his appointment but later this afternoon we'll take a trip to the pet store to look around. It'll be a great time.
Love seeing maturity in my kids. I normally mourn milestones but this is one I am happy to see arrive.