Emotional upheavals R us…30 January , 2013
So yesterday I bit the bullet and booked Nicola’s first dental appointment. I’m not anticipating any problems with her actual teeth but I will admit that I am not altogether sure that she’ll be willing to say “aaaah!” when the time comes. A ride on a funky chair doesn’t seem like a great way to spend a few hundred bucks to me, so I need to prep to give this the best possible chance of success.
Steamcleaner recommended a great with kids dentist to me. Apparently the guy charges medical aid rates (+1), has a giant painting of animals on the ceiling to distract the children (+1) and has excellent chair side manner with little people (+1). I phoned and booked and we’re tackling that particular tiger next week Wednesday. I also booked an appointment for myself, with the thinking that perhaps if she sees that it doesn’t hurt me then she’d be much more willing to give it a go herself.
Last night I thought was a good night to start the conversations and hype up with her. So We’re sitting in the bath and I tell her, guess what…we’re going to the dentist next week. No big whoop from her. So I say, do you know what a dentist is? Nope. So I say, it’s a doctor that will specially look at our teeth. Cool…I let that simmer for a few minutes. Then I say, do you know how a dentist looks at our teeth? Nope…Well! He has a magical toothbrush that he uses to clean our teeth and make them all sparkly (with some sound effects added to explain the zzzzzz that it makes). Then I told her it really tickles and I start laughing. I said I am SO excited to go, and she piped up that she is too!
So far so good. Similar discussions and hype about the chair, the head gear, the serviette they tie to your shirt…but all the while focusing on the tickling because I know she loves that. Wish us luck and so on…
The second thing that happened was that I noticed Nicola’s school bag’s zip was open ever so slightly. My gut told me to wait till morning to have a look inside, but I was unable to stop my curious cat side so I looked inside the communication book before bedtime. I should have listened to the other side because I was so p-ed off that I really battled to fall asleep after that.
Remember that gymnastics almost debacle I had with the school a week or so ago? Ha! They are making it part of the curriculum. Not only that but they added a letter saying that “everyone” agreed to it at that meeting – that did not the F happen, and I was there! They also said that the majority of parents were there, ahem 30 out of a possible 140 does not constitute a majority where I come from. And they said everyone who was there has already enrolled their children for it – the hell I did?! To add insult to injury they added an indemnity form for me to sign, only the whole right hand side of it has been cut off with clumsy photocopying so I don’t actually know what they want me to absolve them from.
What I wanted to do is ROAR in outrage, I wanted to storm the principal’s office and yank my daughter from their school at once, I wanted to stomp my feet and scream like a toddler…but I took some time to think about it and instead compiled a disdainful letter in response. The long and the short of it is that I will not be signing that indemnity form at all, and I will not be signing a more complete version unless they can give me a written guarantee that Nicola will not have to do any tumbling as part of the program. At the information evening they did indicate that it’s a very limited part of it, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Anyhoo, I await their response and then we’ll see.
I will in the meantime start looking at other schools. And while I’m at it I might as well start looking in the area where I hope to relocate to living wise at the same time.
As if all that wasn’t enough to put my evening in a tail spin, Nicola surprised me with THE question last night. “Where is my daddy?” And not in the passing interest kind of way she did it when she was just over a year old either – a real honest question. The first time around I managed to get away with a “Not here” response, but this time she wanted more – so I decided that she deserved more.
It’s not really that much of a surprise to be honest. I know my daughter, and she’s been skirting the issue for months now in one way or another. I’ve seen examples of this when she plays and she suddenly writes a daddy-character into the fantasy, and whenever we’re in large groups of people I sometimes notice her randomly calling people daddy to see if they’ll react or confess. They usually don’t notice, but I do…and I let it slide till now.
So I sat her down and opened up the folder of photos I have of her dad and her half brother. When I showed her the first one and I said, this is your dad and his name is so and so, she sat there in awe… She looked at his picture and looked at me and she said, “Dis my papa! Mamma…ek het ‘n pappa!” It took just about all that I had not to start crying right there and then, a real punch to the gut. I carried on showing her the pictures of them. When she saw the picture of her brother she was so excited to find out she had one and what his name was.
When she saw a picture of them together I thought it might be a good idea to point out that they don’t live together either. I told her that they had the same daddy but different mommies, and that he lived with his mommy too, she lived with me, and her dad lived with his friend (also had a picture of them together so I could show her).
She was fascinated and in awe with it all and took it in with more calmness than I anticipated from someone her age. I think it went well. Possibly the next time she asks about him we’ll have to get into more detail, and no doubt at some point I will have to try and Macguyver a meeting of some sorts…but for today, the photos where enough to answer the question.
And I even managed to keep it together till after she fell asleep before I let myself have a little weep about it. One day TGC will have a lot of explaining to do for what he has done and not done…I’ll try my best to guide her through the questions as they come up without painting him as the asshole, but it’s not easy.
At least Nicola knows that I love her more than anything in the world. Not a day goes by that I don’t show her, and expressly tell her so – I hope that she will find some strength in that when the time comes for the more serious questions to be answered.
And then just to end this post off on a somewhat lighter note for my own sanity:
I don’t know if you’ve seen the original cartoon version of Robin Hood, but there’s one point where a guy hides money in his broken leg’s cast from the sheriff and when he’s found out the sheriff shakes it out of him. Nicola was quoting that to me the other day by saying, “Mommy, taxes hurt! It hurts my foot!” Mwahaha…they mostly hurt my back pocket, but I just loved the way she said it.
She’s just such an amazing little person…