The older kids had a dentist appointment recently. It had been rescheduled 3 times and so, even though I would have to take all 3, I agreed to it. I talked with the staff while making the appointment and they said no problem at all even though the baby is an octopus-monkey right now. I figured I would entertain him in the waiting room while the others went in. On the way there he fell asleep. Agghh! I hate to wake a sleeping baby! He would have been a nightmare. As we parked, Molly asked if she could go in by herself with Joseph. I said no (there I go again with my “No” reflex!) Then, realizing I was able to park right in front of the door and our dentist and his staff are very kind and more importantly, kid friendly, I said yes.
Of course, I called the front desk as the kids were walking from the car to the office door to tell them what was happening and to make sure it was OK. They actually thought it was pretty cool. So, the kids went in while I sat 20 feet away watching the door like a hawk. About 10 minutes in as the baby snoozed I freaked out and ran in. The staff laughed at me. They reported that not only had the kids come in and introduced themselves (as I had instructed) but, after some jockeying for seats, they both “read” the paper as they waited. I went back outside.
The whole appointment took about 40 minutes and the baby never woke up. I alternated between fretting and secretly popping my head in to the front desk so the kids could not see me. I don’t know what I thought would happen (abduction from the dentist’s chair? Extra fluoride? An unnecessary tooth pulled?) but I do know that it was really hard for me to leave my kids alone. When they finally popped out, they were both so proud that they leapt out the front door at me.
Relieved that it was over, I asked how they felt about it and Molly said, “competent and I had fun. I made our next appointment. You have to confirm.” Joseph added that “it was fun being an adult but my heart was popping out of my chest”. Mine too, Joseph. Mine too.
It was certainly not a regular school-like educational activity but I do think we all learned a lot.