The other day, I was sharing …”because things are going so much better, I have less to write about!”
Well…The Universe must have heard me loud and clear because today, it provided me with a REAL writing opportunity!
Things started out well in the morning. Pick up after school went fine…until my son realized that he was not going home for his usual snack and relaxation. Instead, he was headed to the dentist. Yes…he had been warned and reminded. There was access to a snack, a Nintendo DS, and a charged Ipad all hoping to ease the discomfort of this appointment. None of these things seemed to make a difference to my increasingly emotional son.
The complaining turned into arguing and then escalated into a tantrum. Panic set in and I felt forced to leave the dentist office.
Embarrassed and angry, my TBP got what he wanted because I felt helpless. Despite pleading, negotiating, and threatning…he refused to cooperate and made the cleaning impossible to complete. The tantrum spilled over into the car ride and erupted at home. It continued longer than I wanted, especially after a busy day of work.
Later…much later, everyone was more calm. At this point, I heard more about the “why” of the tantrum than I cared to hear in the dentist office and among onlookers.
“The bright lights hurt my eyes! You know how sensitive my eyes are and you didn’t care!”
I know that sensory issues play a part in today’s struggle. I also know that there have been times where the fighting wasn’t worth it, so we excused him from the crowded party early or allowed him to miss the 2nd grade musical. Perhaps this sends a confusing message…
I explained that there were somethings that are nonnegotiable. The doctor and dentist and certain family responsibilities fall under that category. He listened. He repeatedly apologized and I bit my tongue. Yes, the apologies were important, but they hadn’t wiped away the hurtful words that were thrown my way in the heat of his anger.
We talked about possible solutions for next time. Sunglasses, a towel over his eyes, closing his eyes, and listening to music were all possible solutions. We discussed the need to use his words and explain to the hygenist about the light and his sensitive eyes. We talked about the need for this appointment and that cooperation would make it go faster.
At this point, we have a call into the dentist to apologize and reschedule and all computers have been put on hold until further notice.
Those of you with strong-willed children or those with sensory issues, do you have any advice besides “an apple a day keeps the dentist away?”