Emboldened by a successful and not-too-unpleasant family visit to the optician, I dared hope that our trip to the dentist might go as smoothly. This is always, always , always a mistake, isn’t it?
There were going to be no first timers on this trip, and it was only for the youngest three as DD1 had had her teeth looked at by the same dentist shortly before a couple were extracted and her braces were fitted. She had a netball match after school, so would not be coming with us. This had to be a good thing , surely 3 is better than 4 when it comes to routine appointments?
The first hint of trouble was when we arrived home from school. The kids wanted their usual biscuit, I wanted them to have fruit. Then I asked them to clean their teeth before the dentist got to look at them. Apparently this was totally unreasonable and there was much complaining. The threat of being sent straight to bed after the dentist, with no screen time had to be bandied about, but finally I got them all brushing.
Next up, DD3 started packing a bag to amuse her while she had to wait. She was not happy when I vetoed this on the grounds that we would only be waiting 10 minutes tops. ‘What if I get bored?’, she wailed. DD2 wanted to take a book, which I refused permission for, but DD3 managed to secrete a small soft toy moose about her person and smuggled that in with her regardless. When we found a car park, and got out of the car, DS got in on the act and wanted to bring his running bike. I said no.
We had to cross a very busy road to get to the dentist and we managed this successfully, after a short dust up over who was going to hold whose hand. Then it was time to fight over who was going to go through the surgery door and up the stairs first.
Our appointment was at 4pm, and I tried to arrive as close to this time as possible, so the chances of havoc being caused were minimised. Of course our lovely dentist was running 15 minutes late but there was a good selection of books and magazines out on the waiting room table. The DD’s both wanted to read the same book, but they weren’t arguing too loudly and there was no one else in the room, so I just ignored them. DS grabbed an interior decorating magazine and kept asking me if we could have a room that looked like the different illustrations. I kept saying no.
Finally we got called in to the dentists room. DD2 went first and it appears that she is going to need braces as well, though may escape without extractions. She had a bit of fluoride put on her adult molars and then she went back to the waiting room to finish off the book that she’d been fighting her sister over, while DD3 had her turn in the chair.
At this point, DS suddenly had to go to the toilet, which was just across the corridor from the room we were in. He got there by himself, but halfway through proceedings he spotted the hand drier above the sink and began wailing very loudly, as he was terrified he was going to set it off. I had to go and rescue him and by the time I got back DD3 was telling the dentist that the reason I had such a fat tummy was I had another baby in it. Our dentist has 4 kids herself, so she was very interested, then mortified when I had to tell her there was no baby, I’m just fat.
This is the third time DD 3 has done this in a week, so a discussion will have to be had. DD3 had a bit of tartar behind her bottom incisors which needed chipping off and had some fluoride treatment too so at least she couldn’t talk too much while those things were being done.
Last of all went DS. He was very good and didn’t need any treatment, so after I’d signed a raft of paperwork we were on our way and out the door.
We had to go back across the busy road to get to the car and DD3 chose that moment to drop her soft toy on the road. Of course she tried to pick it up, but I preempted this by dragging her safely to the curb. Poor moose , he was run over 7 times in front of the kids and DD3 and DS were screaming at the top of their lungs. Everyone was looking and I’m sure some of them thought there had been an actual human injury. We huddled on the path, unsure of what to do. I wasn’t sure if I could trust them to stay put if I went out to retrieve him, and was contemplating sending DD2, when a lovely man strolled over, assessed the situation and rescued DD’s toy for her. There are some really nice people in the world.
We were on the home stretch now, but first I had to pop in to Tescos, to get dinner for the kids. DS suddenly had a complete meltdown as we entered the store and I couldn’t face dragging him around the store. It’s only a little express, and the car was parked right outside ( no roads to cross), so I gave DD2 the keys and told them to all go and get in the car, I’d be as quick as I could.
I dashed around but as I approached the checkout, I could hear a car alarm going off. I hoped it wasn’t ours, but of course it was.
DD2 had managed to get them all in the car but then locked the doors and set off the alarm. No one could get out and there was a crowd around the car watching as the three kids yelled and hammered at the windows. I managed to get DD2 to find the keys, press the right button on the fob and stop the alarm. All three were red faced and hysterical by this point and I suspect I was the same.
I was just hugging them and making sure they were okay, when an older ( than me) lady tapped me on the arm.
‘I don’t want to interfere’, she said.’But you shouldn’t really leave the kiddies alone in the car.’
My children watched my face with interest . Thank goodness they remained silent until we were all in the car and the doors were closed.
Then as I drove off, DD3 said’ That lady should just Mind Her Own Business, shouldn’t she?’.
I had to agree.