Yep. Still hurts to think about it. I spent two hours and fifteen minutes at the dentist with five kids. Four of the five were mine, and three of my four had appointments. There was a cute, very child friendly, waiting area directly in front of the reception desk which gave me hope, when we first walked in, that the hour I was figuring we’d spend there would maybe be not too grating. The kids went right for the toy bins and fought over the teeny rocking chair while I picked up the twelve pages I needed to fill out for my new little patients.
I sat in a grown up sized chair and started filling out the forms while they found a small basketball (!!??!!) to play with. There were magazines, duplo blocks, little cars, a BigBird doll, and, the hit of the day, a phonics kinda push button talking spelling thing. It had the alphabet and numbers on it, and several games to play. Games like, "???" (spell the word the device says –IF you can understand it), "_ar" (fill in the missing letter in this word), "ABC" (says the letter or number of the letter or number button you push), and "pretend there are music notes here because my font won’t make them so far as I know" (plays a different song for each number, and sings the letters of the alphabet as you press them. If you press the ABCs in order, it will sing the alphabet song; when you push the letters out of order it sings each letter with its note from the song.)
I finished the papers and Lex went back for a scraping while Sophie tried, without assistance, to spell the words the box was saying. She can’t spell, nor can she accept help gracefully, so she quickly descended into a mood so foul I heard myself hissing at her, "Do you want to go sit in the van until it’s your turn? Knock. It. Off. Let me help you, or play something else."
She screeched, "HOW! DO! YOU! SPELL! EIGHT?!?"
"E," I said.
She pushed R, the machine blurped at her, and steam came out her ears.
I tried showing her the E; she bit off my fingers.
This went on for the half hour that Lex was in with the dentist.
When the dentist reappeared and asked, "Who’s next?" I threw Sophie to her and said, "SHE IS!"
While she was in, the literate boys decided to play with the phonics box. I said to them, "Hey! Watch this!" Then I put it on the music mode and made a little song by pushing the buttons, "U R A Q T." No one got it for a minute, so I did it again. The boys’ friend C started laughing, and then he explained to the others. Next, I pushed, "U R A P P." (You don’t have to tell me I’m immature; I know already.) They were DELIGHTED by that one, so I let them play while I took Willow to see Sophie.
Willow was afraid, so she clung to my neck. Sophie was nonplussed, and sat back in the dentist’s chair with her mouth WIDE open while the dentist was getting a few last things ready. I could hear the boys playing in the waiting room. Or, more accurately, I could hear the talking toy. The talking toy said, "I C U P." I heard the belly-laughter of the three boys. It got quiet for awhile, then I heard this:
and I went dashing to the waiting area, to see Lex and C covering their mouths and shaking with silent laughter, and Nate pushing the last button:
I looked him square in the eye. He looked me square in the eye. I said, "Dude. If you feel you need to be grounded, I can arrange that for you."
He slowly put the toy down. I went back down the hall to where Sophie was, trying to stifle my totally inappropriate laughter.
And I won’t even get into the frequent trips to the water cooler, the bathroom frolicking or the water spilled all over the coffee table. I think in six months, the whole staff of Moss Creek Dental will call in sick.