So we had our first dentist appointment. Two and a half years old is when it is recommended for the first check up and cleaning. I do what I’m told so I made the appointment. The office is adorable and obviously in extremely good working order as we were called back exactly at the time of our appointment. The nurse/hygenist does a brief “get to know you” with my daughter and asks me how I think she will do. “Not a chance in hell” is what I’d like to say but instead I just suggest that it may take her a while to get comfortable with this idea of having a stranger put their hands in her mouth. So we head to the back.
The back is great except it is hot as you know what. It may have been hot anyway, but couple that with my anxiety about the whole situation and it was downright steamy. She won’t even get in the chair. I knew it. I had to get in the chair with her and that didn’t even work. She wouldn’t so much as look at this nice lady who was about to violate her mouth. I tried to be supportive and just kept smiling. And sweating. They gave my daughter a glove to play with and she liked that. I asked if she could hold the cleaning instrument and they let her. They even let her put it in her own mouth. Ok, so I think, we’re getting there. Just keep smiling. The hygenist told me that no matter how bad it is they still go forward with the cleaning. It’s all part of it. The kids have to know that they cannot cry their way out of it. She assured me that it gets better with each visit. I just smiled.
Time to clean. She struggled and screamed. She put her hands over her mouth and shook her head. I was holding arms – I swear she had twelve of them – and legs. Smiling and sweating wondering in my mind how terribly I must be scarring my child. Is this really worth it?? I’m banking on this being all smoothed over with whatever goodies will come my child’s way when we are done. They goddamn better well have some sort of parting gift! I’m sweating down my lower back fringing into ass crack territory which is totally gross and I’m certain what we are doing cannot be healthy. Finally she’s done. She was right about getting whatever cleaning is possible. I can’t imagine any teeth were cleaned during this scream filled squiggle and squirm fest.
I’m glad that is over. I’m also glad to see my child actually smiling and asking me to go see the big “hippopononus.” Then I’m greeted by the dentist. Shit. That’s right, she has to actually be seen by the dentist! Crap. There is no way I’m getting her back on my lap. My nerves have kicked into high gear. I call my child over and of course she won’t come near me so I have to grab her little body and physically sit her on my lap. She’s experienced now so she knows to cover the mouth at first sight. Right away, plop! Hands over lips. After pleasantries with the dentist she asks that I help her get into my child’s mouth. Here we go a again! I’m strapping hands and feet to my body using muscles in my ass that I haven’t used in months while trying not to slip out of my Volatiles. Yes, my feet are sweating. “Can someone please turn on the freaking air condition!” I yell out loud. Just kidding.
While I’m holding on to my thirty pound squirming octopus-child, I hear, “Okay, she’s got a blah-blah-blah-blah.” She’s got a who? “Do you ever notice how her two front top teeth don’t touch each other?” She says smiling. I guess I’ve noticed that, sure, but it has a diagnosis?!? Seriously? The next thing I hear is a jumble of “…close on it’s own…braces….space like Madonna or….Lauren Hutton!” Right now the only thing I want to know is that I can put down my child and no longer restrain her.
Before I could gather a thought that made any sense, she then hit me with, “Have you noticed that when she bites down her teeth don’t touch in the front?” I want to ask, “Have you noticed that it’s an oven in this joint?” Instead I respond that yes, I guess I do notice that her top teeth are not as flat as the bottom ones. Sure. I have noticed that but they are baby teeth, right? What’s the big deal? The deal is that if they don’t straighten out this could lead to bigger issues with her permanent teeth. Bigger issues than her looking like Madonna, I guess because she tells me flatly that the nunu has got to go.
“Really? The nunu? But she’s only two and a half?” I’m told, at that moment, that according to the pediatric dentists, the pacifier should go the way of the trash at one. One! My pediatrician said it should be gone by no later than three! I surely wish these practitioners would get together and come to consensus. I was fully ready to mail the damn things to Santa this December! So much for that plan! I’ve got to get rid of this thing now!
So what should I do? My head is spinning. She loves that thing. Although it is limited to only bedtime I know I’ve got to come up with something pretty darn good to get her to give it up. The dentist recommends cutting a small hole in the tip which will render it useless and most kids will not get any pleasure out of it and won’t want it anymore. Brilliant! My kiddo happens to be pretty smart so she will figure it out, right? It will be broken and she won’t want to use it anymore! Giver her the control, the choice will be up to her…I’ve got this. Totally got this. I can feel my head spinning less. We got this! Totally.
I snipped the tip. I may have snipped a little more than would be recommended but hell she didn’t tell me how much to cut off. I’m still feeling pretty confident that this is going to be over and done with in a matter of hours. We’ll kick the habit tonight! It’s time for bed and she asks for her nunu. I hand it to her and she examines it to find the hole. “Mom, my nunu has a hole in it.” I try to ignore her as to not draw any attention to the fact that she can fit her entire first digit into the hole. Maybe she won’t notice. “Mom, my nunu has a hole.” Now is my time to explain the broken part and she will pick right up that she can’t use it anymore….right. “You know sweetpea, that is what happens to nunus after we use then for a long time. They break. When we are big girls they sometimes break and then we don’t use them anymore.” Wait for it….wait for it….I can see her digesting what I said. She poked the hole again and said, “This nunu is broken.” Eureka! She figured it out! God this was easy….”Where are you going?” She’s headed to the kitchen. I hear the pantry door open and I see her throw it in the garbage can! I expected her to say to me that she no longer needs that broken piece of plastic, right? Instead, my little child looks at me with teary eyes and a quiverring lip, “Mommy, I need a new one.”
Oh the hell with it. I gave her a new one. Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to do when she screams for two days when it’s finally gone. I may have to scrape together all of the plastic tips that I cut off and stuff them in my ears.