Monday, August 27, 2007

Let Me Hear You Fren-u-l8

Friday was dies ipse* - the Day of Frenectomy. We had spent a very entertaining week running through the likely consequences of this Procedure (Children 1 and 2 and I agreed in the end that 3 would go to say something irritatingly pedantic and it would put its eye out - a just and righteous outcome we all felt) and Child 3 had given its teachers a several-day count down to I Won't Be Able To Talk Day. All in all we got pretty good value out of the thing.

I have an irritating - I'll call it habit but it's more like obsession - with timeliness. Surely other people suffer from this (my Children are nodding and chorusing "yes Mom, WE suffer from this), but I think mine is frighteningly worse than the norm because I was raised by 1 scientist with a firm mind for precision which is where the need to be prompt comes from and 1 writer with a tremendous gift for imaginary catastrophes. It means I can't just leave for somewhere with travel time and a five minute window I have to add in enough time for a flat tire, a back up on the freeway and a funeral procession. Which is a long way of saying we might maybe have gotten to the ENT place an hour before 3's actual appointment.

It was okay though because for the first (and probably last) time ever they trilled happily that actually they could maybe probably see us right now, and instead of leaving us sat on our disturbingly stained lobby chairs they whisked us right into the inner sanctum. We answered the usual questions, and the nurse entertained herself by asking Child 3 to stick out its tongue and then giggling at it (at Child, not tongue). I had brought a book along (family tradition - might have mentioned it) but Child 3 insisted on being entertained (selfish little git) so instead we learned a great deal about the inner workings of the nose, and spent a little time looking in the mirror and poking our fingers up the illustrated septum. Apparently we weren't entirely quiet because we heard more giggling from outside the door.

Dr ENT arrived eventually, peered around in Child's mouth [NOTE: I had indeed told Child to take its toothbrush to school and brush its teeth before the appt. I'm very thoughtful that way. Child 3 isn't though - it forgot] AND - I almost forgot this bit - you know that big round thing on a strap that Buggs Bunny wears when he's being a doctor? Dr ENT actually had one! I've never seen one before but he solemnly donned it. Turns out it's a mirror with a hole in the middle. I suppose if you spend all your time looking up people's noses or into their not-recently-brushed gobs you need special equipment. But I digress...

He asked why we wanted this thing done and Child 3 trotted out the dentist story. Dr ENT looked down his nose at us and announced "you know, I've heard that so many times but I don't really believe it." Child 3 looked at me in terror thinking that I would shake the good Dr's hand and haul its unsnipped lingual frenulum right on out of there. However, and this isn't necessarily a good thing, I figured darn it, I got the Child out of school, I drove all the way out here AND I paid the stupid co-pay - we're getting this thing snipped dadgummit!

Child 3 had its mouth stuffed with cotton loaded with topical anesthetic which made things much quieter for a while. Then Dr ENT wandered back in and jabbed the poor Child seven or eight times with the numbing stuff and then wandered out again. We spent a very happy 20 minutes or so having a discussion, half of which sounded like "Ah, cah you uhehgag ee ow?" while more giggling came from the desk outside.

The actual Procedure was impressive and quite fun to watch since Child 3 was effectively gagged with two large clamps hanging out of its mouth. It only took a second though, and Child was cauterized, declamped and given a small glass of ice for its trouble. We managed to get out the door before our actual appointment time - a personal record.

Poor Child 3 chattered unintelligibly and delightedly down to the car, out the parking lot and about two blocks up the street before the numbing meds wore off. I think it hadn't considered that part of things so it was highly affronted that Procedures can be painful. I assured it that mouths heal quickly, and that it would feel better soon (which was received politely but with the thanks it deserved) and since the poor little insect was clearly unhappy we stopped by Target for some orajel type stuff which restored some of Child's spirits.

Child 3 has spent the entire weekend in delighted exploration of its new tongue. As a parent I should be filled with the wonder of seeing an offspring discover something anew like this. However this process has pretty much meant: "Hey, Mom! Check out the bottom of my tongue! There's a black pit there, isn't it gross?" and "You know what?? The underside of my tongue feels really slimy and squishy and soft!" and "Hey! I keep thinking I have stuff in my teeth and you know what? It's my TEETH!! HA!"

Sheer poetry.

*I fought it, I really did. I was going to put the stupid pun right up there in the very first sentence but I managed to resist and instead I'll put it here. You can ignore it if you like. "It wasn't dies ipse, it was dies snipse." I'm sorry.

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