Today was Brandon’s first dentist appointment. After his hysterical display at Saturday’s wedding, I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. But I am a firm believer in preparation, so I went to the library and the book store and gathered up some books about visiting the dentist. We have read them each night before bed. And each time I talked to him about it, he said he doesn’t want to go to the dentist, that he’s scared.
This morning I told him that we were going to the dentist and he replied, “my teeth are fine mom, I don’t need a checkup.” He is such a grown-up sometimes, it scares me. When I gave him my mom look, he added, “let’s just go tomorrow, instead.” I told him that today he would go to the dentist and then his teeth would get nice and clean. I knew that would get him. He really loves for things to be nice and clean.
I had my appointment first and I warned the hygienist that he has been an absolute monster lately. I told her he has been crying about silly things all the time and he acts like a complete baby. I really bashed him good. She told me if he was too terrible, they wouldn’t clean his teeth. They aren’t in the practice of strapping people down while wrestling metal objects into their mouths, any way. We both resigned ourselves to that with satisfaction. It’s out of our control. Kids will be kids. They aren’t going to ruin anything for us, damn it.
After my appointment, I walked Brandon back to the room and watched as he sat patiently in the dentist chair while the hygienist took x-rays. I watched her polish his teeth while he politely and obediently did as she said. She even flossed without him protesting. I was shocked. Shocked! I left the room and entertained Holden in the waiting room while the dentist came in and examined him. I listened for cries or sniffling, but didn’t hear a peep.
When he emerged from his checkup, he was smiling and holding stickers and his new toothbrush. He told Holden about his cleaning and that one day when Holden was big like he is that Holden would have one too. And when we got home, he called me into the bathroom where he was holding his new toothbrush. He asked me to put toothpaste on it.
And to think I expected the worse, when he ended up being the best. Sometimes, kids surprise you. And once in awhile, it’s in a good way.
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