How much Halloween?

Each holiday season I am faced with considering how much of a certain holiday I want my kids to participate in.  I have friends whose involvement in ever-pervasive Halloween, Easter or Christmas American traditions ranges from none at all to full acceptance of every bit of it all– candy, stories that have not much to do with the origins or religion of the holiday, etc.

I guess I end up analyzing things each year for a few different reasons.

Some of it has to do with the fact that these holidays are incredibly secularized… Americanized… materialistic… and have little to do with any religion origins, whereas I have religious Holy Days and holidays that I want to emphasize to my children that do differ from the majority of holidays we celebrate here in the U.S. that are/were determined by Christianity.

If I celebrate something, I want to give respect to the religious tradition is sprang forth from.  I’m pretty inclusionary, however, so it doesn’t bother me for my children to participate and learn about the traditions of many different religions– it’s just that the hardest part of that is emphasizing the virtues and Baha’i celebrations when their friends and school overwhelmingly emphasize and celebrate other hoildays.

So part of me feels torn b/c I feel the need to explain to my kids the origin of what we are doing… not just send them off on an Easter egg hunt with no understanding of Christianity or springtime pagan rituals.

But right now it’s Halloween time and I also have do deal with the emphasis of candy and food.  And some people think even thinking about not doing it is being way too serious and depriving your kids.  But it’s different for people that are either in the food allergy/intolerance world or simply don’t eat fake stuff.  

We kind of do trick or treating just because everyone else does and its fun and the kids want to do fun stuff that everyone else will be doing.  It’s fun to dress up.  It’s certainly fun to get “treats”.  I haven’t delved into the All Hallow’s Eve, or Celtic and Pagan traditions with them.

I’m somewhere between wanting to teach my kids the holidays I deem more important and accepting that some things have evolved into American traditions, and we participate in them because of that, not so much because of religious reasons.  Certainly fall and harvest and pumpkins and spices are fun to celebrate.  

As far as the fact that our kids don’t each gluten, dairy or artificial colors and flavors, they think the Switch Witch is super cool.  I don’t know if that evolved in the food allergy world or not (but I’d bet that it did) but my kids totally accept that the Switch Witch switches out the candy that is not good for their bodies with good stuff.  I know some people switch it out with toys instead… we’ve done safe candies/treats in much more moderate amounts.  

It would be hard for me to not participate in Halloween at all— children are just so adorable all dressed up. And as much as I don’t like a religious holiday being diluted or the fact that all this candy is just such pure artificial GMO’d junk— I like that the kids walk around and see their neighbors.  Americans have lost so much community.  Fall festivals and traditions can and should be neighborly.  That’s what I like about it, so we just work around the food and other objections, I guess!


The third time around

I’m going to try to start blogging a bit more again. I started this blog around this time of the year when I was pregnant with Ada, so maybe it’s fitting if I write a bit more again at this time of year when I am pregnant with our third. He will be born sometime around 4-6 weeks before our second, in November instead of December.

I feel like motherhood has been a collection of joining new clubs, so to speak. First you are pregnant or with a young child, and you can kind of automatically have a new sentence or two to speak with other moms you see in a check out line. It took me about a year to realize that socializing with other moms was something I needed more than at random moments (I was in college and knew NO other mothers for a while).

So I joined the pregnancy club. Then the I-want-a-natural-birth club and had a doula. Then the breastfeeding club. The cloth diapering club. The babywearing club. Then with my second, I was even more bowled over to join the food allergy/intolerance club. And here I am again, realizing that I’ve joined a whole new club that I never saw coming. It just feels *different* having a third. Going from a four person family to a five person family just feels like you are graduating up to that next level of familyhood again. We had to get a bigger car– we will have a baby at the same time as a first grader. I have two kids at completely different stages of development… whereas when I had a 2 year old and a baby and a small car it didn’t seem that different going from one to two. And at restaurants the four person table would do just fine.

But now I’ll have three. I guess I’ll also join the I-have-a-boy club. Which I don’t believe, at this point, will be *nearly* as different as people want me to believe, but sure it’s still different. In respect to birth/babyhood, the decision to circumcise or not is probably the most different thing, but people already want to impose so many personality traits, assigned by gender, on the kid even though he isn’t even born yet. But our girls play with tools, love robots and have clothes that are not pink, so I’m not that convinced that it will be “a totally different world” as everyone wants me to believe.

Things have been different for me personally, the third time around, something I never knew to expect. As a third pregnancy, apparently— my body has enlightened me and all my mother friends and midwives have confirmed— you feel every single stretch and loosening and pregnancy symptom (related to getting bigger at least) quite a bit more. Oh, I feel *everything*. I have one strip of ab muscle that has hurt from 2-3 months pregnant… before I was showing at all. I get contractions all the time. I get the cervical pains all the time. The midwives say that the body simply has a harder time each pregnancy getting those ab muscles to stretch and the ligaments to loosen. I also have worse pains after birth as the uterus clamps back down to look forward to. I do remember it was quite a bit worse with Ada, each time she’d nurse I get cramps, and that is supposed to happen more so the third time.

It’s all worth it of course, but like all those other clubs, expecting a third kid introduced me to differences I’d never considered.

Some things this time around have been better. I’ve gained weight easier, been able to control the ridiculous heartburn easier through diet changes (knowledge afforded me by being in the food intolerance club and learning to understand how food affects me better— kids teach us so much!), no longer have low iron (probably from being gluten-free). I wish I could say the morning sickness was different but I was still sick for months, and months, and months. Having a boy didn’t seem to help that.

I’ve been in labor twice and it’s daunting to think of the third time around. But I tell myself it will happen, I can’t stop it, and soon it will be three years later and all this pregnancy/labor pain will be a memory and he’ll be talking and playing.

Some things I had thought I’d do the third time around I didn’t. I thought I’d have a homebirth if I ever had a third. I moved from hospital with the first to birth center with the second, and figured homebirth would be the next way I’d go. Part of me still mourns the thought that I won’t do it that way, however, we had some solid logical reasoning. The birth center I go to and trust is about a hour and a half away, in Chapel Hill, NC. The midwives are backed up by Chapel Hill’s hospital— so much better, more mother/baby friendly and respected than the hospital here in Fayetteville, NC. The thought of going back to the hospital here if there was a true emergency during a planned homebirth (as small of a chance as that is) was just decidedly *not* appealing to me or my husband.

I hope to make it in time to have a water birth this time, as with my second I made it to the birth center and had about 20 minutes before I gave birth.

My hopes for the third birth…. a water birth, another short labor– not so short I don’t make the drive up there, but not agonizingly long either!– and another good recovery, in the first four weeks postpartum. I’ve been blessed thus far. I get weekly chiropractic adjustments, which help with positioning the baby so he isn’t breech and keeping the mother’s labor short, with the other two I did yoga… this time I should be… and I stay as active and on my feet as I can. After the birth I breastfeed, which helps the mother’s uterus tone back down and I’ll do that again as well.

My hopes for the third baby…. oh, I don’t know, maybe he’ll pop out and sleep all night and not be colicky since I’m already gluten-free? Totally unlike the second? Well, at least I know the knowledge I gained with her may help us out!

Three months since a blog post? Wow, well, that sounds about right. I spent most of March, April, and May dealing with debilitating nausea, and most of June recovering. I am expecting my third baby. With each, the “morning” sickness has been awful, and different from each pregnancy but debilitating in its own way. This time around I lost 8 pounds and just went through the motions to feed the other kids and get my oldest to and from school.

I haven’t been writing much, professionally or otherwise, but this morning I had a nice little ole’ convo with my newly-turned six-year-old that was worth sharing.

When her sister sleeps late and it’s just us two in the morning– she really loves that. Those mornings and bedtime are when she asks all the questions that childhood provides. Last night she wanted me to explain electricity. This morning she wanted me to explain Disney’s awful version of Pocohantus.

It was on TV the other day— not really a movie I would choose for her to watch. But she has watched more and more stuff as she gets older and I’ve been sick. However, now that she’s seen parts of it, no WAY am I letting Disney educate her on American Indian history. She also wanted to know why I could say that Pocohantus was a real princess while Cinderella was not, and we had a nice little discussion on movie making and where the stories come from.

The discussion on Pocohantus and her real story led us to talk about culture, and what culture meant. I tried to call the white settlers European mostly, and designate people by their cultural groups, not racial classifications, but she’s no idiot. She asked about American Indian language, and we talked about how there are many, many, many American Indian languages. She asked if I came over to North Carolina on the European’s ships. Hah. I told her that in my great-great grandparents there were Cherokee Indians as well as Scottish people from Europe.

She didn’t quite understand that at first, but when I explained to her how she is partly made from her dad, who is Persian, and partly made from me, she started to get it. I want her to have a broad, and correct, view of cultural diversity.

So then of course we had to discuss what her Persian/Southern American culture was. And we talked about her grandparents to help her see that. She didn’t take any Southern from that, but she very much identified with the Persian side…. mostly deciding that Persian culture means she likes tea and shiny gold things. Hah. I think most Iranians will think that it funny.

From correcting bad history lessons on TV to her identifying her love of shiny jewelry with her ‘culture’. And then she asked to watch cartoons.

Part 2 – Do you participate in every religiously-connected school celebration?

I have a pretty inclusive belief system, being a member of the Baha’i Faith. I don’t mind my children being exposed to all the varying religious traditions and celebrations the world has to offer. But this last egg hunt at school, the week before Easter, did make me think about just how oriented around the Christian Faith school holidays and celebrations are.

Schools have ‘egg hunts’ not ‘Easter egg hunts’, from what I can tell. They have ‘Holiday Parties’, not ‘Christmas Parties’. Jesus Christ is never mentioned, as far as I know, or isn’t supposed to be. My fifth-grade teacher did mention Him a bit and pulled out a Bible a few times while lecturing us on being good people but she got talked to about it, I do believe.

I think schools walk a line of political correctness in not mentioning the religious aspects of the celebration.

But this makes me ask then, why celebrate Spring with an egg hunt at all?

Why did my kid come home telling me that Santa Claus only brings presents to good children, not ‘naughty’ ones? (That’s a concept that annoys me greatly, but is kind of off this main point).

Why is it okay to use these concepts to celebrate the seasons and breaks from school when they are linked closely to Christianity?

Now, it is true that many Christians do not necessarily relish the thought of religious observances they take seriously being watered down to Christmas trees and egg hunts, either. I guess my feeling is– if it is a tradition tied to religion, and that religion isn’t *actually* being taught or discussed, *why* use it?

Is it laziness on the school’s part? It’s easier to just have an egg hunt because children expect that and little plastic eggs and candy with bunnies on it are on sale at every store in town?

Why not do something to celebrate spring? Why not have a lesson about planting and bees and pollination? I’m positive that there are physical activities and games that could be fun for kids, cheap for schools, easy for teachers and educational– ones that don’t revolve around traditions that no one discusses the reasons for anymore, and when schools aren’t supposed to push religion at all.

Again, I say this not because I personally have a problem with my child learning about the religious traditions of all– but she isn’t doing that. And it’s not the school’s place. And some parents might not want them to participate in the egg hunt or “holiday” party that revolves around presents and christmas trees, and that is their right. I’m torn between seeing these things as American cultural holidays (I have an agnostic friend who still gives Christmas presents) and that it’s not a big deal, but I think when it comes to school it’s an issue worth examining. It doesn’t have to be a big deal to *me* to celebrate Christmas, as an American holiday, picking and choosing the parts I want to pass down to my children, the religious parts verse the pagan/seasonal parts vs the material American parts. But to do it in a school is different.

It’s my job to have an ongoing conversation with her about the values and beliefs that I want her to be exposed to.

I remember covering a story 3 or 4 years ago. A local doctor had put together an event for global education for elementary school kids, and several hundred kids took a field trip to the event to view and present tables on whichever area of the world their classroom had focused on. He talked to me about how he believes children have to learn about the entire world to have a shot at being successful in this world– it’s completely unavoidable in today’s world not to work with or meet people with different cultures and languages, he said.

I think this extends to religions. It doesn’t hurt our children to know at least a little bit about them. I have some other Baha’i friends, and a Jewish friend, who have done a lot more than I have in having their child’s classroom discuss and have activities based around their religions and the other children always enjoy it.

I don’t think the solution to this is to do less, I think it is to do more. But schools are not going to do more unless parents ask them to, and they’ll only do it in that child’s classroom. That’s why I think fall, spring and winter celebrations should have to do with the seasons and what activities and lessons can be derived from that. And discussion of religious traditions, inclusively, could be done all around the year.

Part 1 – What to do about the food?

Back during Azita’s “holiday party” at Christmas time I always meant to make a post about the difficulty of every celebration involving food for a mom of a kid with food intolerances. I volunteered to bring the cupcakes, which I thankfully legally can since I have a kitchen certified by the state and sell my products at a local store. Remembering from my own parties at school, I guess I thought it would be some physical activity and one treat or two and maybe a movie, so bringing the cupcakes would pretty well ensure that Azita mostly got the same experiance as the other kids.

I was floored when I got there. The cupcakes were hardly even noticed. Pizza, candy, snacks, junky-type “juice”. It was a buffet of gluten, dairy and artificial flavors. One mom brought oranges, which remained unopened.

Oy, what would have been wrong with some cupcakes and orange slices? It was a junk-foody, decadent party even for adults. Even more frustrating was the fact that the teacher called me at 6 pm the night before to tell me she’d be bringing pizza– so that necessitated a trip to the health food store to get Daiya cheese and to make a crust, right at dinnertime and just before bedtime. Super convenient for us.

True, we could have just not sent pizza for her and let her sit there while everyone ate there hyperactivity-inducing treats, but that’s just not how I roll. I want my kid to relish the fact that she eats in a way that will nourish her body. At this point, while she is 5, I think that includes making sure she doesn’t feel left out. As she ages, I think there will be times that she just don’t have what others have and is okay with that.

Fast forward a few months, and I get a letter home from the school asking to bring eggs filled with non-chocolate candy for the egg hunt at school.

It specifically details store-bought wrapped candy. Yet another school-related activity where we are giving our kids the message that it has to revolve around food. I wasn’t going to send artificial food for anyone’s child, and so I sent eggs with organic Vitamin C drop from yummy earth, and a bag for Azita to trade the candy she gets in her eggs, and she was very cooperative and happy with that plan.

It just strikes me though, the way candy is specifically asked for. There are dozens are spring celebrations that could revolve around activities and art and play, not sugar. There are dozens of spring celebrations that could revolve around spring itself, and not a secular activity tied to a religion not every child shares, but that is for part 2.

What struck me, really, was that I went to a egg hunt for a playgroup I’m a part of. The organizer had suggested stickers and toys be in the eggs as well.

Out of 8 moms or so that brought eggs, I think only two brought candy (and I was one of them, but only because I had all the Vitamin C drops and have had way too much morning sickness for any extra store trips for stickers– though that was my original plan).

The eggs had bracelets, plastic bugs (Ada’s favorite), dinosaurs… and the kids loved it. It *didn’t* revolved around artificial junk in any way shape or form. Why can’t schools be like that?

I know change only happens if someone raises their voice and asks for it, but I’m feeling pretty unlistened to by the public school system at the moment. With the rise of food allergies, these schools need to get on the ball. Seriously.

Yesterday I called Payman, yelling in the phone at him, while desperately trying to calm Ada (who is 3 now) and wash her face.

He told me to call poison control, and I got annoyed at him for not answering the question I had and hung up. He made record time home, probably leaving immediately after I hung up.

The question I was asking was, “Which soap did you use to get the spray paint off of your skin last week???”

I was checking the mail with Azita– something she loves to do each day– and Ada was on the patio eating apple slices because it was such a gorgeous day. That made her about 40-50 feet away, I think. Ada starts screaming, I run down the driveway and see her beautiful face covered in black speckles. Around her eyes, on her lips, across her left cheek (where it was most concentrated) and down her arm. The pattern looked perfectly as if she held the spray paint can a few inches from her face and sprayed on her cheek– will all the overspray and splatters getting all over her eye, nose and lips. All the important places.

Payman was spray painting a joystick. A little pet project of his this past few weeks was modding a joystick to have Akuma, a street fighter character, on it. I don’t play video games generally, but it was kind of a cool thing. So he needed the nasty stuff– it bonds to plastic and looks super shiny.

My first thought after worrying if she had blinded herself was that he had major difficulty getting it off of his hands b/c of the nasty type of paint it was.

That was why I called him to ask which soap worked the best, and it was the 7th generation dish soap, by the way. He had tried our Whole Foods liquid and bar soaps first.

She was a trooper for all of it, and her skin was bright red after the scrubbing with a soapy wash cloth. She closed her eyes while I scrubbed and pushed and scraped it off her soft skin. It was so close to her eyes that it was in her eyelashes. She said it didn’t hurt. She said she could see. Her eyes looked clean and she followed my finger when I asked her to look at it. I don’t know if those were telltale or not in this kind of situation, but it was what I could think of.

Next, I took green bentonite clay, known for drawing toxins out of the skin/body, as is my understanding, made a facial mask and rubbed it over the spots with the paint and then her entire body. I put her to soak in the bath and Payman watched her while I called Poison Control.

It never occurred to me, so traumatized I was at seeing it all around her eyes, that if she inhaled it (duh) was the huge, huge issue.

The Poison Control lady was incredibly kind, helpful and thorough.

She looked up the paint name and brand and said it was a really serious situation if Ada had inhaled it. She said if Ada had inhaled it directly, it was an asphyxiant, and we would know in the first minute or two that something was seriously, seriously wrong, as Ada would be unable to breathe.

It seems her natural reflexes to close her eyes and mouth and breathe out probably took over.

Lord have mercy, it never should have happened, but I can see all the reasons why we didn’t see it coming. Payman thought he had one more coat, it’s also been cold and we spend much less time outside. I saw the can and thought “Oh I need to put that away” but it never once occurred to me that she would pick it up and be able to press the button– it hurts an adults finger, right? I didn’t even think she saw it, standing on the edge of the patio. I don’t blame Payman and he doesn’t blame me, and we are going to be even more wary of not letting something like this happen.

So, after it’s off of her, after Poison Control helps us to determine it’s not an emergency and we don’t need to take her anywhere, it’s time to start treating the accident.

I think many people might think the danger is passed now, and the worst most life-threatening part of the danger *is* passed, but there are still things to be done to help her body detox from a chemical exposure.

I only know this from researching chemical sensitivity for myself and being a part of online mailing lists where this stuff gets discussed. It’s not info a doctor or nurse would give you, most likely.

First thing– Vitamin C. I got 2 grams in her last night, but it could be between 5 and 10, really. We are working on another gram right now, and if it had been me I probably would have been twice that. This morning she has had another gram. The only side effect of lots of vitamin C that I’m aware of is loose stools. And if you take high amounts for a very long time you need to taper it down to avoid scurvy symptoms. I’m not the expert, but look up websites like ImmuneWeb and join the mailing list if you need this kind of advice and support.

Second thing– healthy fat. A spoon of nut butter, grassfed meat at dinner, an avocado. Because I what I know Ada will take easily, I gave her 3 doses of omega-3 and omega-9 fish oils made for kids. I am not a doctor. Research other places as well as my personal opinion for your own health. I think I need to say that.

Third thing– another detox bath. The treatment really started when I put the clay mask over where the paint had been. She got another bath. You can add epsom salts and bentonite clay to the bath. I will probably do another all over body clay treatment sometime today. It’s difficult because she isn’t always willing and prefers showers to baths. I think I will plug the drain while she takes a shower and put some salts or clay and at least let her feet and legs soak.

Other antioxidants would probably be helpful, too. For a child this size, the fat, vitamin C and baths are my main goals right now, just because she hates taking things and its work to get all the supplements in her. Thank goodness for chewable vitamin C that can be broken up into “worms” and fed to a “baby bird” piece by piece!

The moral of the story… I take chemical exposures seriously. I don’t believe that the danger is over after the immediate worst is over. We are very lucky, though. I worked for a company for three years where I was repeatedly exposed to paints and solvents with incredibly improper handling and ventilation, and I didn’t realize at the time, but I’ve never been the same since. I was fatigued and headachey for most of those three years, and I knew it was on the days certain chemicals were around but I didn’t realize it would affect me so much after the day was over.

I get headaches when I smell people’s “clean” clothes. If only people would realize that companies pour all those nasty scents in them because they are hiding that fact that the detergent is inferior and the clothes are actually *not* clean. There is a difference between clothes smelling like flowery junk and clothes smelling clean, but we are brainwashed by corporations.

I get headaches when I smell perfume.

I get headaches after smelling cleaning supplies in public bathroom.

I get headaches after smelling soaps.

I think I feel icky after being a park that has been treated with roundup type things and in the summer when my neighbors use it. It’s awful.

I don’t want this for Ada and so I’m treating this experience as something that needs treating even after the worst is over.

What’s funny is, knowing what I do about chemicals, this still happened to Ada. We research and buy clean cleaning supplies, or use Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. We use Biokleen and other safe detergents and etc. We try to limit pesticide residues by eating organic meat and plants. And then we leave a spray paint can out.

Knock on wood, I’d think a physical injury like a burn or cut or even break (cringe at the thought) would be better, in the long run. At least she isn’t exposed to all the other nasty scents and stuff as much a other people. Maybe she’ll be better off after something like this for it.

Ada is undergoing her second surgery—or second time being put under general anesthesia today, about one month after the turned three. She has officially surpassed the number of times Payman or I have had a surgery.
The first time she was 22 months old and we only decided to do the dental surgery route because she needed that and an endoscopy might be telling about the situation of her distraught little tummy. She wasn’t eating gluten at the time, though she was most definitely reacting to cross contamination at the time, and she did not have any gut damage, or esophagus damage either.
On the teeth side of things, she ended up with four crowns on her molars, three pulpotomies (root canals) with resin filling over top and one tooth with resin filling but no pulpotomy.
Since that day, 14 months ago, Ada has broken two of her resin fillings (it seems they just broke off—there was no noticeable injury and erupted four more molars. Her canines have decently deep cavities that have been scraped away (and I swear her tooth just crumbles) at least twice.
I remember going back for an appointment last September and the dentist said it looked liked we were keeping them very clean. We brush and wipe them with a cloth, but admittedly, it is very difficult to floss her.
Then we went back in November and all that was out the window. Her teeth were getting worse and worse looking, and she had food in stuck in them… a huge chunk of something she ate for breakfast, which the dentist insisted was there from the night before. We do not agree. I just don’t think its possible I missed a chuck of food *that* size.
Anyhow, the dentist’s unyielding opinion is that we don’t brush her teeth well enough and that is the problem. She repeats over and over—though *I* no longer bring it up, that there are no enamel defects in her teeth and they are extremely rare. I could add, though I’ve stopped, that they are not rare among the special population of those with celiac disease.
This morning, as we prepped for surgery, she told us that she wants to be “aggressive” with her treatment—which I actually agree with b/c I don’t want to be here a third time and have resigned myself to the fact that she has metals in her body—and do as many crowns as we need, after she takes x-rays and determines how bad the decay is.
But she always takes it one step too far, and Payman sometimes thinks I’m being too sensitive and sometimes agrees with how I feel.
Minutes before I have to sign a paper that says I understand the risks of anesthesia—including brain damage and death—she says we must be aggressive because she isn’t convinced that Payman and I will be able to keep her teeth clean enough to keep this from happening again.
Thanks, lady, really. I am risking my child’s life and putting her body through something because I’m just not able to brush as well as everybody else.
Okay. Maybe I’m touchy, but damn. She also said that Ada’s teeth have been dirty every time we’ve ever come in, so could we possibly “really” commit to the flossing this time? Payman makes the valid point that, as a doctor, if she *truly* believes this is all our fault, she has an obligation to drive home that point for Ada’s benefit.
It’s annoying that her memory of how dirty Ada’s teeth are at *each* visit and my memory of being told how I’m doing a good job at least once are different.
So an hour into the surgery she calls us in the waiting room, as we knew she would. Goods news—the decay in the newest molars is not as bad as suspected! She tells Payman, but not me, that she doesn’t understand, after reviewing Ada’s records, how the molars have the decay they do. I swear, that’s all I’ve ever wanted anyone to say. *&^%
I guess she saw less decay than expected from the x-rays and must have reviewed her notes from each visit, notes that *should* show that her molars at least have been decently clean at most visits. I freakin’ scrub the hell out of them. But I am bad at flossing—apparently my largest downfall as a mother of a gluten-intolerance child. (I made a joke the other day that bad teeth is just another way gluten says “F You” to people).
Not that gluten has anything to do with it according to the dentist, who has never studied gastroenterology or celiac disease.
So back to the point. Sorry for the bitter tone and language of this post. I’m a little raw at the moment .
These molars are less than a year old, and coupled with Ada’s records, the dentist admitted she doesn’t understand why they are decaying the way they are.
However, good news is she is now suggesting no metal crowns on the molars! Just resin fillings, and maybe very close visits so that tiny cavities can be filled with resin without totally traumatizing Ada each dental visit. And, “Can you agree to really devote yourself to the flossing?” Yes, God woman. I’ll force her more than I do now. She does admit that she understands why it’s hard for us to do it—b/c Ada protests so much. She cries through brushing as it is.
She is losing all four front teeth, and getting crowns on the two canines. Those top four caused most of the problems… they have the root canals and the decay… they probably breed the bad bacteria. She’ll have a toothless little grin until she’s eight at least, but what else can we do?

Dental work feels drastic to me as a reason to put your child under. But with all of Payman’s dental work the past year, even as an adult, he is developing a deep-seated dread of dental work, and we don’t want to do that to her.
Okay—rant over! A few more hours and I’ll see my swollen lipped little angel!

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