Our last visit to the dentist is forever etched on my memory. Not in a good way. I was sure it would be easier this time…After all, the boys are so grown up now.
We’d played dentists at home all day. We’d pretended to get up on the chair, open our mouths and let somebody look at each tooth. It had been too easy. There had been no biting. No refusing to sit in the big chair. I’d become complacent.
This is how the episode played out yesterday evening:
All five of us arrived at the surgery (oh no, I wasn’t silly enough to attempt this solo). I was given a massive stack of forms to fill out seeing as the surgery had been taken over since our last visit. Husband had E on his lap and she suddenly decided to turn into a wriggler.
Me: Come on boys, sit down on the chairs.
T2 sits down on the floor and takes off his coats and shoes (don’t ask why, maybe he thinks he’s arrived at some crazy soft play where there are no slides or toys).
Me: Come on, put your shoes back on, please.
T2 (shouting): “No.”
T2 pauses. I look at him and point to his shoes.
T2: ” Why?! Which foot do they go on mummy? Which foot? WHICH FOOT?
I try to juggle the clipboard full of forms, while simultaneously trying to write down all of their information and check if he’s putting his shoes on the right feet.
Me: Yep, that’s the right feet. Come on, put put them back on now, please.
I look up and see that during our distraction, T1 has seen the opportunity to stand in front of the automatic door. They open. He giggles. He steps back until they close, then he steps forward again and giggles. I ask him to come and sit down. He ignores me. I stand up to go and get him. He runs off and starts circling the small waiting room, opening the doors each time he runs past. I get dirty looks from a man and his older son who are shivering slightly in their seats next to the doors.
I turn to see T2 is laying on the floor rolling around like a baby. He’s crawling under the row of chairs and has started kicking the radiator. T1, meanwhile, is back bothering the automatic doors. I walk over, pick him up and tell him to sit down next to me. He stands straight up on the chair. I ask him to take his shoes off the chair. He can smell my fear, I know it. I get him to sit down and rush to complete the forms so I can give them some proper attention.
T2 is still laying under our chairs kicking the wall. Husband is juggling a wriggly baby and from the expression on his face he’s given up any attempt at getting control over the situation. I suggest he takes the boys outside for a walk while I fill in the forms but he points out he’d have to leave E with me and then I’d be trying to fill in the forms with a baby that wanted to get down. Given there is no child area in the waiting room, and the automatic doors to the outside are right in front of us, I know that putting her down is a bad idea. I think back to why we decided not to bring the buggy. I make a mental note to forget to make Husband’s packed lunch later, as I remember it was his bright idea.
I get out my phone and tell Husband to show the kids some photos on it. They flock to the phone like bees to a flower, but it only entertains them for three seconds when they see it’s not Angry Birds or Talking Santa. They start running loops around the waiting room again.
I’m done; the forms are sorted. I hand them back to the receptionist. I’m ready to distract the boys until our appointment. Before I even reach my chair I’m called back and told I haven’t completed them. There are about 50 boxes of questions about health issues – none of which the boys have – and I have to tick ‘no’ for every. Single. Box. TWICE.
I imagine smacking the receptionist over the head with the clipboard and screaming: Can’t you see what I’m trying to deal with here, lady? Cut me some slack!!!
What I actually say is: Oh sorry, I’ll go back and fill them in then.
On my way back to my chair, I pick T1 up off the floor with one hand because he’s rolling around the people queuing at reception and is about to get stepped on. I stick him back on the chair next to me and attempt to speed tick my way through the forms. Then I realise they’ve sneakily asked the odd ‘yes’ question just to catch you out, such ‘as are any of your family members registered at the surgery’. I start attempting to read the questions and have to redo lots of ticks.
T1 spots the hand sanitiser on the wall after a lady uses it. Why would she do that to me? Can’t she see I’m flailing here. I consider hurling the clipboard at her. Instead I watch as T1 stands under it with his face right under the nozzle. I pray it’s not an automatic dispenser (thankfully not) and I dash over and pull him back to the chair.
I know that within seconds they’ll notice the locks on the doors to the dentist rooms and the reception area that gave them so much fun last time (from past experience, it seems locking people out of the waiting room doesn’t go down too well). I decide there’s no more I can do. The battle has been lost. Twin boys 1, mummy and daddy, nil. It’s over and there’s nothing more to play for.
Thankfully, in a halo of light, the dentist appears and calls us. I suddenly have two angels again. They take turns sitting in her chair. They open their mouths to order. They politely ask if they can have stickers afterwards for being brave. My four year olds are back, replacing the pair of toddlers that were acting up in the waiting room.
We walk back to the van, which is parked on a busy street full of restaurants and pubs nearby. Actually, we jog back because Husband and I are a bit delirious about being free from the waiting room at last. I open the sliding door and everyone gets strapped into their car seats.
Me (just as I’m closing the sliding door): See you all later. Daddy and I are going out for some dinner now.
The door closes. There is a moment of silence. Husband and I pause outside the car and give each other a knowing wink. The car erupts into hysterical screams.
T1 and T2 in unison: Mummy, don’t leave us, don’t go, Mummy, MUMMY, MUMMY, MUUUUMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!
We giggle to ourselves as we climb in the front seats and reassure them that we really weren’t leaving them after all.
Twin boys, 1, Mummy 1.