Mother enjoys week of firsts with her first-born son

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By Renee Sloan, Page Designer/Staff Writer

Last week proved to be a week of firsts for my son. It began with trip to the dentist and culminated with a Christmas parade and ride on a double-decker carousel.

Last Thursday, I was extremely nervous—much more nervous than my son, who would be the one in the dentist’s chair. How would I keep him still for the exam? What if he bit the dentist? What if we had to wait a long time before our appointment?

As we arrived at the dentist’s office, my fears about a long wait were put to rest as we were back there within 20 minutes of our arrival—before our scheduled appointment time.

During our short wait, Levi enjoyed the aquarium in the waiting room. He squealed as he watched the fish swim around.

Just as I was debating getting a small aquarium for the house, he took a few steps back, ran toward the aquarium and slapped it with his hands. At that moment the fish seemed to stop swimming and the pretty orange fish sank to the bottom.

The act of beating on the glass must have caused a sonic boom that terrified and shocked the poor fish. After that episode, I decided it was best to take him away from the aquarium and read some Dr. Suess instead.

Later I checked on the fish, and they had all resumed swimming and appeared to be fine.

Levi’s visit to the dentist went well. The dentist was great with him, and he was able to be to do the exam without calling in the whole office to hold him down.

In fact, the dentist managed Levi just fine with a little help from me.

My fear about Levi biting—well two out of three isn’t bad.


Another first happened at 3 p.m. on Saturday. A call from my sister at 2:30 p.m. reminded me the Oak Island Christmas parade would be starting any minute. I knew I should take Levi, but I wasn’t excited about going.

I was expecting a few police cars, fire trucks, a handful of people riding on the back of convertibles, and a lot of traffic. I didn’t realize I was minutes from watching a great Christmas parade.

As I walked up the street to the parade, I was surprised at the number of people that were sitting, waiting for the parade to start. It seemed to be a really big deal.

Despite the crowd, it wasn’t hard to find a spot at the beginning of the parade route. It was cool enough it felt like Christmas, but not so cold you were freezing.

There were fire trucks, police cars and convertibles, but there were also colorful floats, horses, ponies, the West Brunswick High School band, dancers, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and really getting into the Christmas spirit. Parade participants were singing and smiling as they threw candy to the children who squealed with delight as they scooped it up.

It was the best Christmas parade I’ve ever seen.


Saturday night Levi’s dad and I took him to the mall in Wilmington. We were just taking him for a stroll, when he spotted the carousel.

As soon as the carousel was in his sights, he began pointing his little finger and screaming “Bye, bye, bye, bye.”

When he says “bye” that doesn’t necessarily mean he is leaving—it just means he wants to go. His dad and I immediately knew one of us would be riding the carousel.

Levi’s dad was happy to let me take him on it.

“He’s not buckled,” the carousel attendant barked. “Buckle him up!”

Surprised at her lack of Christmas cheer, I buckled Levi in for the ride. As the carousel started, I was prepared for Levi to panic. Instead as the carousel started to whiz round-and-round, it was I that panicked. Levi was buckled—I was not.

Throughout the ride, Levi laughed and squealed with delight.

When the ride ended, Levi and I staggered out to the mall, dizzy from the spinning. He was smiling and pointing to go again.


As I reflect on this week of firsts, I realize how many more firsts we will share. I no longer worry about taking Levi to the dentist, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s Christmas parade.

I also know that a trip to the mall will never be the same—I’ll always have to make time for at least one ride on the carousel.