Last week I had a dentist appointment-it was my every 6 months appointment that I had made 6 months ago and quickly forgotten all about it. I'm normally really good at writing things like that on my calendar, but for some reason I didn't write it down this time. I picked up the phone to call a friend at about 9:30 in the morning and had the "you have messages dial tone" so I listened to my messages before calling my friend. Turns out the dentist's office called the night before to remind me of my appointment. Dang! I HATE taking kids to any appointment of mine, especially the dentist, so I immediately called everyone I knew to find a babysitter and nobody was available! My dentist office charges a $35 fee if you cancel or reschedule an appointment within 24 hours (of course, if they cancel or reschedule my appointment within 24 hours I don't get $35, but that's another story for another time), so I loaded my kids up and off to the dentist we went!
My dentist has a tiny little playroom with a few books, puzzles and about 3 toys-plus a TV where he always has Disney animated movies playing. I figured if I bribed my kids enough, they would just play in that playroom watching the nice Disney movie-boy was I wrong!! Less than 2 minutes after being called back to the dentist's chair, I heard screaming. My daughter was upset that they were playing "Peter Pan", clearly a "boy's movie" and NOT what she has signed up for. The nice receptionist changed the movie to "Cinderella" which got my 3 year old screaming that it was a "girl movie" and completely unacceptable. In a last ditch effort, the receptionist turned on "The Lion King" in hopes that would be gender neutral enough for all my kids to watch it. It seemed to work. . . for about 5 minutes. Suddenly my 3 oldest kids come running back to the area I was in, knocking the dental hygienist hand as she was cleaning my teeth (owe), to tell me that "he hit me" "she hit me" "he kicked me" "she scratched me" and several other accusations. I had to stop getting my teeth cleaned and have a 5 minute discussion with my kids about their behavior and give them a whole new bribe. . . while this is all going on, my 1 year old went missing-that's right, my 8 year old had kindly taken him out of his stroller without telling me and he was just wondering around the office. We found him in the x-ray room playing with a tray of mouth wings. AAAAH! I took the 1 year old IN THE STROLLER with me to where they were cleaning my teeth, had my 8 year old sit in a chair next to me and read an educational pamphlet on good dental hygiene, and sent the 3 and 5 year old to watch the rest of "The Lion King" The 3 and 5 year old kept belting out all the songs so the entire office could hear them-I had to keep going and asking them to sing quietly. The 1 year old spent the entire rest of the appointment screaming and I had to stop every few minutes to talk to him and give him something new to play with. The 8 year old read every single pamphlet they had and when he was done, he came over and watched the dental hygienist and dentist look at and clean my teeth-all the while asking the dentist a million questions about what he was doing and why he was doing it and why he was a dentist because people have gross teeth. Luckily, the only other patient was an older woman who thought this whole thing was quite hilarious and just kept saying she was glad she was done with those days. In all, the appointment took about a hour and a half-to get my teeth cleaned!
NEVER, EVER take 4 kids with you to the dentist-It would have been worth the $35 to cancel the appointment!