Easy peasy breezy Zozo

I was reminded today how lucky I am to have a laid-back kid who doesn’t freak out about stuff. The reminder came at this morning’s dentist appointment, her usual six-month check-up. I booked it for first thing in the morning to get it out of the way, so we were there by 8:30 and didn’t have to wait long. There were two other families in the waiting area, one of whom had already sent their child back and the other a mother waiting with her daughter who appeared to be about seven years old. The daughter was snuggled up tight to her mom, and looked terrified. She whimpered softly every few minutes, and her mother whispered what I can only assume were calm assurances that everything would be fine.

After the tech took Zoe back, another family showed up: mom and three boys. Two of the boys headed straight back to the game room where kids can wait free from annoying parental distraction. The third, well, we could hear him wailing before they even hit the door. Mom deposited him just inside and checked in the two other boys at reception, saying, “I don’t know what to do. It’s not even his turn today but he won’t believe me.” I felt terrible for her…there was absolutely nothing she could do to calm him down. Even after the tech came out and retrieved his brothers, he continued to cry. Maybe he was worried for them? He sobbed until they left, which happened to be just before us as the brothers didn’t require x-rays as Zoe did. I wonder how long he cried after they departed.

Zoe was anxious at her first visit, I remember. And I remember my heart breaking as the tech led her, and Hootie of course, back for her check-up. Parents aren’t allowed back, the tech explained gently, because it’s easier for them to get the patients to calm down without an anxious mom or dad hovering nearby. Still, when it was her turn, Zo didn’t cry or cling to my legs, as another little boy did this morning when it was time for his. She bravely shouldered her fear and went back. When she came out, she was smiling. “That wasn’t so bad. And I got a bouncy ball!” The kid is clearly easy to please. It also helps that she has good teeth, like her parents, and so far has only been subject to check-ups, cleaning, and x-rays. No cavities or other painful dental work. She did have two baby teeth pulled on the same day, but she weathered that with a wan smile and a positive outlook: the Tooth Fairy was pulling double-duty that night and she’d get twice her normal take.

Zozo also visited the optometrist today, for her annual eye exam. She laughed that it took the tech about five tries to do the glaucoma test because she kept blinking. Oh, sister. It always takes me that many times, too. I hate the air puff, although over the years I’ve come to terms with it and no longer start sweating about it hours before. She shrugged about it, and I had to laugh that she placed no blame on herself whatsoever…the tech simply pushed the button at the wrong time and caught her blinking.

Thinking back to her toddler years, I can count on one hand the number of times we had to remove her from a restaurant or other public space because of a meltdown, and those were due to missed naps/bedtimes or starting to get sick. I see other parents struggling to help their children and think about how fortunate we are to have a kid who simply rolls with it, whatever or wherever or whenever “it” is. She’s a good traveler, too, and can easily be bought off for a delayed flight or train with a Toblerone and some snuggles. Very few complaints, ever.

It would be very easy for me to look at other parents and judge them for the behavior of their children, but I realize that we are just lucky. Very, very lucky.

#blog#observations#personal essay#writing#zoe

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