It was as if Maria had been to the dentist ten times before our trip today for her initial visit. She walked into the small cubicled room, swung her body onto the oversized dental chair, placed her limbs on the chair’s armrests, and waited to be pampered.
Seriously, I had to pinch myself to make sure we were at the dentist’s office and not the spa. The hygenist came into the small room with her perky self, talking three decibels higher than normal, and explaining everything in s-l-o-w-m-o-ti-o-n. After about a minute, I would have thought that she would have toned it down some after seeing that Maria was cool as a cat in the chair, but it must be engrained in her to act that way with any child that comes into the office. Maria seemed to like her nonetheless, so it was all good.
Maria loved being taken care of and getting pampered with flavored toothpaste and fluoride while watching Nick Kids on the tv in the corner of the room. She did not mind the slight tugging at her mouth and poking of her teeth because afterwards, she knew that her teeth would be shiny white and she would get to taste raspberry fluoride and get water sucked out of her mouth through a straw. The only services she missed were a head massage and pedicure. After the hygenist finished cleaning her teeth, she shot up and asked for a mirror. “I want to see my shiny white teeth, mom!”
When we got home from school tonight, she went upstairs and brushed immediately asking me to find her floss and asking me if I liked the color of her new toothpaste. She asked when she could go to the dentist again. She bragged about her teeth still looking so shiny and white. She even admonished her little brother about brushing his teeth, and instructed him how to brush properly. Of course, he smacked her right in the arm as soon as she tried to touch his toothbrush. She should know by now but she continues to try.
I wonder how Mr. Mario will do with his first trip to dentist – somehow I don’t think that he will be quite as enamored with the process or believe that any of it is “pampering.” He will probably cram down ten donuts and licorice before the appointment just to be ornery (whereas Maria made sure she brushed her teeth right before we left). Although he did show some promise tonight while we were rocking in Maria’s room. He heard Maria tell her dad that she forgot to brush her teeth, and then he heard her get out of bed. He turned to me in the chair and asked “Mom, brush teeth?” I replied with an adamant “no way” and he looked at me with frustration continuing to speak: “But, mom, my teeth feel dirty.” What do I say to that? I figured I would take him in the bathroom and he would goof off but he actually brushed his teeth better than I do half the time.
So, one for one so far at the dentist and maybe a two for two in another year. For now, I will enjoy the memory in my head of Maria in that big ol’ dentist chair, mouth slightly open, waiting for her flavored toothpaste and watching her favorite tv shows – that content, mischevious little grin on her face.