Mother of the Year: The Dentist

I had no idea of the existence of “Mommy Wars” until I became a mother and discovered there was always someone on the internet with a "judgey" opinion on my parenting. Apparently “lofty planner who generally ends up winging it” is not a respected mothering strategy. 

Still, I am doubtful that many moms actually feel like they have it together all the time, so I write posts about how I can’t operate a car seat and failing at preschool Valentine’s Day

A “Mother of the Year” series is practically writing itself. And to add to its archives, I give you… our first trip to the dentist.

Showing off her goodies from the dentist.
En route to her appointment, I stopped at my office. Ella quickly discovered a co-worker’s cup of chocolates. I was in mid-transference when I tried to renege, reminding Gabriella about the dentist. This, of course, meant nothing to her.

Because I’m the only mom on the planet who never carries wipes with me, we arrived at the dentist with chocolate smeared all over her clothes and face. Strike One.

A quick clean-up, though, and we jumped into the chair. Actually, she was a stellar dental patient. The only bumpy part was flossing.

Ella clawed at the hygienist’s hands and tried to do it “herself.” Even the professional could only floss two teeth before looking at me and saying, “So yeah, just do that every night to get her in the habit.” Um… yeah, right.

When it was time to clean my teeth, I realized I didn’t bring any toys. Naturally, I gave her my wallet to explore. She littered my credit cards and nail files on the floor before opening the zipper pocket to find… a sucker from our earlier trip to the bank. “I want this!”

Oh, dear. We are still in the freakin’ dentist office. They have just cleaned her teeth. But I also need to avoid meltdowns and get through this appointment. I uncomfortably opened it while chiding her, “Gabriella, you’re not supposed to each suckers at the dentist office. They are supposed to think we never eat these…”

The hygienist mumbled something about “as long as you brush right after….”

I may have underestimated the challenge of parenting without toys and a stranger’s hand in my mouth. After she crunched the sucker down, she was out of the chair and wandering the room. She particularly enjoyed the button that activates the electric toothbrush.

To try to help, they gave her a toothbrush to play with, which she wanted me to open. Then, she began sliding it on the floor, trying to pick it up with her toes. Oh, did I not mention she wasn’t wearing any shoes?

She had been wearing three of my unlaundered socks on one foot. She discovered them at home when I may have been too lazy and pregnant to stand up and get her a tissue to wipe her nose. So she piled them on and lovingly referred to this as her “big sock.” Somewhere along the way, though, “big sock” had disappeared. 

When her “toe-picking-up” was unsuccessful, she simply snatched up the new toothbrush and stuck it back in her mouth. So basically, I let the dentist office know in no uncertain terms that if they wanted to clean my daughter’s teeth, they better find a way to protect them to chocolate and suckers… and they better sanitize their floors.

When I later told Billy about our day, he was literally fist pumping in the air. Apparently, there were moments during his stay-at-home dad days that he felt I didn’t understand how a day could go from completely normal to barefoot and licking chocolate-covered toothbrushes off the dentist office floor. Now I get it…

Does your child like the dentist? Can you relate?

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  1. Haha, I can hear Billy's laughter in my head!

    1. You might want to see a doctor about that... ;)

  2. One word. Babysitter. So really, going to the dentist is an all day process. First I drive to my parents and drop off all but my oldest child. Who is capable finally (at 6!) of entertaining himself nicely in the corner with books and magazines and asking the hygienist a million questions while my teeth are cleaned.
    Then I take him back to my parents and return to the dentist with younger son, 3, who is a rock star at the dentist. Could be because he of all my children has spent the most time in medical offices.
    My babies have yet to see the inside of a dental office and I'm not sure they will before they're 3... I can't even imagine trying to get both of them to sit still for each other and I can't be in 2 rooms at once!
    Ah the things you "think" you know before you're a parent! ;)

    1. Good advice, Krista! I'm happy to report she did much better the next day at my prenatal appointment. (Of course, I remembered to bring entertainment.) It was great, though, because if I thought it was challenging to parent with someone else's hand in my mouth, it also turned out to be difficult to parent in a "gown."

  3. Ha ha, hilarious! I can just picture that scenario in my mind :) Kids in Denmark have their own dentists, with lots of toys and child friendly staff, so we've never had that experience, but once we tag teamed our own appointments and brought all three kids with us, only to find out that our appointments overlapped. I looked at the kids, playing happily in the waiting room, and was debating what to do. Then a nice lady said she'd watch them, so I just went in. They were fine, and it all went well, but we've dropped them off at a babysitter since then!

  4. Hey Sarah! I am a friend of Angela and Brad's- I think we have actually met before...we rode to their wedding together with Amanda? Anyways, Angela sent me a link to your blog, and I have laughed aloud multiple times while reading it. Thanks for making me feel better when about my own new mom failures. :)

    1. Hi there, Heather!!! It's great to hear from you! (And I do remember our trip.) :) I'm so glad to know the blog is encouraging you in the bizarreness that is motherhood. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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