Le Dentiste

Every six months I get to visit the dentist for what they call a “Check Up”, but we all know it is much more than that.images-2

They start off with the chit chat. How was your day? How are the boys? Are you back to work this year? Oh, kindergarten? How nice. This is all just to put you at ease before they ask about their hidden agenda. The answer to “How many cups of coffee do you drink”  is, “Mind your own business”. 

I’m quite certain that dental teams attend a workshop in “mhmmm”. There are many different meanings behind all those little “mhmmms” and it is up to those of us on the receiving end to interpret them:

Option A: “not too bad, just a little plaque, well it has been six months”

Option B: “more tartar than I’d like to see, but it’s on those back teeth, that’s tricky”

Option C: “ok, no flossing has been happening here”

Option D: “The horror! I will be using every sharp tool I have on this tray”

We know, dental hygienists, we know.

Dentists and hygienists have also mastered the art of shaming:

“I’m sorry I have to keep going back to this spot, but there is just SO MUCH plaque.”

“Do you floss? Ever?”

“Here, hold this mirror and watch while I show you how you are supposed to floss, *dummy.”

Next comes the polishing stage which is almost the worst (fluoride rinse is the worst, and needs no further discussion). She’s polishing and rinsing and polishing and rinsing and I do my best to be a good patient, but all I can think is: “DON’T YOU SEE I AM DROWNING ON MY OWN SALIVA?! THAT SPIT SUCKER THING IS NOT A DECORATION – GET THE SPIT! GET THE SPIT!”

Okay, the worst is mostly over, but this visit I noticed a new tool. No, not the tiny instruments of torture they use for plaque removal, a Sales Tool. I’m guessing our dentist office recently bought shares in SonicCare’s parent company because as I’m getting poked, prodded, and scraped, she keeps reminding me that an electric toothbrush would considerably reduce all that plaque and make cleaning easier. When I don’t grunt agreement, she seems to find a little extra something that needs scraping on my already tender baby tooth (I still have 3 of them). Well, played, hygienist.

But the dental team is not the only one with a plan. I’m pretty wily myself (comes with being the youngest of four). You can’t just floss the night before, that’s no good. Floss once or twice a few days beforehand. Then you can truthfully say, “Well, I don’t floss EVERY day…” and trail off, just like that (take a second and practice, I’ll wait). Also, flossing a few days ahead of time will reduce the bleeding and toughen up those gums a bit. It builds stamina, trust me.

If you’re lucky and don’t have any cavities or abnormalities, don’t cheer or say “really?!” that just tips your hand. Maintain a cool veneer like you fully expected the appointment to go that way, because you are a flosser who drinks just the right amount of coffee and does not eat Sweet Tarts or Zingy Zaps before bed. Ever.

(*Dummy is said with the eyes, pay attention.)

So, what’s your deal? How often do you floss? (nevermind, no matter what, I’m going to assume you are lying).

Exercise: It’s Hard

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Exercise is hard.

That’s obvious, I know. But really, it’s hard.

Finding the time is hard. Wanting to find the time is harder.

I plan to work out, but then there is a super funny post on Facebook with these animals saying hilarious things with British accents.  Can’t pass that up, and doubtful I’ll remember to watch it later.

Ok, I’ll get out for a morning run. I’m a firm believer that you really need to have that first cup of coffee to start the day right. And you can’t run on an empty stomach, so better eat some breakfast first. The 3 year old has all his Little People set up waiting to play with me. I can’t say “no” to him. Maybe later.

Riding the bike tonight could work. Well, the things is, I really want to eat my M&Ms in peace while I instant message with people I just spoke with 3 hours earlier.  Coworker friends matter.

I’d have more time to exercise if my library book wasn’t due tomorrow. Gotta avoid those fines, I’ve already racked up quite a few.

I could just do that 20 minute DVD workout. Twenty minutes is manageable. Oh! But I need to call my sister back before she thinks I’m avoiding her. And then there’s a candy crushing game I need to play, wouldn’t want to let my fellow gamers down.

Alright, I can do a sprint around the neighbourhood right after dinner. Wait! Canadian Tire has asked me to fill out this survey and I might win an iPod. Think of the great things I could do with that iPod. It’s for the boys. Let’s think of the boys.

Exercise is important and good for me. Then again, so is quality time with my husband. I know! We could workout together! Yes! But he’s in better shape than I am. I don’t want to hold him back.

Alright, alright. Guess I just have to make the time. And I will. Tomorrow.

Code Brown

If I had known 8 years ago what I know now….I’d still have four boys, but I’d be much more prepared.

When you’re expecting a baby you hear the stories from friends and sisters of spit-ups, leaks, and explosions. You think you are prepared. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

A brand new baby poops and it’s cause for celebration. You call your husband into the nursery to usher in the highly anticipated “grainy, yellowish stool.” Oh, joyous day! Get the camera!

When a newborn burps and a bit extra comes along with it, you smile and think it’s cute. “Oops! Did you have a little too much there, sweetie? There, there.”

Dear me! Did junior start to pee right when you took his diaper off? No problem, it’s really just water after all, isn’t it?

Ha! This is just the beginning. It’s easy to laugh off these mishaps when they are little.

How about having a poo explode on you as you reach for a clean diaper at 3am? EXPLODE – you read that right.

Just wait for toddlerhood. We were two-thirds through a 2 hour drive to my parents’ house. The squawky baby finally nodded off when all signs point to the toddler having done some serious business in his diaper. There is no way we are stopping and risk waking the baby. We open the window a crack and carry on. Upon arrival the toddler thoughtfully shakes out a huge deposit from his pant leg onto the driveway. My dad really cares about the condition of his driveway. It did not end well. For me.

Apparently, if you run out of toilet paper, the logical choice is to use the hand towel. No, don’t call for help, wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone.

You’re in the tub and have to go? Don’t bother saying anything, just do it there. What parent doesn’t enjoy a rousing game of Bobbing for Poo Pellets?

Oh, dear, did you get something on your hand? By all means, smear it on the wall. Wouldn’t want your hands to be dirty.

If you happen to plop something on the floor, don’t say anything, just go back to bed and let it be a surprise.

If I’d known this 8 years ago, forget bibs and sleepers, I would have registered for a HazMat suit.

A Little to the Left

Hanging pictures takes forever. It wasn’t always this way. As a student I moved into a new place and BAM! Pictures, posters, bulletin boards – hung within hours of setting up my futon. Oops! A little too far to the right? No problem!  Just hammer in a new one a smidge further over (using my deodorant dispenser as a hammer). Oh, no! My Anne Geddes poster is coming loose at the top? Nothing a little extra sticky tac or masking tape can’t fix.

Did I worry about the paint peeling off? Nope. Did I worry about excessive nail holes? Not me – that’s the next tenant’s job to cover up.

But now. Now hanging pictures has become a bigger deal than buying a house.

First, which frames? Do we match them to the couch? What size? A whole bunch of small ones? A smattering of large? Don’t even get me started on matting. CAN WE MIX AND MATCH?!?

Then we need to decide which pictures to put in the frames. We have 4 boys, so clearly we have 716 of the firstborn and about 4 or 5 of the following 3 kids. How can we convince them we love them all the same when obviously there has been photo-taking discrimination over the past 8 years?

Ok, we got some frames, pretty sure we know which rooms and which pictures. But, are we really sure? Really, really sure? Yes? Great! Let’s get to it!

No, no, not when the boys are around. Too chaotic, we need to focus. Well, maybe if they are watching TV we can hang a couple. Put on a DVD and let’s see what we can accomplish!

Now comes the debate about height. I stake my claim in the “lower” camp, while my darling, bearded husband prefers “higher”. We dance around this potentially volatile issue for a few minutes. I raise it a millimeter, he feels it’s a win and on we go.

Level? Check.

Pencil? Check.

Nails? Check.

Hammer? Not sure. (I did not use it last, contrary to popular opinion).

We’ve averaged 2 pictures hung per year.

Not too shabby.

The Origin

A monumental day arrived recently. I knew it was coming, but not so soon. A day that confirmed my long-standing suspicions.

I am, indeed, turning into my mom.

Now, this is not a complete transformation. I look eerily similar to my dad and have some striking personality traits in common with him. However, I am most definitely taking on many things “Mom”. 

Unbeknownst to me, this transformation has been underway for years. It wasn’t sudden or obvious, like when we brought our firstborn home. Nope. It snuck up on me gradually as the toddler years hit.

Perhaps it was the day I realized just how many times I had swept the kitchen floor and I heard her whispering from my teen years, “You think helping me clean on Saturday is rough? When you were young I had to vacuum every other day to keep up with the mess!”  “Chin over your plate” took on a whole new meaning that day. 

As we began toilet training our second born, I couldn’t really recall what we did with the firstborn and her words from two years earlier came rushing back, “Toilet training? I don’t know, you just learned.” Oh, so true.

I snap my fingers for the boys to be quiet when I’m on the phone. Mom

I tell them to make their beds because “we take pride in our home”. Mom

I threaten to keep all the unclaimed stuff lying around the house. Mom

Several months ago, one of the boys was complaining about some injustice or injury and felt he was quite hard done by. Without missing a beat, I ushered in my most Mom-inspired moment to date when I uttered these two words:

“Tough Bananas”.

Thanks, Mom.