Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Toddlers and Teeth Cleaning

How I look when I have to take a child to any kind of appointment.
Photo by John Volante on Unsplash

Afternoon Readers,

As it stands, nothing has slowed down in the Kellerman house in the past week. I keep waiting for it, but, just as five, quiet minutes start to accumulate, someone falls down the stairs.

None of my four charges have decided to stay babies forever, so they keep bumping into things, screaming at each other, and asking me things like, "Why are bald eagles bald?"

I don't know, children. Now go get me another pumpkin beer. That's why mommy's going bald.

Let's see. Let's see. Ahh, yes. Last week, Doc decided to turn six. I didn't like this at all. Mostly because he was a ridiculously fat and furry baby I brought home yesterday (as an aside, we thought he might be a third werewolf), and now we wants to talk about primary colors and shapes and, "Have I thought hard about investing part of my portfolio in gold?"

He was my resident comedian, and now I'm stuck with the baby and her demands for two baths a day.  "Why? Why do you need another bath," I ask.

"Wif bubbles!" She shouts.

And so I drink coffee on the toilet and peruse my phone, while she sends plastic squids on expeditions through Suave tsunamis.

A typical day.

 She's as absolute tyrant with curly hair, but as far as companions go, she's fairly loyal and makes my business her business. Never was this more apparent than last week's jaunt to the dentist. I'm determined to stay up on dental health so I don't end up gumming my pudding by fifty. This means, come flood or famine, I drag whatever child is home with me to the office and attempt to parent, while someone in a mask tries to stab me in the molar with an ice pick. Just as any life coach would recommend.

"You don't mind if she sits there, do you?"

After flooring the van down the street in an attempt not to lose our coveted appointment time, last Monday found Mrs. Jones and I setting up camp in vinyl chairs and waiting to hear that my teeth were falling out.

The hygienist smiled. "No, she's fine. Grab that stuffed tooth over there, honey."

Mrs. Jones obliged, put a twelve-inch-tall plush tooth with a grin like Tom Cruise in a headlock, and settled into her spot. She smiled back. "Tanks."

Before I reclined for what would be twenty minutes of less-that-relaxing enamel shiatsu, I gave the toddler a warning glace. "Can you sit there with Mr. Tooth Cruise and watch Paw Patrol?"

She considered for a second. "No."

I looked back at the hygienist. "Just do it. This ship isn't going to sail any smoother."

As I reclined backwards, and before I ended up flat on my back, I caught a hint of raised eyebrow. Until November, Mrs. Jones is still shy of three, a point where toddlers think about what they're supposed to do ...and do the opposite. The look on her face spoke of five, maybe seven minutes tops, before she shut everything down. Low and behold, two minutes of plaque scraping in, and I felt pressure on my feet.

"You k'?"

Before I processed what was happening, and powerless to stop it, someone small and chubby began climbing me like Mount Everest and perched, like an over-sized hawk, on my stomach. Mouth wrenched open, I tried to object. "Et own."

The hygienist, a little too understanding for my taste, smiled at the insurgent. "It's totally fine."

But it wasn't fine. Metal continued bobbing in and out of my mouth like an iron water fowl with anxiety, while Mrs. Jones slowly crushed my internal organs. I was dying. I just hadn't realized the lights I'd see in my final moments would be coming from a swivel lamp and directly tied to an out-of-pocket deductible.

"Mom. She hurtin' you?"

"Uh uh. It oh ahy."



"Hmm. Oh tay."

Mrs. Jones raised both eyebrows and started directly into my mouth for the next twenty minutes, sure that someone was killing her mother with a butter knife, but not exactly doing anything to stop it either. Deep down, I hoped we never had to test our relationship mettle in a true crisis.

Such is motherhood.

Eventually, my teeth did get cleaned and, as an added bonus, my organs had been so compacted, I went down a pant size. Unfortunately, I was informed that I'll need a crown. Which means I'll be doing this all over. Which also prompts me to wonder...

Maybe the bald eagle's bald because it takes her kids to the dentist regularly.

Until Next time, Readers!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: