Rachael had a dentist appointment yesterday morning. My child looks forward to the dentist the way that some kids look forward to their birthdays. She spotted the date on the calendar as soon as the page was turned to September - it was originally scheduled for September 7, and she was bummed for a whole afternoon when the office called to reschedule for the 13th. But the big day finally arrived, and off we went for her bi-annual checkup.
She jumped right into the chair and had her teeth cleaned with grape flavored toothpaste. (Am I the only one that finds that a little gross? Grape and toothpaste just don't go together. But she seemed to enjoy it.) She got a good report from the hygienist, and even more glowing praise from the dentist, who called her teeth "awesome" and "beautiful." Judging from her front teeth, she'll probably cost us a bundle in orthodontia in the not-so-distant future, but at least they'll have great teeth to work with.
During her checkup, I sat in the corner with Milly on my lap. She watched everything that was going on without saying a word, aside from one-word replies whenever Rachael asked her a question. The hygienist made our next appointment for mid-March and asked if I wanted to have Milly's teeth cleaned then too. I told her yes, but that I just couldn't imagine Milly going for it. Not my most cooperative child, not by a long shot. She did not seem thrilled with the idea.
So when the dentist asked her if she wanted to have her teeth "tickled" too, I wasn't surprised when her answer was a firm and immediate negative.
But then he asked if she'd just sit in the chair and let him count her teeth. She shrugged. "Okay." And climbed right into the chair.
HOLY CRAP, WHO WAS THIS KID AND WHAT DID SHE DO WITH MY CHILD?!?!
She laid back and opened her mouth wiiiiiiiide before the dentist could even sit down:
He showed her the mirror and the little hook thing he uses to touch each tooth while he's counting. (You know the thing, and I'm too lazy to Google the proper name.) He counted her teeth ("you've got a whole bunch in there!," he told her) and pronounced her teeth as beautiful too.
Then he asked again..."are you sure you don't want your teeth cleaned too, while you're already in the chair?"
Milly cut her eyes at him, suspicious.
"You could use grape flavored toothpaste..."
"...or bubblegum flavored..."
(I honestly thought he might have her with bubblegum, she loooves bubblegum. But no dice.)
"Cherry, yes." Instant response, no excitement, just a matter of fact "cherry, yes."
And at that point, she laid back again, opened wide, and let the hygienist clean her little teeth with cherry-flavored toothpaste. (Again, yuck.)
And me? I mentally kicked myself a kazillion times for not having my camera in my purse. I took at least a dozen pictures of Rachael's first ever dental appointment, because hey, that's scrapbook worthy. But I did have my phone, so I was able to get one pic, just to prove that it happened.
Once she was done, each girl got two prizes from the treasure box, at the dentist's insistence. Oh yeah, he really knows how to win over a little girl! And now, I have two kids looking forward to their next visit to the dentist.