6 Month Check Up
I love clean teeth. I nag the kids about brushing their teeth and refuse to let even one required brushing slip past my watchful eyes – but this post is not about oral hygiene. Every six months, from the time the kids were babies, I made sure we scheduled the dental check-up. For us, it isn’t hard. Their dentist’s office is a zen-like tooth haven with scented candles burning in every room. It has pin-ball and guitar hero, cotton candy tooth paste ( yeah, I don’t get that either) and the dentist looks Barbie.
Taking the kids to the dentist makes me feel very grown-up, responsible and parental. Just walking in the door practically transforms whatever slightly hip outfit I might be wearing into mom jeans and a pair of Crocs. And while that sounds awful, I love every minute of it. Why? Because the dentist is one of the very few things that Max and Sophie do together. I take them both like they are just regular kids who happen to have teeth. They both get the check-up at the same time, see the same dentist and hygienists and we come and leave together. I pay the same for both and no one even asks us any hard questions. You have no idea how unusual that is.
For all these years, the kids have had different doctors, different insurance, different needs. Sophie hasn’t needed anything and Max has needed every “ologist” there ever was. Medical events-even small ones-are usually big hassles. We have to leave someone home, schlepp someone to Philadelphia, New York, Boston or Michigan. We divide and conquer. We pay and pay and pay and pay and pay. But, for two afternoons a year, cerebral palsy doesn’t matter. Max doesn’t need to walk or stand or run or be very strong. He just needs to lie down and open wide – just like Sophie.
I am not delusional – he is headed to the orthodontist very soon and we will struggle with that. Pain, anxiety, a hyper sensitive gag reflex as well as the ‘ole CP startle reflex will clearly make that million dollar smile actually cost a million dollars and require more TLC than our speedy/get to the point/in and out orthodontist might have stored in his NY City Orthodox Jewish soul. I just choose to remain in denial for a few more weeks about that challenge.
For now, they both visit the prize box and get new toothbrushes in plastic bags together – like regular brothers and sisters. Together, they escape out the side door into the parking lot while I pay the $700 that I would pay ten times over for the chance to be a “regular” mom again in 6 months. It is so worth it. From the bottom of my mom jeans and ugly shoes, I say,”Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tooth Fairy! You are the best fairy of them all.”