Alistair had his first cleaning yesterday. Even though I was jumping up and down with joy that I got to have the pleasure of taking both young men to the dentist, without the accompaniment of my hard working wife, I somehow managed to also be nervous! Imagine that! Trying to keep two boys in a dentist’s chair at the same time was actually causing me stress! Bizarre, I know.
This day marked an especially important day for Noble. He has failed twice in a row, at the dentist, to make the dolphin club. What is the dolphin club, you ask politely? Oh, why it’s the glory that is placed upon a child when that child has 85% or better of…um…non tartar or something. All I know is that the dental hygenist has a blue piece of paper with the cartoon diagram of all the teeth. And some teeth get lines drawn on them where the
neglecting parent child has forgotten to brush efficiently. Upon completion of this dental worksheet, there is a percentage given. 85 or better = dolphin club. You get dolphin club, you get to put a blue sticker with your name on it on the wall and get entered into a drawing. It’s a big deal. It’s also a big deal if you fail to get it. It means that you, and your attending parent, are awful humans that care nothing of your child’s personal hygiene.
When Gayle reminded Noble that he had his dentist appointment this morning, he ran into the bathroom declaring, “I gotta make the dolphin club!” And brushed the bejesus out of his teeth. Forget enamel, he needed to be plaque free! To me, this only meant that things were going to suck and get real whiny when they announced that he had less than 85%. Why does everything have to be a competition?! Oh well, it motivated him, so at least he got a thorough brushing in the morning.
School let out, and we began our journey. I don’t know about your kids, but mine seem to stock pile all of their whining during school, and then the second they get into the car it explodes this double impersonation of Jon Lovitz’s Annoying Man. Bad enough so, that on the way to the dentist, I had to pull over at one point, put the car in park, and politely request that my children stop their post school whining and LISTEN UP! THIS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AT THE DENTIST! PUT ON YOUR GOOD BEHAVIOR NOW! (all caps, in this case, means firm, eye bulging, very serious, direct, non-screaming screaming tones)
We arrived at the dentist and were called in right away. Alistair was very reluctant to get into the chair. And when I say reluctant, I mean that he flat out said, “NO” and was like a cat being placed into a bathtub. He just wasn’t having it. Not a great start to this process.
After seeing Noble in the chair:
Once in the chair, the lady began to put the Cat in the Hat bib on Alistair. Based on his reaction to the bib, I was not looking forward to his reaction to the “machines.”
But MUCH to my surprise Alistair handled the entire appointment like a champion! Check it out:
Unfortunately, Alistair only made 80%, so he didn’t get in the dolphin club. But I didn’t care about that, I’m just happy that I didn’t have to hold him down, beg him to be good, listen to him scream in terror….all things, by the way, that a mother two seats over was doing with her child. Don’t you just get a horrible, nasty sense of pride when you’ve achieved something miraculous while someone else is going through your worst case scenario? It’s awful. But it made me so proud of my boys. I got the flossing lecture, which I saw coming, and the brushing lecture, which, after hearing the 80% I knew was on it’s way.
Noble finished up his appointment moments later. And he got 85%! That should have meant he was in the dolphin club. We all got excited, but then the hygienist told us that he needed 85% with no cavities. SON OF A…WHAT?! What an awful tease! So now we had to wait for the dentist to come by and check Noble for cavities. The anticipation was more than Noble could take. My heart was racing, too, because this kid had so much riding on getting into the dolphin club. In the back of my mind, I recollected the last visit where the dentist found the start of a cavity and said that we would just watch it until the next visit. I didn’t say anything at the time.
While we waited for the dentist, we talked about what happens if you make the dolphin club. I offered up, “Maybe they give you a dolphin?” Just being silly. I didn’t realize Noble would take that seriously and respond, “Dad, if they give me a dolphin, you HAVE to let me take it home. Say it right now that you’ll let me take it home!” Oops. I answered the only way I could think…. ”Dude, we aren’t set up for dolphins. We just don’t have the square footage. Or maybe you’ll get a sticker!!”
The dentist arrived, counted all of Alistair’s teeth. High fives and good jobs for Alistair…and “dad, make sure you clean these easy to miss places.” Then it came Noble’s turn. He counted all the teeth, and poked around, and it was determined….
He made it! Bottom row, second from the left. That’s my boy!
All of my fears were squashed, and my children showed me that yes, in fact, they CAN behave, and they CAN be brave at the dentist. So Noble gets dolphin club, and I raise the bar on my expectations of these two yahoos.
I will now share this short video with you…it makes me laugh. SPOILER ALERT: It’s a gratuitous video of my kids….you may not find it as funny or cute as me…but I think you might! It’s at 15 seconds that I start laughing.