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And For A Special Treat, A Root Canal Tomorrow

Yesterday morning I stumbled down the
stairs and looked at the daily calendar to see what was on the
agenda for the day. “Huh, I forgot that’s today,”
I mumbled as I saw our schedule.

An hour or so later, I sat with a bleary-eyed Cora as she ate her
oatmeal. “Hey, baby, guess what we’re doing today?
It’s a special treat!” I cooed. Cora looked at me,
skeptical. “What, mommy?”

“You get to go to the dentist today!” I said

Cora shot up out of her seat, oatmeal
flung everywhere. “No WAY! I get to go to the dentist TODAY,
Mommy? Are you being truthful? I can’t BELIEVE it!” she
shrieked, doing a victory dance all around the room. She ran back
to me, oatmeal in her hair and pajama bottoms sagging, and grabbed
my face, a sure sign of earnestness. “Mommy, can we go RIGHT

Yes, this is a true story. No, I am not exaggerating. For whatever
reason, Cora absolutely adores the dentist and thinks it quite the
special occasion. I truly do not know where she gets this.

Two hours later, Cora was dressed and ready to go. She was wearing
bright pink tights, a chic brown dress embroidered with pink
flowers, and her hip brown boots. She debated over her hair and
eventually settled on a ponytail. “Come ON Mommy, let’s
GO!” she said, dragging me to the car.

When we arrived at the office she tried to charge through the inner
door and head straight to a seat, and was only slightly mollified
by the giant tooth-shaped chair she got to sit on while she waited.
When we went back a minute later, she smiled and waved like
enthusiastic royalty to all the hygienists and techs.

“Oh, don’t you look princess-pretty?” the
hygienist crooned as Cora eagerly climbed up into the chair.
“Yep, I dressed special for this important occasion,”
she said. The tech looked at me, thinking she was the object of
toddler sarcasm. “No, no, Cora really did dress up for
you,” I assured her. “She truly loves the
dentist!” Astonished, the hygienist summoned the rest of the
staff over, who all listened as Cora ran through the thought that
went into her outfit, how she flosses every day (“Well, Mommy
helps”), and the character on her current toothbrush (Ariel).

X-rays? No problem. This is, after all, the child who, upon
learning she’d be taking “pictures of her mouth”
when she was barely three, opened up in a big, cheesy grin right at
the x-ray machine as it zoomed in. This time around she was a pro,
and held still as a mouse for the photos before turning to look at
the computer monitor to see the results. “I think
that’s a good shot,” the hygienist said, and Cora
nodded in grave agreement.

I do hope that this infatuation lasts, but I fear it’s going
to be short-lived: the dentist discovered the start of a cavity
today which will have to be filled in a year or so, and I’m
reasonably certain that’s going to be the end of that
particular crush. On the other hand, this office did such a great
job with Maddie’s filling – the laughing gas mask is a
pig snout that smells like bubble gum – that maybe
Cora’s devotion will be untarnished.

Here’s hoping to many more years of hearing, “No WAY! I
get to go to the DENTIST today!”


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