I took the four Shorties to the dentist yesterday for their regular cleaning. That’s a surreal experience every single time. I may have the only kids in the history of the universe who like going to the dentist. Well, mostly.
Elise thinks she’s grown and is completely insulted that you might want to go back with her for a teeth cleaning. (insert dramatic eye roll here.) She huffs back with a, “NO, I do NOT want you to go back and hold my hand. Sheesh, Mom.”
Carter announces that he’s a big boy, but if I want to check on him later, that’s good with him. Big hug. Another big hug. Run back for a kiss. One more hug. If you want to come back, that’s okay, Mom. One more hug. Kiss. So, you’ll come back in a minute, right?
Elaina asks me to come and hold her hand because it makes her feel better. She’s sure it makes me feel better too, which is why she really allows it. So, I hold her hand and rub her arm and make the chit chat while they clean around her braces.
Lily has to be bribed out of the play room with the promise of a dip into the prize drawer. Then she reluctantly opens for the tooth counting, wearing her spiffy new hot pink sunglasses just for the occasion of her first real cleaning with the equipment. She opens for the look see, but snaps it shut when that cleaning brush starts whirring and spinning. We’ll be having none of that, thank you very much.
So, after about ten minutes of this being patient mess, I switch gears from Comforting-Reassuring-Be-A-Brave-Girl-Now-Mommy into Get-Your-Butt-In-That-Chair-And Open-Your-Dadgum-Mouth-Mommy and resort to half sitting on her, half holding her down, keeping her legs, arms, and head still while the dental tech pries her little mouth open to shove the fluoride in there on her brand spanking new Lightning McQueen toothbrush.
(Side note here: holding down a determined four-year-old could be an Olympic sport. By the time she’s finally done, I’m sweating and covered in hair and spit and tears and snot and she’s grunting and squirming and madder than a hornet, squalling like I don’t know what. They earn all four office fees in that one cleaning, since the others just lie there like it’s no big whoop.)
Then, when the torment is finally over (mine, not theirs), it’s time for a trip to the treasure box. Elise chooses a slinky (because it’s pink). Carter chooses a shark tooth necklace (do you think this is really a shark tooth? And isn’t it funny that they are giving away teeth at the dentist’s office?). Elaina chooses an Ashley Tisdale sticker (because she’s ‘fabulous’ and then breaks into an Ethel Merman-inspired rendition of the song, belting out Fabulous from the High School Musical soundtrack.).
And Lily? She makes the obvious choice as well. A white terrycloth tennis wrist sweatband with the Jolly Rogers skull and cross bones printed on it in black, which she then wore to church, naturally.
When you ask her what it is, she smiles her little sneaky-mouse grin and says, “It’s for pie-wits.”
Do you know what a pirate is, Lily?
“Oh, yes, dey say ‘Arg’.”