Friday, June 30, 2006

Dental Patient

Finn told me he wants to be three still. Not four.

Four has been a little challenging so far, apparently, as the day after his birthday I took him to the pediatric dentist for his first check up and cleaning. The whole way there he whined from the back seat, like the Greek chorus of the operatic version of Marathon Man, Jr.: "I don't want to go to the dentist...I don't want to go to the dentist...I don't want to go to the dentist...."

I encouraged him to bring his best buddy, Puppy Baby: Soother of All Stressful Moments and Bedtime Angst, along to the appointment. I also had to carry him and Puppy Baby from the car to the office as his own feet refused to get out of the car. But things got better when Finney saw the dentist's super tricked-out lobby, which had Disney films playing, a video game station, and an assortment of toys to fiddle with as he quietly mustered up his resolve. (It also didn't hurt when he saw a completely unharmed--and dare I say chipper--young patient leaving the office who had just been given an enormous helium balloon AND a small toy.) Things were looking up.

I had to hold Finn's hand during most of the exam, and Puppy Baby dutifully never left his lap, but the little guy was extremely brave during the entire appointment and didn't flinch, writhe or squirm. The only moment I worried about any meltdown was when he firmly told the dental hygienist who was rinsing his teeth of the strawberry-flavored toothpaste she had applied during cleaning, "THAT'S ENOUGH." Twice.

But that's all it was and all it became. Like a big boy, he used his words, not his tears, to get his point across. Looks like four's getting easier every day.

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