Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day Which Will Live In Infamy...

I once had a friend in high school who wanted to be a dentist. Not sure if he pursued that path or not, but I remember something he told me way back then..."Dentist's have the highest suicide rate." I don't know why I remember that, but it stuck with me and so I always try to be super- pleasant and upbeat when I go to the dentist. I'm sure it's depressing enough to hear all day long about a patient that just dreads coming, so I figure I'm just doing my part. "Hello. My name is Nikki, and I'm a people-pleaser."

My little Mister? Not so much in the people-pleasing department. Yesterday was a D-Day of sorts for the Jackson's. Our whole family converged on our totally innocent dental assistant for a cleaning and check-up. Poor gal. She didn't even see it coming. The hubby and I went first, letting our little ones watch. Eva loved it and even stood to get a better look at why it's okay to let people put their hands in our mouth, but we won't let her put her hands in the dog's mouth. Life's so unfair.

Ethan just sat in the corner with his hands over his mouth and his eyes wide with horror. This wasn't even his first go around considering we go every six months. When it was his turn, he was adamant that the assistant could see his teeth just fine from a distance. He wanted to negotiate terms to skip the visit altogether. To his dismay, she was having none of it. So, we sat, like we have every six months for the last few years, with the Mr. on our lap, kicking, screaming and tantruming the entire time. This time I chose to step out of the room and let Brent hold Ethan on his lap. At least his mouth was open wide enough between screams for her to get a good look and begin the quick cleaning process...Oy Vey was it a process! No calming techniques or convincing on our part could calm him down. The other assistants in the office were leaving their posts to come check out all the commotion. I really don't need a lesson in humility...with two toddlers, I live it every day.

I had every intention of grabbing my camera and snapping a few pics for my blog, thinking this would be such a cute post of my sweet kiddos perched in the chair, an example of pediatric dental care. But, somewhere between the screaming and my frazzled nerves, pulling out my camera and capturing the image of my son mid-scream just wasn't a priority.

Once it was all over, he shut off those tears as if they never began, happily accepted his new toothbrush and alligator floss and planned to be on his way. He was even waving and smiling and tossing out good-byes without a care in the world. But, I stopped him. Oh yes. There was no getting out of this one. No free pass. I got down on his level and told him that while I was glad he let Miss Tami clean his teeth (between screams...a person's got to get a good breath), he needed to apologize to her for throwing a fit the entire time and that his behavior was unacceptable. He knew I meant business as the smile faded from his face, he lowered his head and nodded then turned to Miss Tami and SINCERELY apologized. Then he thanked her for taking care of him. I'm sure he was mostly just glad it was over. And I'm sure Miss Tami needed a huge break after a morning with the Jackson's.

I have a feeling, after yesterday, Dr. H. may be forever over-booked and unable to fit us in the schedule.

Do you have a trick up your sleeve to make doctor and dental visits a pleasant and happy experience for all? Or is a visit an all out war?


Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

No tricks. We haven't even tried this yet. But maybe don't take them during a full moon? Haha! When I told my mom last night about Annalyn's crazy fit earlier this week, she said what I KNEW she would: "Well, it IS a full moon! You know what I and animals just KNOW and they go crazy during a full moon!"

I think she might be right. I wrote about Annalyn's tantrum today, and your post is the third OTHER tantrum story I've read this morning!!

haverlee said...

Switch dentists to one with TV's over the chair! Ours are right in front of their face. Bennett was practically comatose while they cleaned his teeth!!

Nikki said...

Mary-Totally agree about the full moon! I would add to that: labor starts during full moons too!

Have-Where do you go? Sounds like a winner to me!

haverlee said...

Its in Ankeny right on 2nd Ave, not too far North of the Interstate. Dr McCoullough (i might not have spelled that right. Maybe McCullough). Yeah, it was great! Jon's gone to him for a long time so when it was time for Bennett to start, I wanted us all at the same place.

Anonymous said...

A dentist that specializes in children-only!! They have some amazing fun dentists now. Here is one in KC our kids use: .. video games in the waiting room? it's too fun!

Nikki said...

Thanks guys, these are are some great tips! Looks like we need to find a more kid-friendly dentist! How did we ever survive dental visits as a kid? My dentist never had a television...I just got to pick out a little toy from the treasure chest on my way out.