Damning the Dentist

So yesterday Jenn & I left work early with the best of intentions: take Raelyn to her Dental check-up, do some grocery shopping and get home early enough to cook dinner, get the kids to bed and watch some teevee.

Best laid plans and all that.

To set the stage I must mention that six scant months ago – the very first time Raelyn ever visited a Dentist’s office – we were told she was the best behaved and most hygienic 4-year-old they’d ever seen. Hubris and dumb parental pride had us thinking lightning would strike twice.

Yesterday, however, was every parent’s (and child’s) nightmare.

It began in the lobby. Raelyn was drooling and stupefied watching Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons” on DVD while we (and about 12 other sets of kids & parents) waited nearly an hour past our appointment time to be seen.

I agreed with one gentleman who brought up the fact, loudly, that he’d confirmed his children’s appointments multiple times via phone and email but the dentist didn’t respect *his* time enough to call or email to let him know they were running late.

His righteous anger and tone were spot-on and contagious (who hasn’t been held captive in a waiting room?) until he spouted this whopper: “Do you have any idea what my hourly rate is?”

Me? I have no idea what my own hourly rate is or this douchebag’s is, but I immediately switched allegiances and felt for the poor staff-member listening to this guy’s abuse.

It’s one thing to be angry about being late waiting in line, it’s quite another to throw your class and paycheck in someone’s face/into the discussion. He knew what he was doing, though. I caught his smirk as she skulked off.

On to Raelyn. Our perfect daughter. Our angel baby. The dentist’s dream.

She took two x-rays like a walk in the park. Try to insert the bite-plate for side x-rays and she clammed right up.

I saw it happen and thought it odd, but the tech had her out of the chair and picking stickers before I’d realized that parental oversight and good behavior had lost out to dental expedience.

In the hygienist chair she got brushed and flossed relatively well but the prospect of fluoride, which the hygienist warned her against swallowing because it might cause a tummy ache, caused tears.

After 10 minutes of negotiation, hand-holding, light shaming and cajoling she was over and done with the crying and fluoriding in under a minute. Kids!

Just as we had promised – and she should have trusted – it was worse to overreact than to get it done in the first place.

So now we waited for the dentist. When she said Raelyn *needed* to have those previously-avoided x-rays taken there were new tears. And a new challenge.

Back to step one, with a new tech, we went through fake x-rays on Dad, the promise of twice the stickers as before and another 10 minutes of back-and-forth and still NO x-rays.

For her part, the dentist was quick in counting and examining Rae’s teeth. The good news: no cavities, good brushing and flossing technique and overall high marks. The bad (worst?) news: the dentist said Raelyn could take ALL of the balloons home with her (there were close to a dozen and we were the last folks in the office at this point).

Jenn & I stepped in and told Raelyn she could decide how many balloons to take, but that she’d behaved poorly so she didn’t deserve the whole lot.

3 balloons and 2 hours later we were off to Publix, home and our normal schedule. So much for the dentist.

Parenthood!

Bonus Link: since there’s no new Lost tonight (my normal Thursday post) here’s some interesting info on the Time Loop Theory.

Oh, and I wrote my first Ficlet today. Have a go at it.

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