The monkeys had their dentist appointments yesterday.
I dread the dentist.
Not for myself. I actually find it to be quite a relaxing experience.
But, for the monkeys.
Monkey Girl does just fine at the dentist, but Monkey in the Middle suffers from an overproduction of saliva, (inherited from me…sorry, buddy) and the result is that plaque and tartar build up on the back of his bottom front teeth faster than he can possibly brush it away.
No one can see it, but it’s there, and at the dentist, you know what that means…
So, you’ll have to forgive me for keeping visits to the dentist a secret until we are pulling into the parking lot.
Otherwise, the anxiety is through the roof leading up to the appointment and he cannot control his behavior.
Baby Monkey also has a fear of the dentist.
He’s only been once.
They weren’t able to pry his mouth open to even count his teeth.
He’s afraid of loud noises, and despite the fact that I told them NOT to turn on the tooth polisher to polish their finger before putting it in his mouth, they did it anyway.
He heard the noise and lost his mind.
And, please know that the phrase “lost his mind” is in no way, shape or form an exaggeration.
So, as you can imagine, my anxiety starts to rise when I know we have to head to the dentist.
However, you gotta take your kids to the dentist.
It’s, like, a rule or something.
So, I made their latest appointment for Thursday at 3:30.
I had forgotten we didn’t have school due to Rosh Hashana, and if I had remembered, I would have done it first thing in the morning.
But, I didn’t.
Monkey in the Middle has been a bit less anxious these days, about life in general, so I decided that I would give it a try, letting him know ahead of time that we were headed to the dentist.
Appointment at 3:30, I told him at 12.
There were no tears, but there were a lot of questions and I tried to keep it low key by whispering, “Please don’t scare your brother,” which was instantly thwarted with a loud, “But it’s gonna hurt!!!”
I was able to distract with a trip to the library and we came home with a bag laden with 13 books and 7 movies.
We spent an hour watching the Arthur DVD’s, cuddling together, and I was feeling pretty good about the fact that the anxiety seemed to be dying down.
However, as soon as I sent them up to brush their teeth (I know, I know…dentists aren’t fooled by that pre-visit brush, but we do it anyway) the frowns began to appear, once again.
Now, the plan was that Baby Monkey would go first. That way, he wouldn’t hear the polisher and Mr. Thirsty being used on his siblings and we could, hopefully, use the element of surprise to get, at least, a few teeth clean.
So, I leave the other two big kids in the waiting room and head back with Baby Monkey.
When I’m wrong, I admit it, and let me tell you, I was wrong about this trip to the dentist.
One after the other, they all went back and had their teeth cleaned and treated with fluoride.
They smiled, they chatted, they talked about school.
Monkey in the Middle was anxious…
…but even the scraper didn’t scare him and by the time Mr. Thirsty came out, he was all smiles.
Monkey Girl got the news that we need to head over to the orthodontist and get some braces, and she handled it beautifully.
I can’t tell you how proud I was of those kids and so very glad to have been wrong. There were lots of smushy hugs and kisses and I’ve never been so happy to be wrong in my life. Should have given those babies more credit.
They are pretty darn awesome.