Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Kid Who Wore a Frosted Flakes Shirt to the Dentist or How to be a "Bad" Mom Without Really Trying
Recently, Link had his first trip to the dentist. We talked about it all morning. "Yay! We're going to see Dr. Amie! She's going to look in your mouth! She's going to touch your teeth! She's going to put her fingers in your mouth & that is ok...but most importantly, you can't bite her!"
I was very positive & he was excited to go. We loaded into the car & he was talking about the tooth doctor all of the way there. He asked of Coraline got to see Dr. Amie & I said that it was just something special for big kids. I was feeling very smug about my ability to communicate with my kid & set his expectations appropriately. I knew that he would go in feeling unafraid & would understand what was happening because I had done such a brilliant job of preparing him.
I got a bad feeling as we walked in the door & I realized that I had dressed him in his Frosted Flakes t-shirt. I bought the shirt because it was a) on clearance, b) had a cartoon tiger on it & c) because I love retro-look t's on him. It never had anything to do with an affinity for that or any other sugary cereal...in fact the cereal isle has caused many a marital spat resulting in Dave stashing Apple Jacks & Captain Crunch in his desk at work. Link has never even tasted the stuff.
Regardless, I knew that the toddler at the dentist in a Frosted Flakes shirt was sure to raise some eyebrows. I tried to explain it away, but as each new staff person saw him & then asked, "Oh, are Frosted Flakes your favorite?" Link graciously replied "yup" with an exhuberant nod. I might as well have handed him a sippy filled with corn syrup. Nontheless, the staff was really good & engaging & I was feeling optimistic that though my parenting skills were being sincerely called into question, Link was still going to have a stellar check-up.
The hygenist was great! She slow played him & let him see her little mirror & showed him what she was going to do before she did it. She played peek with him from behind her mask & made a big song & dance out of putting her gloves on. He was ready. With a little prodding he got into the chair & he opened up a couple of good times. We agreed that this would be an exploratory appointment without a cleaning. She had him help her count his teeth & he was cautiously enjoying himself. Then as she was making some notes he peaked his head up over the back of the chair & said "What are you doing, Dr. Amie?" My thorough preparation bit me in the butt. I hadn't mentioned a hygenist. In his world, he was done. I tried to back pedal, "No, this is Brittney, Dr. Amie will be here in a minute." By the time she got there he was practically foaming at the mouth trying to escape the confines of the chair.
I'd love to say that he eventually warmed up to the dentist, but alas, the only glimpse she caught of his pearly whites was a quick look at his front teeth--as he bared them at her & growled. At least he didn't scream. *sigh* My dream of a perfectly prepped, perfectly behaved dental visit vanished & I was left feeling like the mom that you see in the store & secretly think "ha, ha, ha, sucker."
Two good things came out of the day.
1) I bribed him with "ice cream." But it was really a fruit/yogurt smoothie. The fact that he accepts & enjoys a healthy item as a treat is a treat for me! It reminds me that every once in a while I do manage to do something right.
2) Link clearly listened to me as I tried to mentally prep him. It's not his fault that I dropped the ball. And he got the most important part--he didn't bite any of the fingers that were trying to get into his mouth. Success.