I have to take Thing 2 to the dentist.
Remember how she feels about getting shots? It's how she used to feel about going to the dentist until about a year ago, and how I feel about going to the dentist any day - with or without her.
I have always hated the dentist. While it's true that my current dentist is a lovely and super friendly woman who never sounds judgmental or scolding when she looks at my chart and exclaims that it's been 3 years since my last cleaning (gee, thanks. I wasn't aware) and who chit-chats about trivial things like what she found at Target and the damn weather (a popular topic in Minnesota), I still hate it. Maybe because I spent a good portion of my childhood in the dentist's chair thanks to an obviously inflated sugar intake (but which I like to blame on "soft teeth").
When Thing 2 was about five years old she became terrified of the dentist. (And contrary to what you may believe after what I've just told you, I did nothing to perpetuate that. I swear.)
I was always super supportive (hypocritical) of everything dentist related and made going there seem like a freakin' trip to Chuck E. Cheese. Until she had her first cavity.
And maybe I described what was going to happen when they filled it with a tiny bit too much detail (what? I shouldn't have told her about the shot of Novocain that would go right into her tiny gum?), but for whatever the reason the child was a hysterical pile of jello with an iron clad clench that you'd have needed the jaws of life to open when she went to get that little cavity filled.
Long story short (as if), after the beautiful, young, cheerful blond dentist-devil with the (obviously) perfect teeth removed me from the room (for reasons I cannot fathom) and spent over 20 minutes trying to coax and bribe and pry her little mouth open with tools I'm certain were not meant for that purpose, she came into the waiting room and announced that there was nothing they could do for her there and suggested a pediatric dentist....and general anesthesia.
Keep in mind how I feel about the dentist. You can imagine how I felt having to watch my own child go through the same fears and emotions (even from the far away waiting room where I could still hear her screaming...along with everyone else in the 3 surrounding states). But I took her to the pediatric dentist, a lovely Indian woman with an accent that could soothe me to sleep called "Dr. G". And maybe it was the accent or maybe it was all the other kids running around, but I believe it was Dr. G's no-nonsense, "tough love" approach that won Thing 2 over (as is the case with many parenting issues, am I right?). And from visit #1 six years ago, she's been increasingly chill with having to go to the dentist, even when she's had a little cavity.
I, on the other hand, still dread her dentist visits, even the little checkups, which is only what today is.
I lose sleep for days prior, I do the mental countdown ("this time tomorrow the dentist trip will be over"..."2 hours from now we'll be all done at the dentist"), I sweat and bribe (myself) and usually have to excuse myself to the bathroom after we check in.
She's a cool cucumber. It might help that she hasn't had a cavity in her last two visits (when she has I've made Husband take her in while I sit outside the office and down the hall) but even so, when she was there for her last checkup in July I made her go back to the exam room all by herself. I told her it was because she was 11 now and it was time to man up, but in reality it was because even after all these years and visits, I still can't take it. She was a little worried, and I lost buckets of sweat and felt like I was going to puke for the entire 20 minutes, but when she came back out relaxed and smiling I almost released my bowels with relief (sorry...but it's the truth).
So right now I'm on the dark side of the visit. I'm trying to distract myself by writing this, but I have to say it's not working because I keep looking up at the clock in the right corner of my screen and thinking, 5 more hours until I have to pick her up....6 hours until it's over....6 and a half hours until I can drink....
Wish me luck.
And remind me to tell you about my next visit...in two or three years.
I wonder if I'm too old to see Dr. G?
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