All those sugary treats are haunting me. The fruit juices are laughing and the fluoride drops, sitting abandoned in the house somewhere, are calling me "Drip."
I may not be able to find my cell phone five out of seven days a week, but by-gum it, I insist all beings in the house whose fur covers fewer than 70 percent of their bodies have to brush their teeth. I even keep floss handy throughout the house at all height levels.
So it is with heavy heart that I must note Ittybit is no longer perfect.
Oh sure, she's still a sweet little thing with a quick little smile but now she's got a bit of a blemish smack-dab in the middle of her pearly whites.
I never gave tooth decay much thought, to be honest. I have had a total of three cavities: one in a baby tooth and two while I was in college, caused by over indulgence of seltzer water no less — since then nothing: Pass GO! Collect $200, thank-you-very-much.
So when I made the appointment with my dentist to look at her choppers for the first time, I just assumed she’d take after me.
For weeks we prepped for the big day. We read books, we pretended to look in each other’s mouths. We discussed what it was going to be like under the bright light in the big chair.
But when the big day came, she wasn't feeling up to it.
"No thank you. I'm not wanting to do that today," she announced to everyone in the office.
So I asked them if they might have time to clean my teeth so she could see the drill in action.
Oh, how exciting.
I had such a difficult time keeping a straight face as the masked hygenist chipped away at the tarter and plaque, polished my pearly whites with something suspiciously strawberry in flavor and sucked up saliva with the "slurping straw." Each time a new implement was introduced, Ittybit’s eyes and nose came squarely into view, even blocking out the overhead light.
The dentist pronounced me a perfect patient and the spotlight turned to the girl. She bristled, bunched up in my arms and tried to hide. She eventually agreed to lie on top of me while the dentist counted her teeth (20) and took a look around.
He found the little cavity smack dab in the center of her front teeth.
For the rest of the day I felt like someone had taken all the air out of my lungs. Not only was Ittybit sad that her smile had a flaw, but we also were referred to a specialist whose first available appointment wasn’t going to be until the beginning of the New Year. ... "But we are happy to put you on our short call list if there's a cancellation."
"Short call? How much notice do you give?"
"Oh, I'd say at least 24 hours?"
"Ok. Let me give you my cell phone number."
Not only have we entered a new phase of healthcare, but we've also apparently entered a new phase of aversion, because during the next few days Ittybit brought up her little problem no fewer than a dozen times.
"I don't want to go to the DENTist," she protested, looking at me with arms firmly crossed against her chest while I explained why we sometimes have to do things that are unpleasant for our own good.
"Well, I'm not going. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME."
Of course with my 'Mommy Brain' the possibility exists that she's right. A short while later I misplaced my cell phone. Since I mislay my keys, my wallet, pocket money and any other small object that one needs to navigate through daily life on a daily basis, it never occurred to me to look in the place where it turned up; in Ittybit's dresser drawer.
And wouldn't you know there were two "short calls" in the voicemail.
"Hey, kiddo. How'd my phone get in there?"
"I was just keeping it safe."
"I bet you were. I bet you were."