Thursday, April 10, 2008

"All I Want to be When I Grow up is a Denteesst."

I was a weird kid. I thought I could breath out of my belly button, and see out of both of my eyes if one of them was closed. I also hated the dentist. That's not the weird part, as most kids do, but I did weird things to my teeth on the eve of my dental appointments thinking they would protect me from the drill like, putting clear nail polish on my teeth (I thought it would cover any cavities that might show up in the x-rays) and using a gold crayon to cover up any dark spots I found while brushing. Weird. I warned you.

The next little story I hope makes my dad smile and not think, "Oh yeah, we had a lot of those days with Kamee." We have all had days where our spouse comes home and the first words out of our mouths are, "You aren't going to believe today." or "I'm tapping out. The kids are yours." Then we leave without even greeting him/her. I am sure my dad said that to my mom after this particular trip to the dentist. My parents, like most, are big believers in oral hygiene, so we had regular appointments to the dentist, every 6 months. It wasn't that I didn't take care of my teeth, it was that they were soft and unfortunately I had several cavities. I hated going because they always found something else that required a shot to fix it. I told my mom once that I wanted dentures, then there couldn't be any problems with my teeth any more. Back to the story. My dad was a Colonel in the Air Force, ( I get emotional at all things related to the armed services because that was my entire life growing up.) and along with that came several perks namely free health and dental care. The doctors and dentists all shared the same hospital/offices in Turkey; that's the setting of my story. (I have great stories from Turkey, like the time my sister and I threw Twinkie's on our Landlord's roof just to see him get mad and shake his hands at us, or the time our apartment building was on fire and I ran back to save a Barbie and the Atari...good times.) Dad had taken me to the dentist for my regular check-up. They walked me back to the ominous monster with one glowing eye and told me to "jump" in its clutches. Instead of obeying the voice I turned to the dentist, kicked him in the shin, and ran out the door, out of the office, through the hospital, and to the car. I sat by the car and waited for Dad to come. Two weeks later I went back to the dentist, and I have been going, every 6 months since then.

Shaking your head yet Dad? I love you. So sorry I gave you "one of those days".

The irony? I am obsessive compulsive about my teeth now. I actually like going to the dentist. I love how it feels to get all the grim and plaque off my teeth. I even asked to have all the silver fillings removed from my teething replacing them with clear- knowing full well that would require shots and pain. I am a believer in outstanding oral hygiene.

Another bit of irony? I used to tell my parents that I would never make my kids go to the dentist if they didn't want to. Gunnar will go every 6 months while he is in our care.

Tuesday we went to the dentist.


He did great! He jumped right into the chair allowed the hygenist to put on his "bib", and enjoyed the ride. Literally.


He asked the hygenist to make the chair go up and down 3 times. She was totally sweet and obliging and did what he asked.

She took her time showing him all the parts of the room and all the "tools" she was going to use to clean his teeth. He was especially fascinated by the light above him and how he didn't need "sunglasses" when he looked at it.


His favorite tool was "Mr. Slurppy" and "The Water Gun". He laughed so hard when she shot water in his mouth and then slurpped it out. He kept asking for more.



He loved the slurppy thing.


He kept asking, "What's its do?"


She counted all of his teeth and he even let her polish them, for about two seconds.



Then he decided he was done. He closed his mouth. Sat up. Took off the bib and said, "Yours turn Mom."


Then it turned into a comedy of errors. Gunnar played on the floor all around the dentist's office. He climbed up on my legs and watched the hygenist clean my teeth. (Anyone else think it funny how hygenist and dentist alike will get all ten fingers in your mouth, two utensils, and then ask you something really deep like, "How do you feel about the genocide in Darfur?" and all you can manage to say it, "Argffguhdasdk, umgdgdiugasdfokf, sddsoposdfoasd.")

Gunnar actually did really great until the end when he threw a classic fit- rolling around on the ground, army crawling, reaching dramatically for the toy basket for another toy.

When we brush his teeth we tell him he has to brush out all of the sugar bugs that can eat away at his teeth. Sometimes when he doesn't want to brush he will say to me, "Mom, look, no sugar bugs." When he left he turned to the dentist, opened his mouth and said, "No sugar bugs."

At least he didn't kick him in the shin.


ktb said...

nail polish on your teeth? SICK!

shahba-gahba said...

I haven't made Lavinia an appt. yet, but I think I have found a good pediatric dentist. . . we'll see how it goes. These pic's will help me show her what to expect, seeing as I haven't made it to the bookstore yet. I love the little smile on his face in the picture with the water gun, slightly inquisitive, cute!
Ditto regarding the nail polish. Gross! I never did anything weird : ^ )

Celeste said...

Your stories crack me up!!! I have to admit I never liked going to the dentist either. Who knew I would end up marrying one. But now that he is my official dentist I guess that I can attempt to not be so jumpy and paranoid.
So your pictures of Gunnar are amazing. They are just gorgeous. He looks so happy! Looks like a great practice.

caitholmes said... funny! I to this day still HATE going to the dentist. I haven't told you about my recent trip when they so happily told me that they think it would be in my best interest to get jaw surgey...that was a good trip! My favorite thing though is that when they do ask you those "deep questions" when they have their fingers all up in your business is that when you answer and YOU can't even understand what you said...they nod and recite back your answer perfectly. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?! I swear to you that I'm not even speaking english and she knows what I say every single time. I wish Gunnar many cavity-free trips to the dentist in the future!

Jennifer P. said...

Thanks for giving me a good laugh! Who knew a post about going to the dentist would be so interesting :)?! Genocide in Darfur--ha! ha! Saving the Barbies and the Atari--ha! ha! Putting clear nail polish on your teeth....mmmmm, maybe that one is more sad than funny ;)!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Shannon E. friend from PA . You can read "our story" on Shannon's blog Archives- Sept.'06 I just wanted you to know I enjoy reading you blogs! You are an AMAZING photographer and so great with words, What talent! I too just recently took my 3 yr old daughter for her 1st trip to the dentist much to my surprise she really enjoyed it,unlike her mother who loathed it as a little girl. I too am a freak about my children's' dental hygiene. Paige had a perfect check up! Yippie Skippie! The dentist said "oh I thought she had a little cavity but it scraped off, it appears to be chocolate or something." Right then and there I had to confess to him that I allowed her to eat a brownie minutes before her appt.Wow, what kind of mother am I anyway!! Well keep creating these AWESOME blogs!
Brenda from PA

D Baker Photography said...

I can't believe that you got your camera in the dentist's office. Your so funny. That's awesome. I guess maybe we should not bring for the next prenatal exam though. :)