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Another trip to the dentist…

March 8, 2010

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?

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41 Comments leave one →
  1. Nadia permalink
    March 8, 2010 9:39 pm

    oh wow, i’m the first to leave a comment today! lil maya jani, you are so adorable, even at the dentists office and i’m so proud of you for being such a brave girl! i know you’re gonna inspire ayla and shani to start flossing too! can’t wait to give you 5 humungous bday puppies and hugs, get ready!!!
    XOXOXOOXOXOX
    your aunty nadia;)

  2. March 8, 2010 10:13 pm

    haha yes she is quite brilliant, wonder where she gets it? i have a dentist appt this saturday!! what was i thinking, scheduling that on a weekend? such a masochist

  3. March 8, 2010 10:59 pm

    Maya is adorable! I love the philosophy behind her ice cream eating 🙂

  4. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) permalink
    March 8, 2010 11:15 pm

    omg..she is so so so so so cute!!!! and i HATED the dentist, so i can relate to maya- hehe. so cute.
    xoxo
    shelley

    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  5. March 8, 2010 11:31 pm

    she is beautiful!!! OMG boy trouble in about 10 yrs..or less. I will have it w/ skylar too 🙂

    who is 3 and never been to the dentist. however crunchy mama that i am, i really dont think there is anything they can “do” for her, right?

    as per nooch and not liking the name…girl, get over that b/c it’s sooo good and as a dairy free girl, you will love the cheezy flavor.

    btw on the pantene, do you use the old school one or the newer more “organic” natural looking green-labeled one? there are 2 greens: old smoothing and new nature looking one…deets please! 🙂

  6. ayesha permalink
    March 9, 2010 1:17 am

    maya is toooo sweet! ameena— am loving rdg all these…the cone and cup is exactly what we do, lol :))))) love love love reading all ur blogs!!

  7. March 9, 2010 2:49 am

    I love how she maximizes each bite of the cone and ice cream…ahh I can tell shes going to be a foodie 😉

  8. March 9, 2010 4:11 am

    Ha ha ha. Oh Maya! I love that she said that about the bill. Kids are too funny. I wonder how much longer you will have to bargain with her before she likes going or learns to deal with it (not saying she should now, just wondering). As a kid, I liked going because it meant I got out of school. I still like going now, just hate that they f*ck up my bill every time!!!

  9. March 9, 2010 4:30 am

    Lol, yes, she is definitely a brilliant little girl! She did a great job at the dentist, and she’s a lucky kid — I wish we got all that loot at the dentist when I was a kid! 😉

  10. March 9, 2010 5:03 am

    My mom would always bribe me with things when I was younger as well, but never with ice cream after the dentist… Can you adopt me? 🙂

    Maya is brilliant though; you’re clearly rubbing off on her. And I love her Canada shirt!

  11. March 9, 2010 5:13 am

    ah so cute! you definitely have one smart kid. and isn’t funny how all kids only hear the swears and complaints?! haha

    glad the trip was a success

  12. March 9, 2010 5:15 am

    Isn’t the progression from crying, to threats, to bargaining, back to threats, some sort of psychological how-to-get-your-kid-to-do-something-she-doesn’t-want theory? 😉 Maya definitely seems like your daughter. I remember trips to the dentist as bring full of tears, mostly because I had braces for longer than a child humanly should. Glad your trip was better this time 🙂

  13. March 9, 2010 5:26 am

    lol– that dentist is posh! Glad it was a success 🙂

  14. March 9, 2010 6:18 am

    Maya’s hair is so beautiful! Can I have long, healthy hair like that?

    I loved going to the dentist as a kid… picking out toys, toothbrushes, and the fluoride flavor wasn’t so bad!

  15. March 9, 2010 6:26 am

    I’m obsessed with going to the dentist every six months. But it’s been so long since I last went. I don’t think it’s mean to be. They’ve canceled twice in December and February because of snow (ah, unexpected blizzards). The next available appointment? May. I’m just hoping my teeth don’t rot out.

    By the way…whenever we had to get Novocain at the dentist we’d get a milkshake as a treat. See, you’re right on the mark with ice cream!

  16. March 9, 2010 6:40 am

    WOW what an awesome office. My sis is in Dental school now and plans on specializing in pedo… I am going to forward this post so she can get ideas for her future office… except I am going to ask her to paint in Orange instead of yellow (like she will listen)

    Maya is a smart cookie… lol. I love her proud smile after the cleaning.. like “look at me with clean teeth”

  17. March 9, 2010 6:55 am

    That dentist office is kick-ass!

    I would have done anything for a sticker when I was her age.

  18. Susan permalink
    March 9, 2010 7:00 am

    Maya is so adorbs. She is gonna be a STUNNA when she gets older!

    I was so scared of the dentist as a kid. Oh wait, I still am. Maybe if I’d gotten to watch the television as they cleaned my teeth or received an ice cream for my good behavior things would have been different.

  19. March 9, 2010 7:07 am

    Omg Ameena I can totally relate. And how did you find such a cool dental office? Heck I’d want to go to that dentist if I were in LA. And Imma luvin that outfit she’s wearing might I add!
    Kayla’s first dental visit was disastrous. She cried hysterically from the moment her name was called, all through her check-up, and through the whole ride home just because she wasn’t done playing with the toy they had in the waiting area. That was the day I learned how to bribe. Great post as always!

  20. March 9, 2010 7:09 am

    Ok so you have one of the smartest children that I’ve ever heard of haha I love this story! So cute!!
    Children always hear you when you DON’T want them to. It’s like a law of physics or something.
    P.S. The dentist’s office is adorable! I want to go there!

  21. March 9, 2010 7:42 am

    That post is too cute! And her little comment about you getting a bill is awesome. Kids are amazing when their personalities really start to shine through. I have no doubt I will be bribing M too when we reach that point…in like a few months. Gah!

  22. Danielle permalink
    March 9, 2010 8:55 am

    hahah I was cracking up after the first paragraph 😀

    I’m glad you made it out of the dentist’s office drama-free! I definitely gave my parents a hard time when I had to go to the dentist. That’s because usually I’d go expecting a cleaning and there would be needles involved…

  23. March 9, 2010 8:59 am

    My goodness she is SO SO SO SO cute. And the dentist office! Who wouldn’t want to go there?

    I loved going to the dentist as a kid thougj…I’m weird.

  24. March 9, 2010 9:15 am

    Oh my… Maya is super cute! I can’t believe she said that at the dentist office! Too funny!

  25. March 9, 2010 9:37 am

    She is definitely brilliant and adorable! After having braces on for 3 years I am not a big fan of dentist offices either. After reading this post, I wish my mom would have “bargained” with me through out all those painful orthodontics appointments, I would have definitely have my fare share of ice cream 😉

  26. March 9, 2010 9:45 am

    what a darling girl! she is so adorable and SMART!

  27. March 9, 2010 9:54 am

    So hilarious! And isn’t it true — the kids get lots of rewards; the parents get the big bill. I see nothing wrong with bribing/bargaining. I’m pretty sure that would be my go-to strategy, though I would have some threats lined up too. Glad she was a good patient, and glad she takes to lying well enough. It’s a life skill.

  28. whydeprive permalink
    March 9, 2010 10:07 am

    That office looks pretty fun. When we were younger our dentists office had this awesome forest kind of thing going on in their play area. There was a tree fort and everything. That was the only good part seeing as how the dentist himself was useless. I had an entire chunk of tooth that had worn away (I have my ED to thank for that one) and he didnt notice it for 2 years.

    Maya is so cute! I love the comment about you only getting a big bill when you go to the dentist!!

  29. Caroline permalink
    March 9, 2010 10:43 am

    I HATED the dentist when I was little. My mom bribed us with cinnamon rolls from the bakery next door if we were good .. good moms think alike 🙂

  30. March 9, 2010 11:15 am

    Hehe, no dentist in Compton!

    I just booked an appointment today. Ari comes from a huge family of dentists, too!

    A few months after I became a vegetarian, my “best friend” at the time stayed silent while I ate a ham sandwich (I’d forgotten) then turned and said, smiling, “I thought you were a vegetarian?”

  31. Kristie permalink
    March 9, 2010 12:23 pm

    Such a cute story 🙂 I remember not being able to eat for 30 minutes after getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist. I was okay with it though… I was one of those weirdo kids who actually liked the dentist 😛

  32. March 9, 2010 1:02 pm

    Glad Maya’s appt. went well!! Hey, you gotta do what works right?! Totally get it as a 1st gr. teacher!! Glad she earned her ice cream!! 🙂 Is it weird that I LOVE going to the dentist?! I mean I look forward to it… haha! 😉

  33. March 9, 2010 2:39 pm

    lol! great story! i love how she quoted you to the dentist about having to pay a big bill. i bet you turned five shades of red. 🙂
    bottom line – way to go maya (and mommy!)

  34. March 9, 2010 5:03 pm

    Ah Maya is so adorable. And I’m going to have to take a page out of her ice cream eating book!

  35. March 9, 2010 7:04 pm

    This post was so sweet and relaxing…
    so cute – really do have to be careful what we say around kids hey 🙂

  36. March 9, 2010 7:27 pm

    Would Maya share ice-cream with me? I’m not allergic! 😉

    I haven’t gone to the dentist in 9 years. I don’t wanna know the condition of my teeth right now.

  37. March 9, 2010 7:54 pm

    Haha, I love the way you describe your parenting style. It’s hysterical. I imagine you to be a really wonderful mother and I love that Maya has her own little unique personality. It’s so funny what they choose to listen to, remember, and retell to everyone else.
    I’ve never seen such an amazing dentist’s office- it’s like Disneyland in there. Heck I need a cleaning!

  38. March 9, 2010 9:38 pm

    We have had those bargaining sessions also. I didn’t know parenting requires so many skills. Waif till the first ever xray. There will be 5 stickers plus toys. You may have to come up with something more than ice cream….. Maya is so cute.

    • March 10, 2010 7:20 am

      Our trip to the dentist included 6 x-rays! Can you believe that I still got away with just ice cream?

  39. onelittlejill permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:49 am

    I eat my cone seperate too!!! Great minds:)

  40. March 10, 2010 12:47 pm

    I’m so hungry right now- that looks awesome!

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