On the outside I am perfectly composed. If you didn’t know me, you might even believe I quivered with excitement at the prospect of what lay before me.
Only those that truly know me have an inkling of the fear that truly causes my entire body shake like I’m using one of these:On the drive to this unholy place, my stomach churned in a way it hadn’t since the first trimester of my last pregnancy when I was convinced if I stood up, sat down, bent over, or smelled anything I just might hurl.
Because the pressure was on me. I HAD to pull off my most convincing acting job since “No, Those Shots Won’t Hurt. Much.”
You see, today was The Tackler’s first visit to The Dentist.
I HATE The Dentist. I FEAR The Dentist. I can’t even listen to movies that have The Dentist doing Work. Little Shop of Horrors is truly the scariest most terrifying horror movie ever made thanks to Steve Martin. No one cheered louder than me when he was consumed by the poor misunderstood plant.
I still haven’t forgiven Yoda for directing.
But I couldn’t let all of this baggage taint and somehow scar my Sweet Innocent of the Evil of Dentists on his very first visit.
So I hid it. And prayed that no one was getting any cavities filled so I wouldn’t run screaming for the car, leaving my very perplexed 3.5 year old behind to fend for himself.
We entered the waiting room and a gigantic aquarium greeted us. I spent 15 minutes filling out paperwork (including a portion that asked about my son’s interests and hobbies). The conversation went like this:
Tackler: Mommy, that fishy is sad. Why is that fishy sad?
Me: It’s not sad. It just doesn’t know how to make a happy face. See those big orange fish. They have happy faces (truly, I have never seen fish that had such a natural smile to their faces; they would make The Joker envious).
Tackler: They ARE happy. But the baby fishies are sad. Why are they sad? What is that (regarding the Menu screen of the movie on the TV)?
Me: That’s a boat. See it’s in the water.
Tackler: That looks like a train (it really did, if a train ran on water).
Me: It does a bit.
Tackler: What movie is that?
Me: I have no idea (I didn’t but as we left Shrek 3 was playing on that screen).
And this general line of conversation repeated until the paperwork was finished and we read a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book where I had to explain why Goofy was turned into Baby Goofy.
We were called on time and The Tackler tried to go into the first area off of the hallway.
“No, you don’t want to go there,” the technician said.
The innocuous hallway had doors leading off of it to small rooms. They were the trees hiding the Pit of Despair and The Drill Machine (another Princess Bride reference, for the few – my G-ma – who might not know).
All tools of torture were hidden away in The Pit.
My chest loosened up. Just a bit.
The technician introduced The Tackler to the penguin tooth brush and let him feel the little rubber ends. He got to pick his flavor (chocolate chip cookie dough, with ZERO hesitation).
And then the chair was reclined and I still couldn’t help thinking “thank goodness it isn’t me.”
He put up the smallest bit of resistance, mostly because it was a bit more difficult to view the screen while laying down. Once properly angled with his cute sunglasses to block the light above, he happily obeyed the technicians constant asking to “open wide.”
He was then rewarded with a sticker (he picked Toy Story 3 one – shocker that).
Then it was time for The Dentist.
Dr. Jenny wasn’t the Mrs. Trunchbull that I had envisioned. In fact, she was kind of cool.
She put me at ease. ME.
The Tackler was once again reclined and his teeth were counted and checked.
Dr. Jenny rewarded me with fabulous news: the Tackler’s teeth were in excellent shape. Even though we only typically brushed the once a day (just prior to bedtime) she said that was the best time and to keep doing whatever it was we were doing.
And try to work some flossing in there, just so he gets used to it.
Relief consumed me as I learned my son was cavity free. At least as far as they could tell (no x-rays were done this time).
I would not have to take my son, whom I love and adore, into The Pit. At least for the next six months.
“I don’t have any holes,” the Tackler informed me yet again. He’d been saying that since reading the Dora book about seeing The Dentist.
“That’s right. And we have to keep brushing our teeth so we don’t get any holes in our teeth.”
Dr. Jenny discussed the various Chuggington trains (thanks to the aforementioned helpful “hobbies” section I’d filled out on the forms) as she brushed “Chuggington vitamins” on his teeth (the fluoride).
The Tackler was then given a fake coin to “buy” a prize.
“That’s it?” I asked, very confused.
“That’s it. We’d like to see him again in six months.”
As the Tackler found the candy looking machines that were filled with tiny prizes to “buy” with his coin and I paid the bill, I couldn’t help wondering…
Did Dr. Jenny work on adults too?
Because I have a check-up scheduled with The Dentist next week (since my mother is here to baby-sit). The first since getting pregnant with Lil Diva.
And pregnancy is NOT kind to one’s teeth. Gag reflexes and thorough teeth brushing don’t mix.
The Dentist I use doesn’t have private Pits of Despair. You can hear everything. Even if you’re just there to have your teeth cleaned. I want to run away before my name is even called.
As we left the office, the Tackler’s newly “purchased” green chokable bouncy ball in hand, I debated about turning around and asking if perhaps Dr. Jenny could find some time to squeeze me into one of those little chairs. I’ll be sure to write in The Princess Bride, Buffy, and a few other classics to talk about on my form.
If not, I suppose there’s always Chuggington.
What is your biggest fear?