Tuesday, January 10, 2006

At the dentist

So, I thought I'd be smarter than my preschooler when it came time for his first dental cleaning. I should have known better.
I made myself an appointment, and one for him the following day. Back-to-back, I thought, risked my not being done before the hygenist would be ready for him. But with my appointment first, I could take him with me and he could see that mommy gets her teeth cleaned, it doesn't hurt, and when you're done, you get a treat. At least, that was the plan.
My appointment came and he was fascinated. He watched everything the hygenist did, checked her tools out thoroughly, and was pleased with my new toothbrush and his sticker.
Next day, his turn. We talked about it at bedtime, in the morning over breakfast, and when I picked him up from preschool. Got to the dentist, no problem. Waited a few minutes, no problem. Walked back to the treatment room, and that's as far as we got. He pulled a mutiny in the doorway; once coaxed into the room he refused to get in the chair. Once in the chair, first on mom's lap, then on his own, he wouldn't uncurl from the fetal position. I left the room, the dentist came in and had a man-to-man chat with him, still no dice. We finally left, unsuccessful and frustrated, and there's a new no-sweets rule in effect that's even more strict than the one before. Tea, sweetened cereal and the occasional candy are now off his diet, and he knows it. We'll try again in six months, then head for a pediodontist, where they'll put him in a papoose and his hatred of the dentist will be fixed for life, like so many adults we know.
Ah, the best-laid plans of moms and men...

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