Back in the fall I wrote about the Little Monkey’s first trip to the dentist and how success is not a word you would use to describe it. Wouldn’t open his mouth and barely even made eye contact with the dentist. I knew it was mission impossible but it had to be done.
So in accordance with Plan B, we waited a few months and gave it another go. The basic idea being that the more we go, the more he’ll get used to the idea and decide that no one is out to kill him.
Well, this time I did a little more to prepare. We read books about the dentist, we practiced opening our mouths, we watched Peppa Pig go to the Dentist, a lot. We made a game out of brushing our teeth and we talked about the Tooth Fairy. Which, I’ve now learned, is as effective a weapon in my parenting arsenal as Santa Claus.
He was even genuinely excited about going to the dentist. The day before he said several times, “go to the dentist now”. I’d made such of big deal of it being a fun adventure. And in the morning of the day, when I said we were going to get in mummy’s car and go to the dentist, he grinned with excitement.
But no amount of preparation is like the real thing. Like the bright lights and strangers and big scary chairs. So as soon as we walk into the exam room, he’s all clams again. We try to get him to sit in the chair, none of that. But the dentist is an amazingly good-natured guy. And miraculously, after a few minutes of my coaxing, the Little Monkey warms up. He actually opens his mouth and he goes “Ahhhhhhh.” The dentist gets a good look at his bottom teeth but we struggle to get him to look up so he can see the uppers. And, still the dentist has to keep his distance.
But the dentist is pleased, he’s made progress. We’ve gone from a jaw clenched shut to one wide open. So we’ll try again in a few more months. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to get in the chair.
And as we leave, the Little Monkey says “bye-bye Doctor Elephant.” (Peppa Pig reference for the uninitiated). The look of confusion on the dentist’s face as we left was priceless.