i had two options for today: go to the dentist to have some old fillings pulled and re-filled (which feels the same as just getting a damn cavity filled), or go to the girlchild's parent-teacher conference. normally i'd do anything to get out of going to the dentist, including crying, faking my death, barfing, etc, but today that actually sounded like the better option. so now i have a face full of numb, and D had to deal with the teachers all by his lonesome.
i love the girlchild. i think she's funny and interesting and sweet, but her grades this year have been abhorrent. the kind of stuff she brought home at the last progress report would have gotten me grounded for YEARS. i know i've mentioned it before, but there are times when my parenting style differs from D's, and this proved to be one of those times. he didn't want to make her feel bad, and i never wanted her to be able to leave the house again. we've been working together to figure out what's going on, why her grades are this bad (it's not because she's dumb, i'll give her that), and what we can do, all together, to make them better. it is exhausting work, and i have to say it's disheartening to work all day at my actual job and then spend hours arguing with an 11 year old who KNOWS EVERYTHING ALREADY (GOD!), and trying to help her get her work done. it's been a trying few weeks, and i'm still figuring out a good way to help her, without doing the work for her (or getting conned into doing more than i should be). teaching self-reliance and responsibility while trying to help is tougher than i thought it would be.
i know going to the dentist instead of going to the school probably isn't the best thing i could have done (if i had been on top of stuff i would have just moved my appointment), but i am sick of talking/thinking/working on this subject. there have also been a few times that i've clearly stepped on D's toes, and i want to give him some space to work on this by himself as well. i'm also a little tired of being the Hammer Of Consequences (i.e. the Wicked Stepmother), and if i put off this dental appointment, i'd never go.
things are slowly righting themselves, and i think our girl understands that we really aren't trying to be assholes, but it's hard work. i hope the meeting went well today, and that D comes home with nothing but good news, and that my mouth co-operates while i try to drink a cup of tea. we also got snow today, and i am freezing.
p.s. if you live in the skagit valley and are looking for a dentist, i highly recommend dr. matterand. i always call him dr. matterhorn in my head, but trust me, he's awesome. i am nervous and sketchy and usually require medication to visit the dentist, but this guy makes everything easy and painless. i have yet to feel a needle going into my gums. good times. his staff is also awesome, and the kids see dr. forsythe and love him too.