Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works a straight job and is just about finished writing her first novel.

My Son, the Dentist

I used to schedule any holiday dental work I might be due for after Christmas, just in case I got some sort of blood-borne infection from a stray tooth bacterium and slipped into an irreversible coma, I figured it was only fair to my family to let them enjoy one last holiday season with me before tragedy struck. But this year my hygienist got herself good and pregnant and had to schedule my cleaning before her New Year's C-section. I didn't tell her about my whole holiday dental paranoia thing, I decided to meekly accept whatever fate would bring.

Meanwhile, Tuesday I took Jackson to his dentist appointment while I'm still alive and able to enjoy motherly stuff like that. Jackson normally puts up with a good amount of poking and prodding because he's focusing on the cheap plastic toy he's going to get to choose from the cardboard "treasure chest" in his dentist's waiting room when it's all over. This time, though, he needed to talk about everything before the dentist and/or hygienist was allowed access to his pearly nubbins. What are you doing, what other flavors do you have, I lost three teeth but only two have come in, are you going to put braces on me today, do you have any kids? It took for freakin' ever, especially after he rejected all tooth polish flavors and the hygienist had to give up and scrape his teeth clean like a grownup, scree! scree! scree! instead. I sat in a chair next to him to hold his hand and provide (unappreciated) humorous commentary during the fluoride treatment, which makes him gag.

Anyway, the next day was my turn in the chair and I had to take Jackson along to witness my cleaning as Jack's schedule was packed and wouldn't allow time off for childcare. So the hygienist set Jackson up on a chair next to my faux-leather Recliner of Dental Bliss, where he proceeded to ignore the Lego Star Wars game blaring from his Nintendo DS and chat with the hygienist instead. My entire cleaning accompanied by Darth Vader's theme coming out of a speaker half the size of a gnat's gonads. With the deluxe bonus feature that as soon as Brooke started scree! scree! scree! on my teeth Jackson's head was practically inside my mouth.

Oh, how the tables had turned. "Look at the blood!" he shouted for the entire office to hear. "Are you going to put fluoride on my mom's teeth?!" he asked gleefully. "Well, I wasn't going to, but I can," said Brooke, who remained unfazed throughout each interruption, being the mother of a boy Jackson's age and accustomed to six-year-old-style demands for gore and parental discomfort. "DO IT!" he shrieked. His joy was somewhat dampened when he saw that I was simply given a cup of blue liquid to swish for a minute instead of having to suffer the Fluoride Trays of Horror, or the Cotton Swabs of Fluoride Degradation.

"Do you want to be a dentist when you grow up?" asked Brooke as I pried Jackson's fingers out of my mouth.

He nodded. "No eating or drinking for thirty minutes," he reminded me.