Last Thursday, Sarah had her dentist appointment to fill her second cavity. Since her initial diagnosis, I have been maniacally preparing Sarah for what was to come. I spent most of the early part of last week acting as coach, cheerleader, and doomsday prophet. Here’s what my schizophrenic parenting style sounded like:
Coach Mommy: Ok, Sarah. First, the dentist will put a mask on you to relax you and then, it is your job to let the dentist get to work. You will sit there and be still- that’s all you have to do. Keep your mouth open and your tongue out of the way. Let’s practice– mouth open, tongue down for 30 seconds. Ready? GO! (Yes, we actually practiced this at bedtime, still as statues, and timed ourselves.)
Cheerleader Mommy: Sarah, you are SO brave! You are the bravest girl I know! You will be the best ever at getting a cavity filled! I know you can do it! You are AWESOME! YAY SARAH! (Then I did a back handspring and a hurkey– just kidding.)
Doomsday Prophet Mommy: Sarah, if you do not let the dentist do her job at the dentist office, we will have to get your filling at a HOSPITAL– you know, where all the really sick people go. And do you know what they will do at the hospital? The doctor there will put a really big needle right in your arm to make you fall completely asleep. You won’t know what’s going on at all and mom can’t even be in the room with you. You will be completely ALONE with a REALLY REALLY big needle in your arm. Is that what you want? To be all alone…<dramatic pause>….with a big needle….<another pause>…..sticking out of your arm??! (I’m pretty sure she cried herself to sleep that night.)
Well, I am ecstatic to report that my multi-pronged approach to prepare Sarah for the big day, along with a liberal dose of bribery, worked. Sarah was a champ and we walked out of the appointment 45 minutes later with a bill shy of $300, which was less than 10% of the cost of her first cavity. Yes!!!! (I almost did do a hurkey when I got the bill.) Sarah is now the proud owner of a Beta fish named Star, and informed me that for her next filling, she’d really like an American Girl McKenna doll (I told you, the girl likes to plan). And as an added bonus, I got to see Sarah on laughing gas. Do they sell this stuff at Costco because all the Reichert girls could really use some hits during our post-nap whine/wine fest….