Saturday night me-time rituals

When I was younger and still living at home, Saturday nights were a time I got to spend with my mom - just the two of us most of the time. We stayed up really late a lot of the time. When I moved out of the house, I lost those times with Mom, but I continued the tradition of unwinding on Saturday nights. I read, I watched TV, I just did whatever I wanted for as long as I wanted to do it.

I remember one particular Saturday night when I was living alone: I started reading Kiss the Girls by James Patterson. BIG mistake. That book is all about a guy who targets women who live alone. I can only assume that I hadn’t seen the movie before I read the book, which is my preference. Or maybe I had seen the movie and because it’s so watered down (it really is), I didn’t think it would scare the bejeezus out of me late on a Saturday night.

I laid in bed, fully awake and heart racing during every one of those scenes where you just know that the bogeyman is going to jump out at you, until 5:00am when I finally read the last word on the last page. I had to know that the bad guy was really gone and not in my side yard waiting for me to turn out my light.

Another Saturday night ritual was born when Walmart opened a 24-hour superstore in Tallahassee. I might have gotten into the habit of going grocery shopping at 1:00am. It’s actually a really nice place to be that time of night!

After Matt and I got married, I got away from my Saturday night at-home/retail rituals until Matt took a job at Blockbuster to make a little extra money. During that time, my new ritual tended to be sitting in front of the television for hours watching movies that we got to rent for free, thanks to his employment. Ten a week, thank you very much. Thankfully, that period of him working two jobs didn’t last long. It got to be pretty lonely. 

Brandon’s birth and my return to work led to yet another shift. The alternating sleep-in days. Matt was bound and determined to sleep-in on Saturdays. I think he needs to gird himself to survive the weekend and I can understand why. Keeping a child entertained gets a little harder the older he gets. I sort of wanted the Saturday sleep-in, but over time I’ve realized that I have my Saturday nights back! Matt goes to bed at a decent hour so he can get up early to take care of Brandon and I can stay up or go to bed at will.

Tonight, I realized that I have never really gotten over the fear of that bogeyman. I had to go down to the basement after Matt went to sleep and going through our house (alarm on) and seeing all the shadows and occasional light from the street lights filtering in through the windows made me feel so exposed and vulnerable. As they always do. 

Just writing that last paragraph made my stomach flip again about another ten times. I am such a wuss.

But I wouldn’t change my Saturday night rituals for anything. When else am I supposed to read/blog/explore (the Internet)? :)

When do you get regular alone time? How do you spend it?

I haven't been to the dentist in nine years

Yes, really. Nine years.

I need to go and I am terrified. Every time I think or talk about going I start shaking and then the tears come. I don’t think there’s ever been anything in my life I was more scared of (other than getting a spinal for my c-section).

What is the source of my fear? The simple answer is that I associate the dentist with a traumatic event. The two are (most likely) not related, but I can’t seem to separate them in my mind.

I can tell you the exact date I last went to the dentist. It was Wednesday, April 17, 2002.

I was 11 weeks pregnant. I walked into the office, went up to the receptionist and burst into tears. I told her I didn’t think I could go through with having my cavity filled. I had never had a filling without the gas.

This was also my first time ever going to a dentist that wasn’t Dr. Smith (like my creative pseudonym?) - the man who went to high school with my father and ended up being our dentist for most of my childhood. Dr. Smith used to hide the needle from me so I didn’t see it until the very last second. After he got me good and frozen, he’d proceed to tell blonde jokes - to his blonde patient and blonde assistant. Nothing unkind - he was just a funny man. And I wish I could have packed him up and brought him to Ottawa with me when I moved. (I feel the same about my GP and chiropractor, too.)

If I had been wise, I would have taken the receptionist up on her offer of a reprieve. I would have walked away and not had that cavity filled. Instead, I decided that I needed to grow up and do what had to be done. Because that’s what you do when you’re facing impending motherhood, right?

It was awful. I don’t think I’ve relaxed in the last nine years since I got up from that chair; my body was wound so tight. Not having gas for a filling should never have been an option for me - nor will it ever be again. My tooth was sensitive for months after because I had the tooth-coloured filling for the first time.

All in all, it was way too many firsts. First child. First time without Dr. Smith. First filling with no gas. First filling while pregnant with first child. The firsts piled on top of firsts and turned it into something far greater than it had to be. But that wasn’t the end.

Thursday I started spotting.

It continued on Friday.

And Saturday. 

When I woke up Sunday, I knew I needed to go to the hospital. After hours on a saline drip, freezing cold from what must have been ice water they were dripping through my veins, they finally did the ultrasound that confirmed what I already knew.

My baby was gone. 

Logically, I can tell you that I don’t believe those two events were related. But fears are rarely logical and this one is as irrational as they come. It’s been well over nine years since I went to the dentist. I’m sitting here writing about this on the ninth anniversary of my due date - November 7th. It’s astounding to me that, had things gone differently, I would have a nine-year-old running around. But things didn’t work out that way.

And now I have to go back to the dentist. 

My dad always told me I needed to brush my teeth properly or my teeth would rot out of my head. His nagging advice was wise and I heeded it and I have had few issues. But I am a teeth grinder. Always have been (it used to wake my mom up at night). My physiotherapist keeps telling me to get a nightguard to help with my neck pain.

This means a trip to the dentist.

Last week, I woke in the middle of the night when a felt something crumbly on my tongue. It was a chip off of one of my molars. Just a small chip. No pain. But it was a wake up call about that nightguard. Clearly, it can’t wait.

Today I finally started looking for a dentist. Specifically, I’m trying to find a sleep dentist. I’m pretty sure that I’m officially beyond the ability to relax even with the gas anymore. 

Now, if only I could get someone to let me use the gas so I’d actually make the call to set up an appointment.