I’ve pleaded, hoped, and attempted to bribe him.
Pennies have been thrown in wishing wells.
Ear plugs were purchased.
I’ve asked Santa.
I’ve sacrificed many small animals (ants)(not really) in the backyard.
Often, I’ve wondered, “Will this child’s mouth ever stay in the closed position without duct tape? Do his top and bottom lips have the ability to touch each other?”
I almost went to church. Almost.
Then, one day it happened. Simon gave into my dream and
kept his mouth shut!
Unfortunately, this occurred at the dentist’s office.
Simon turned 4 in April, so he’s not a dental examination expert.
On the walk to the chair, I informed the hygienist, “He’s been to the dentist before, but only once. Over a year ago. He has no memory of it.”
She wanted to know, “Did they clean his teeth?”
Finite questions get finite answers. “I think. I’m pretty sure.”
“I’m not sure. I think so, but maybe not.”
On the night before his appointment, I had explained why going to the dentist was important. “If you don’t take care of your teeth, they will fall out. You don’t want that to happen, do you?”
His response: “I want my teeth to fall out.” I filed that statement with his overused declarations: “I don’t want my toys anymore,” and “I’ll eat my peas…tomorrow.”
Then, I appealed to his consumeristic nature. “If you’re good, at the end they give you a toy.”
He sat in the chair without a fight, but when the hygienist asked what flavor toothpaste he wanted (Grape, orange, or bubblegum?), this kid became catatonic.
Thinking it may help I got in the chair and had him recline in my lap. She coaxed him with baby talk. “Simon. Open your mouth sweetie.”
I tried to enjoy the silence.
I took my turn. “Simon open your mouth.” Firm, but not military.
If I didn’t feel his little heart beating out of his tiny chest, I may have murdered him.
Then, the big bad pediatric dentist examined his teeth while I held down his arms and he simultaneously exercised his vocal cords and his tear ducts.
How much is this going to cost?
Maybe when he comes back in 6 months, he’ll allow them to look into his mouth without hysterically crying. Mali will be in the chair next to him having her teeth cleaned. These things take time. He’ll be 6 months older…and theoretically a different kid. It took Mali until she hit the 4th grade to perfect the art of shoe tying, and she still can’t blow her nose correctly.
“I want my toy! I want my toy! I want my toy!”
“Pick out your stickers. You get two.”
“I don’t want stickers! I want my toy!”
I graciously grabbed his two stickers for him without an acceptance speech. A monkey and a firetruck. Both were circular and the perfect size to fit over his mouth, if needed.
The silence had ended.