James wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything before his 9:00 am pediatric dental appointment, and this was my biggest fear, as he knocks back milk, oatmeal, and yogurt long before the sun rises each morning. At 4:00 am, James sprinted into our bedroom and immediately commenced a list of horrifying demands: "Milk dinner bagel yummy. Dada, I NEED this. HUNGRY." In James's defense, he has consumed milk upon waking every day of his life; my offer of water was dismissed with a combination of crying and angrier crying. Rarely have I seen anyone more disappointed by anything than James and the sippy cup of water. He would have traded me on the spot for eight ounces of milk. This is not hyperbole. He might have done it for four.
At the dentist's office, James got intoxicated for the first time, though unfortunately for James it was a baby sedative. His reaction was a little funny, but mostly it was sad. He tried to flirt with another kid, but he couldn't walk. The waiting room was like a bar full of toddlers. We then received a guided tour of his house of horrors complete with the usual spears and razors, as well as a baby-sized straitjacket. I was thumbing the Velcro of the latter when we received the unexpected news that we wouldn't be allowed to sit with him during his session. Instead, we sat directly outside the room to listen to him scream. I suggested coffee. Ericka looked ready to cry.
In recovery, James was already developing a hangover. Things, his droopy eyes seemed to suggest, would not be the same between us. I hadn't seen that look since his circumcision, but he had no idea who I was then. I tried to explain. He was pretty droopy for the rest of the day. He has to go back for two more cavities, but I'm not sure who is volunteering for this mission, perhaps one of the grandmothers, perhaps somebody who owes us a huge favor or several thousand dollars. Very soon James will lose all of these teeth and grow new ones.
Sedated James playing with new dinosaur finger puppet from dentist.