Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recipe for Disaster

Just in case you ever want to ruin the morning of a perfectly good snow day, all you have to do is this:

1. Wake your seven year old daughter (who went to bed later than she should have the previous night) and inform her that she has a dentist appointment.

2. Attempt to dress said seven year old daughter as she thrashes about and wails, "But I just wanna go back to sleeeeeppp!"

3. Then wake your eight year old son and tell him he has to tag along to the dentist - repeating what you said one more time, louder, so he can hear you over the dramatic protests from the room across the hall.

4. Drive to the dentist, through the snow, wishing you were back home in your warm bed.

5. Pretend to be happy at the dentist's office when the receptionist asks you to update paperwork. Think, "It's not personal. Insurance requirements. Grin and bear it."

6. Enthusiastically usher your increasingly-nervous daughter to the back where the poor hygienist is waiting and has no idea what she is about to face.

7. Hold your precious second-born as tears well up in her eyes at the announcement that all six-year molars are in and "it's time for sealants."

8. Half-lead, half-drag her to the even backer-back, because sealants apparently require a different hygienist and room.

9. Drape your body across that daughter and physically hold her down as the poor, unsuspecting hygienist begins to wish she had called in sick..

10. Ask the Lord why he gave an octopus eight arms and a mother just two because dear Jesus this physical restraint would be a whole lot easier with another hand or four.

11. Look up at the hygienist with a look of pity and pleading as the strongest seven year old you've ever met renders you powerless in matters of restraint.

12. Send that dear, precious, stubborn, and dramatic daughter to the bathroom to get herself together and dry those tears because Mommy has had enough and you are NOT making another appointment to do this another day!

13. Compose yourself as the hygienist goes to get reinforcements. Conclude that you will never go to the dentist again. Decide that teeth are highly overrated.

14. Smile as a snuffling girl tentatively makes her way back to the torturous chair. Speak soothing words of encouragement like, "It's not going to hurt at all. Mommy had this done when she was a little girl! All she's going to do is paint your teeth with princess paint."

15. Realize that your words are not making one iota of difference.

16. Attempt restraint one more time.

17. Give up. Listen as the dentist and hygienist say, "We'll just try this another day. It's not worth her having such a bad experience at the dentist."

18. Think, but don't say, "Her?! What about me?!'

19. Walk, defeated, to the check-out counter.

20. Accept the appointment card for another appointment that you swore you would not make. Load both children back in the car and curse anyone who says that snow days are fun.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I admit, it’s hard to prepare kids for their first dental appointment. However, please don’t give up. You can use story books that explain the importance of visiting the dentist. Or, you can invite her to watch you during your dental appointment. For sure, her next dental checkup will be successful. :)
    Gerald Regni

  3. Thank you for the encouragement! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next time will be much better...

  4. I have to agree with Dr. Gerald, Jennie. Clinics now even have video games and game rooms so that children wouldn't feel anxious and instead be relaxed and treat their visit to the dentist as a fun and relaxing activity.

    Jamie DeFinnis

  5. Preparing our kids for a dental appointment shouldn’t happen during her first visit at the dentist. Yes, those fun activities might help in entertaining them while they wait for their turn. But the real preparation can be done in your house – reading children’s books that talk about dental care, letting them watch your dental checkup, or letting them talk to your dentist once in a while are all part of the preparation that can be done while you are still at home. :)

    Bruna Bott