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Thursday
May122011

Weightless

I recently advised a friend that you can't walk around carrying your parent's issues on your shoulders, which was great advice except for the fact that I make Alexis do it. Sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. I mean, she has no idea how much I hate horses, that I think princesses are stupid, and that I've considered choking Dora. I try to let her make up her own mind about things for the most part. But, sometimes I make her avoid things like the plague because I hate them.

Which is all to say, I REALLY hate going to the dentist.

It's not a phobia or anything, I just plain hate going. I'm one of those people who is terribly cursed to a life of frequent cavities no matter what I do. I've heard, "Wow! Your teeth are so clean! And have so many cavities!" more times in my life than I can count. It's frustrating. Add to that the fact that I have half a wisdom tooth that needs ripped out (Yes, half--the other half broke off when a filling fell out OVER A YEAR AGO. I can avoid things that I hate like nobody else.). I have zero interest in setting foot in a dentist's office.

Not even for the kid to get her teeth cleaned.

After realizing just how stupid I was being (I realized it literally as I was telling the friend not to carry her parent's issues around), I made her an appointment as soon as possible. Amazingly, I didn't burst into flames while making the call.

Yesterday was the big day, and I have to say, I did a bang-up job of not letting on that I didn't want to go into that office. Alexis was downright excited for her first trip, literally running to get to the door faster. She was cheerful and outgoing to the office staff, prompting me to wonder what planet her alien body snatcher had lived on. She sat perfectly in the chair, cooperating fully and even giggling a few times at the bad jokes the dentist told her.

It was all very much so the opposite of what I would have done in her position.

She passed the exam with flying colors, of course. Kids who only sometimes will eat candy tend to have that sort of luck. My favorite part of the visit was the part where the dentist tried to tell Alexis she could go pick out a prize from the treasure box and I sort of glared at him and then asked if there was something he wanted to tell her. Maybe? You know, CHECK THE FORM I FILLED OUT FOR YOU, DORK-FACE.

He was completely confused by my attempts to talk around the topic, so I had to just spit it out. "Didn't you want to tell her to stop sucking on her lip?" For real, people, the kid is trying to make me nuts with that stupid bad habit. She does it 20 hours per day, including when she's running. How do you not freak out as a mom when you see your kid running around with her lip perfectly positioned to be pierced by an entire row of teeth? YOU DON'T. Not to mention the fact that I could really do without the overbite thing that she's going to give herself.

The dentist caught on to my scheme and appropriately lectured Alexis that she needs to quit. She's got a healthy dose of respect for most grown-ups, so she was on board with the lecture and has committed herself to trying to quit. Woooo!

Later that evening, Alexis and I were on our way home after going to TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil. She sat in the back seat of the car, very refreshed after having fallen asleep just in time to make me carry her from the circus tent to the car, and told me all about how amazing her day had been.

"Mom, today was the Best! Day! Ever!" she said. She tends to say that a lot. I'm working on adopting her attitude towards embracing each and every day because it's a good one.

"What was your favorite part?" I asked. I always ask that question. It's my thing.

"The dentist! It was so much fun going to the dentist!" she replied.

I guess the kid can walk around with her shoulders held high. She most certainly isn't walking around with the weight of my issues weighing her down.

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Reader Comments (9)

I get it. I do. I hate the dentist. I have "groovy" teeth. It sucks even more that my MIL works at my dentist office. But I play it up like it's great fun. And they think it's awesome.

So, score one for me getting over my crap for their sake. Or something. But I still hate it.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom

@firemom--Me, too. I didn't exactly make an appointment for myself while we were there. Ahem.

Crazy coincidence, Maggie is going for her first dentist appointment on Saturday morning! Our girls... they are growing up. SIGH. :)

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Juliana is the same way - she asks when it is time to go back and was thrilled when she had a special appt to get her tooth pulled. so much better the dread I have always had.

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Awesome job, Mama! I have that same conversation with my kids every night. Last night:

Me: What was your favorite thing today, Youngest Boy?
Youngest Boy: Going to school. Coming home from school. (these are pretty consistent every weekday) Oh, and not getting struck by lightning!
Me: !!!

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mommy

My son loves the dentist. Unusual, since you would think an anxiety ridden, sensory processing disorder kind of kid wouldn't. He just loves the feel of how smooth his teeth are after the cleaning I think. He often reminds me - Mom, isn't it time for my teeth cleaning? What a hoot.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMia @ 1MomJustSaying

Well good! For both of you!!

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

OMG, I HATE the dentist and I've never had a cavity (I've had lots and lots of teeth pulled for orthodontic work, though). I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years and am certain that I NOW have cavities, which makes me want to go even less. Bear has now been twice for cleanings and imagine my guilt when I was told he had 2 small cavities in his back teeth. Even though they were baby teeth, they had to be filled. Hubby has cavity-prone teeth, so I'm assuming it's genetic.

Bear did great with the fillings, so I'm trying to take after him and get over myself and just get to the dentist already! Isn't it awesome when our kids surprise us?

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

I loathe going to the dentist as well! And yet my kids? Only going twice-a-year isn't enough for them. We drive by the office at least a couple times a week, and every single time they ask if it is time to go see Dr. Dave yet!

I had to go last week for an emergency repair of my front tooth, and the whole time I was in the chair I kept telling myself how great it was to sit there without kids climbing on me or asking me questions or needing me to get something for them . . . and yet I was still so damn happy when it was over that I couldn't get out of the office fast enough. And they were gracious enough to remind me that I am a year overdue for a cleaning - I have to go back in August.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
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