Adriana’s dentist appointment yesterday wasn’t a complete disaster. And that’s the best that can be said for it. The girl seems to have inherited my anxiety about teeth cleaning, and paired with her normal behavior in new or rare situations around people she doesn’t know well? My expectations for her cleaning appointments are never very high. Yesterday she hid under a waiting room chair as soon as they called her name. We opted out of some x-rays that probably would have been good to have, because none of us thought it would be worth the battle, and eventually she did consent to having her teeth cleaned. She laid on my lap the whole time, and refused to talk to anyone. The hygienist and dentist remained calm, took their time, spoke quietly and rationally to Adriana, and were, in general (and as usual), amazing. There were no threats or bribes, just reasoning, explaining, and being sympathetic to Adriana’s anxiety.
Her anxiety seems wholly rational to me. I mean, the polisher? That vibrates my teeth? Good lord, I feel that all the way down to the base of my spine. Only crazy people aren’t afraid of the dentist! Of course, I don’t say any of that in the presence of either child, and somehow Lyra hasn’t gotten any of my anxiety. This morning when a different hygienist called Lyra’s name, and then asked if she had pronounced it correctly (which she had), Lyra told her, “No, you say it ‘Queen of Lemonade.’ L-Y-R-A. Queen of Lemonaaaaaade!” Then she held the hygienist’s hand, climbed into the chair by herself, prattling on about Finding Nemo and going to the aquarium and nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks and great white sharks. The only time she resisted at all was when the light shone too brightly in her eyes, but they gave her a pair of sunglasses to wear and she was immediately back to being cooperative and chatty.
All this is to say: I’m thinking about taking Lyra with me to my next dentist appointment to help keep me calm.