Monday, October 06, 2008

When my daughter walked into the dentist's office the first thing her eyes landed on was a wall to wall fish tank. "Fishies!" she cried. Then came several minutes of shrieking, pointing, and using her words to point out the fishies in the tank. Pink fish. Green fish. Thin fish. Starfish. Blue car.

The blue car was a piece of fish furniture. More words than I've heard from her at one event in a while. Meaningful use of language to label objects, coupled with turning to me several times and smiling. More than smiling, she was laughing. Her face and body lit up with the joy. I forgot that I was sore, forgot that I was tired, forgot my own fears.

The first dentist visit ever. I'm still scared of the dentist; it's been years and I've been pain free from the teeth since the last extraction healed. I have no teeth left to hurt. So why am I scared? Because this is my daughter. My child. My thirty-years-younger identical twin, and she is still non-communicative for the most part despite the immense progress she's made this year. How do you get her to do what must be done at the doctor, when she is beyond the ability to hold her still? How to make the first dental checkup go well, so that she has no unpleasant experiences to associate with this?

I found a good doctor. I found a good clinic. The visit went well. My daughter stayed happy the whole night, although she went to bed Very tired and will sleep very well indeed tonight. I succeeded at this test.

Bring on the next test. I can handle it.

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