Another trip to the dentist…
Going to the dentist was never a regular occurrence when my siblings and I were growing up. I suppose that with 3 kids things can get a little hectic and clean teeth aren’t exactly high on the list of priorities. (Don’t worry Mom, I’m not judging you – I’m barely pulling it together with one kid so I can see how maintaining the dental health of 3 would be a bit on the overwhelming side.) Anyway, add to the mix the fact that our dentist was our cheap Indian “Uncle” whose practice happened to be in Compton, and you can imagine how often we had regular checkups.
Did we want clean teeth or did we want to risk getting shot as we exited the freeway? What a toss-up.
When Maya was born I decided that I was going to take her regularly every six months. To a proper dentist. Not in Compton. Am I a dedicated mom or what?
So the first visit was a disaster, as expected. There were lots of tears (Maya), lots of screams (Maya), and lots of yelling (me). But since Maya turned 2, things have slowly progressed from the inevitable crying sessions, to threats, to bargaining, and back to threats. I realized that since threats were the way my parents got me to do things and since I clearly have mental problems, I thought I’d try to bribe bargain with her again. I told Maya that if she was a good girl and we left her appointment with no tears, complaints, or any other drama, then we’d stop for ice cream. If I’m being totally honest, I specifically told her NOT to tell the dentist that I promised her ice cream or there would be no ice cream. (We’ll tackle the topic of me teaching my daughter how to lie on another occasion.)
Who wouldn’t want to get their teeth cleaned if they could watch any on-demand DVD on a flat screen:
Pick a sticker, a toothbrush, toothpaste, AND a prize:
All in a pristine, paperless office?
Maya told the nurse, “My mama says I’m lucky that I get lots of rewards for being a good patient because when she goes to the dentist all she gets is a big bill.” I’ve learned the hard way, more than once, that Maya only hears me speak when I’m swearing or complaining about something.
After a lot of encouragement and numerous “Maya is doing SUCH a good job” statements, I’m happy to report we did in fact leave the office with no tears, complaints, or drama. Instead we left with a bag full of free stuff and shiny teeth:
Which we proceeded to make unshiny 10 minutes later as Maya received her reward for lying to a medical professional:
One scoop of mint chocolate chip in a cup, with the cone on the side. My daughter likes to take a bite of the cone and then a spoon of the ice cream so that there is never a moment when she won’t have both in her mouth at the same time. She maximizes bites, minimizes drips, and I’m proud to say she even offered me a taste. But before the spoon could even make it halfway to my mouth my Indian-giver child asked with a knowing smile, “But aren’t you allergic to ice cream Mama?”
Is my kid brilliant or what?