Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I learned at the dentist.

I’ve been neglecting my health for quite some time: physical, emotional, vision, dental, you name it. The onset of parenthood was my crutch for avoiding all those uncomfortable appointments and having a special needs child turned into my best excuse yet. Never mind the complete lack of logic and faulty reasoning behind it, it worked for me. 

Then my gums became swollen and infected (so gross, sorry) and I was forced to make an emergency dental appointment. One deep cleaning later and I’m newly converted to the wisdom of regular dental care. The hefty price tag has a lot to do with it.

As I sat in that chair today trying not to jump out of my skin while listening to the cavitron (for ultrasonic scaling technology!) do its thing, I tried visualizing stuff like the ocean and drinking cocktails beachside while experiencing a shoulder massage. Nothing.

Then I realized the only way to calm myself was to find a little phrase to chant over and over in my head. I must have thought to myself “Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!” over 100 times in that chair, and it totally worked. Now I can’t stop imagining all of the ways I can manifest this knowledge in my daily life.

Ethan’s throwing a huge tantrum about the shopping cart at the grocery…“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

I’ve abandoned my nearly full grocery cart in order to chase down Ethan and keep him from climbing the shelves…“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

Ethan is refusing to walk in the school parking lot (probably due to the hot sun overhead), so I throw his little 5 year old body on my hip like it’s a sack of potatoes and carry him all the way in….“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

I hear someone tell me that there have always been this many children with autism, we’re just getting better at diagnosing it….“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

I listen to people complain about how much their young child is talking…“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

Or how about this one: I make it through an entire week, solo parenting an autistic child who is also deaf, with a good sense of humor and an admirable amount of patience, combined with courage and a sprinkle of gratitude…“Heather, you’re doing an awesome job!”

I think I’m onto something.


  1. Heather, you are doing an awesome job!! Truly!!
    Thanks for reminding me to be kinder to myself, and to stop being so negative. I needed to hear this today!

  2. A sense of humor saves all of us from complete insanity. You're doing an awesome job!

  3. this put a smile on my face!! awesome!

  4. Indeed! I think any of us parents who are on this website have to be doing an excellent job! Thanks!

  5. I love it! And ARE doing an awesome job!

  6. I think this is a great idea ! I have used a version of it myself and it's a good reminder to be your own fan.