Friday, May 20, 2011

Pete's first successful trip to the dentist!

Before you wonder how Pete got to be three without a trip to the dentist, I should note that it says successful trip to the dentist. 

I signed him up for United Concordia (the CG dental insurance) on his first birthday.  When I called for an appointment, the dentist laughed, but said he could come with me to my appointment, and they'd let him sit in the chair and get a sticker.  She called it a "happy visit" with no charge but I secretly hoped they would actually get to examine and clean his teeth.  After all, this is Pete, the child oral hygiene prodigy who brushes his teeth 14 times a day, clearly he'll want the dentist to clean too.  Go ahead, experienced parents, laugh, I can see now how funny that was.  Pete had zero interest in the dentist chair, and certainly wasn't going to let the dentist touch him.  The highlight of our trip to the dentist's office was the train store across the street where we parked. 

Fast forward to Pete's second birthday.  I made his appointment and the receptionist said they typically schedule a child's exam, billing only a small amount while the dentist counts and examines his teeth, but do not perform a full cleaning.  We spent weeks preparing, talking about the dentist, the chair and the stickers.  I thought for sure he would sit while they counted his teeth, and might even be talked into a cleaning too.  I scheduled my own cleaning right before his, so Pete could watch and be more comfortable.  Again, laugh, because it was certainly funny.  Even with all that prep work, Pete wouldn't open his mouth.  At least he sat in the chair, and earned another bag full of stickers.

 Finally, for Pete's third birthday, I'd given up.  I figured they would count his teeth, and we'd take home the coveted stickers.  I scheduled the appointments 6 months in advance, never
knowing if Ryan would be home to help or not.  Day of the appointment, the boat's schedule kept Ryan away, leaving me with two children and my own appointment  for the day.  Not willing to cancel and re-schedule, I popped Chester in his stroller, gave him some animal games to play on my phone and handed him some extra special treats.  There's a special kind of shame for feeding your baby fruit loops and chocolate milk in the dentist's office, but that's what it took to keep him quiet and still for 45 minutes. 

Pete happily climbed into the dentist's chair and allowed her to first count and touch, and then CLEAN his teeth.  He needed some gentle reminders to open his mouth, and say ahh, but overall, he was brilliant.  Pete climbed out of the chair, one bag of stickers richer for his big boy behavior.  The hygenist even said his teeth were cleaner than any other thee year old she's seen.  I gave Chester more treats and toys, started Pete's ipad with fish games, put him in the corner and climbed into the chair myself. 

Shenanigans ensued.
Pete and Chester, already over an hour past normal naptime, could not be tamed.  The hygenist suggested I hold Chester to keep him happy, clearing up the stroller to contain Pete.  Chester was fussing, and bouncing all over the place, but the hygenist kept her cool and worked around him.  At my wit's end, I used the last line of defense.  I unbuttoned my sweater and slipped up my shirt, letting Chester stick his head in for a little nursing.  He was finally happy (and still) and we finished the cleaning with no further problems.  I told her I really appreciated her accomodating us, it wasn't the plan to bring two children to this appointment.  She was very sweet and said that she was actually admiring how I handled the situation because her husband has been pushing for children but she had no idea how to handle them.  Here I was, mortified at having to bring two kids to the dentist, and at how they behaved, and she was admiring my patience and skill at wrangling two little boys. 


All in all, a successful trip to the dentist, for Pete and me.  No cavaties!

No comments:

Post a Comment