Tuesday, July 5, 2011
So ... I Got Kicked Out of the Dentist's Office
I'm no expert, but going to the dentist is one of those necessary yet rather unpleasant experiences that we all must do. That's basically what I told my seven year old son on the way there. After his last cleaning, the exasperated hygienist had informed me that he would have to come back to get sealants on his back molars. They would have done them at the end of his last visit, but he wasn't cooperating enough to continue. That was a sign for things to come.
I'm no expert, but sometimes it's better to rip off the "band-aid" quickly than taking it slow. On the day of the appointment, I thought about rescheduling for another day. I just had a bad feeling. Get it done and over with, I thought.
I'm no expert, but if you make eye contact, they'll talk to you. The lobby was packed with senior citizens. I found a seat and looked around in a friendly manner. An older gentleman, long gray beard, socks pulled up to his knees and, interestingly, wearing a bright red Elmo shirt caught my eye. Aw, he must be someone's Grandpa to be wearing such a ridiculous shirt, I thought. My eye contact was all he needed to begin a one sided conversation. "You know, I used to be a custodian for the elementary school. I just retired. Darn kids twisting pipes in the bathrooms and making leaks all the time. And the lunchroom tables, darn kids would lock 'em and I go to lift 'em and bang! "
I'm no expert, but, though it didn't seem like it at the time, I should have stayed in the lobby when the hygienist came out for my son. Now, the dentist's office is on the fringe of Lancaster County not far from a large population of Mennonites. So, it was of little surprise to see a stern looking Mennonite woman, flowered dress, Snooki-poof of hair, as the hygienist. Still, my bad feeling failed to pass. I followed her and my son back to the room where I warned her that he might not fully cooperate.
I'm no expert, but I should have stayed in the lobby. I know I'm repeating myself here. I tried to distract my attention while waiting for the hygienist to prepare by looking at the photos on the wall. The two dentists must have gone white water rafting. I inspected the picture of the dentists and their excited faces. The white water rafting guide wasn't wearing a shirt, only a life-vest, and a bizarre smile on his face. Odd, I thought as I turned my attention back to my complaining son.
I'm no expert, but I thought I was being helpful. When my son chomped down on the hygienist's finger, I intervened. I thought I sounded positive and encouraging. I used the "teacher voice" I had often employed in the classroom in my other life. "You need to leave," the Snooki-poofed, flowered dress hygienist informed me.
I'm no expert, but I don't think the man in the Elmo shirt even had an appointment. He was still there! After I spent a minute swallowing my pride and trying not to faint from sheer emotional overload, I told my son, "You're on your own" and returned to my same exact chair in the lobby. "Oh, you're back," Elmo shirt welcomed me. "See these lines on my knees. I had two knee operations. Darn heavy cafeteria tables..."
I'm no expert, but there's still probably tire marks in the parking lot from my van getting the hell out of there. My son returned to the lobby less ten minutes later. On the way out of the office, the jovial receptionist remarked, "Sounded like a good appointment. See in the fall for his next cleaning!" I doubt his molars are properly sealed and I told him as much the entire way home. "You're going to get cavities and I don't care!"
I'm not expert, but like most moms out there, I could write a book just based on my kids!
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