Today my little mutant becomes less mutant-ish.
little kid is a dentist's dream come true -- one of 2% of people in the world with an extra tooth, part of a smaller percentage that has both the baby and adult extra tooth, and two of his teeth have "dimples" which is far less adorable than it sounds since it's a genetic anomaly that requires filling.
Now that little teeth are falling out and bigger teeth are growing in, that little mouth is running out of room...particularly since the front and center adult tooth is gigantic.
His dentist is like the Willy Wonka of dentistry, but only in the fun-kind-of-creepy sort of way and not in a might-give-you-a-candy-factory kind of way. When he informed me about the extra teeth, it was with a glassy-eyed excitement and with a slight enthusiastic tremor to his voice. Dude was psyched. It was presented as a great honor. I think we were both seeing dollar signs, his coming and mine going, and our levels of excitement were not in alignment.
The dimple announcement was similar -- full of delight and wonder and met with bored questions from me on how insurance feels about tooth mutants.
As we peered into his tiny mouth, I asked, "Doesn't that adult tooth seem big?"
"Oh, it's huge!" he answered, simply with a smile, not a care in the world. I don't know, homeboy must get kickbacks from whatever orthodontist will eventually make us poor.
When I told little kid his appointment was approaching, his face fell. "I don't want my teeth out!"
"It won't hurt," I lied, because moms do that.
"I won't be special anymore!! I love my monster tooths!"
It has been a fixture in our family since its discovery -- his monster tooth, his sweet tooth, his shark tooth, depending on our mood and his behavior.
"But your mouth can't fit all of those teeth. Your teeth will grow in crooked."
"It won't look as nice as straight teeth."
"But it makes me special!! No one has extra teeth and now I'll be just like all of them. I don't even care if my smile is crooked. I'm one of 2% in the whole world!"
Man, I envy that kind of confidence and positive self-esteem. I don't care about my jacked-up grill, I just want to be different! Secretly, in a hidden little corner of my heart, I'll miss that monster tooth. I love that little mutant face.
He has asked a few more times if it will hurt and I vaguely promise that drugs will be involved, but I'm worried sick about the hurting part. The last time this dentist gave him nitrous, he kept repeating in a bizarre, sing-song voice, "little kid, it's going to feel like you're on a roller coaster ride, but you are right here with me and your mommy so even if it feels like you're in a magical place or if there are lots of colors or you feel like you are flying, you are just here in this room with your mother and dentist. You may feel like you're on a roller coaster, but you are really right here...safe with me...safe with your mother..." over and over and over again in a hypnotist-type voice.
I wanted to scream, "DUDE, you're making me have a bad trip and I'm not on drugs!! Quit being a freaking weirdo about it!"
As soon as we left the building, little kid said, "I didn't feel like I was on a rollercoaster, I just felt like he was talking and acting weird," and I answered, "He was."
So, I'm both looking forward to, and not looking forward to, that.
Wish us luck--little kid for joining us average-mouthed folks, me for the cost and anxiety of dealing with all of this weirdness, and the dentist in acting like a normal person who isn't hosting an acid trip.