This is a very long post, but I am still pissed that I wasted so much time that I will never get back today.
To the dental practice that I headed to this morning. I left home at 9:10 a.m for a 10:40 appointment. I had never been there before and I NEED to be on time it’s a pet peeve of mine.
We got into the armpit of Middletown at 10:12 a.m. We drove around looking for a parking spot for about 6 minutes. I found one and called the office which I was parked about 6 stores away from. It was now 10:18 a.m.
I told them I had a 10:40 appointment with 2 kids and that I was waiting outside. I asked if they were running on time and they said, “yes”. We headed in to fill out the truck load of forms that we would undoubtly be handed. We got in the door at 10:22 and I glanced around at the stark, boring, dirty, crowded, unchild friendly surroundings that my children would have to wait in. I had made an appointment here because they were supposedly a pediatric dentist. Oh well, maybe this was just a holding area and things would get better. Riiiighhhhtt!
I headed to the front window to the sign that said “check in” and I sat down to begin filling out the forms one set for the boy and one for the girl. They refused to give me the two sets and insisted that after filling out the one set I could come and get the second set. I guess they think most people who walk into a clinic are idiots and cannot be trusted to keep the forms seperate for each child. This would not have been a problem but it did mean that I would have to head back to the receptionist window with 2 kids in tow.
I sat down annoyed and asked the kids to stay near me. They sat with me and read Chicka Chicka together. I filled out one set and we headed for the next set. I handed my cards over and noticed that more and more people where filling the seats in the waiting room. We looked for an empty seat and I sat down to fill out the rest of the forms. You would have thought I was at a house closing with the amount of papers that I had to fill out.
Martha Stewart was discussing honey on TV, there was an elevator that kept opening which I had to keep asking the kids to get away from, they were dancing together and I kept asking them to stay near me and to keep it down. I brought the forms back to the receptionist who told me that I would go right in.
I sat down to talk more about the dentist with the kids, this was going to be their first time and I had spent the past 3 days talking to them about it. We practiced how the dentist would have them sit in a chair and count their teeth, telling them how to care for their teeth and how beautiful their teeth were. I sat on the couch behind them as they sat in a chair leaned against my legs. I counted their teeth with the back of the toothbrush, I brushed their teeth and showed them in a mirror what I was doing. As far as I was concerned we were ready.
With the forms done I had a chance to look around the room. There was absolutely nothing for the kids to do to pass the time so I stopped saying lower your voice;I let them jump, run, sing, whatever they wanted to do. Mostly because I was hoping that someone would say something so that I could tell them that the kids were not soldiers and what did you want a 2 and 4 year old to do in a waiting room? No one said anything. Finally I was called by someone who said the kids were cute and pressed the elevator button. I have to carry Handsome onto the elevator because he has a fear of something don’t even ask because I don’t know.
We got off on the next floor and were led to the dentist chair…nope we were led to another waiting room where two women who had been called 15 minutes earlier were sitting. It was now 11:05. My appointment for the kids was at 10:40 and supposedly they were running on time. I was running out of enthusiasm and so were the kids. After being their for almost an hour with nothing to do but ask when they were going to see the dentist everyone wanted to go home. Goddess actually asked to go to the bathroom and after waiting in a filthy, dirty waiting room there was no way I was venturing into the unisex bathroom. I told her to go in her diaper.
There was a TV here too but this one did not have Martha on it, this had some WB video show thing going. Great not only are we in a pediatric dental practice with no pictures, books, mags, toys or anything else to let us know they were a “PEDIATRIC” office but now there are inappropriate videos on TV. Great, swell, my husband was right (yes, I admit it – Teach, Hoff or whatever you want me to call you. YOU WERE RIGHT). He said I should just turn around and try to find a different dentist. This one was free and free is my favorite 4 letter word so I figured I would give it a try.
We waited until my friend Teresa called and said “you have the right to ask how much longer, go ask.” I used to work in a doctor office and hated being asked this question. The office staff never knows how much longer they are waiting for the doctor. But I did march up and say, “We have been waiting over an hour, I am not sure how much longer my kids can hold out. There is nothing for them to do and I was hoping to make their first dental experience fun and so far it uhhhhh…welll is not”. She said she would find out and she knew they were being very patient. She told them they were being so good and yada yada yada….
She came back to tell me that we were next. I assumed that but at least it was confirmed I guess.
Three people joined us in the waiting room and 10 minutes later were called into the room.
I took a deep breath and was about to head over to the desk when an office manager (I assume) went over and asked the receptionist when my appointment was. I had been talking to my friend very intentionally loud about my dissatisfaction with this place so maybe she just wanted to get me into the room or maybe she was tired of the kids knocking on her closed door. Whatever it was I was grateful. I was led into a room 4 minutes later.
Ok…the room where they were going to be sticking their fingers into my beautiful babies mouths had no paintings, no color, no stuffed hand puppets, nothing that said it was kid friendly….oh wait…not true I am lying they did eventually give the kids toothbrushes that had Superman and a Disney princess respectfully adorned on it.
The Hygenist started telling the kids that she was going to have them sit in the chair and then we would take a picture of their teeth…
Huh x-rays on a 2 and 4 year old who still have baby teeth? This is a first visit; can we just get them used to sitting in the chair, opening their mouth for a stranger who is going to touch their teeth?
I tell her that I would prefer x-rays to be done maybe on the 2nd visit. I told her that this is their first time and that I really want her to just look at their teeth. She says, “ok, let me see what the dentist says” She leaves, the kids are no longer excited and I have run out of gas. How can I even try to be a cheerleader for them?
The dentist comes in with a chip on her shoulder the size of Gibralter. She forces a smile and says, “hi, I hear you are confused and have some issues and concerns.” I say, “um, no, no concerns, I’m not confused, I understand that you want to do x-rays and I don’t think the kids will sit for that right now. We have been here for a while and I think their enthusisum has run out.” While this is going on the kids are sitting in the chair and sliding out with a “weeeee like they are going down a slide. I am happy that after more than an hour they are still smiling. The dentist says, “our first appointment is x-rays, we don’t just look at the teeth, you are confused.” Then she says, “Can you stop moving?” I don’t know who she is talking to at first then realize that she is talking to my son who is sliding on the chair. I say, “Um no he can’t! We have been waiting over an hour and I am TRYING to make this 1st appointment as pleasant as possible for them BITCH.” Ok, I left the bitch part out but I really wanted to end it like that.
She says, “well he is going to break it!” I say, my hands folding across my chest and my foot moving out to the side to emphasize that I am no longer able to make nice and she better watch her next sentence, “we have been waiting forever and if a 40 pound child is going to break your chair maybe no one should be sitting in it.” She places her hand on her hip and says, “well that’s not here nor there (God I hate that saying), but our 1st appointment is x-rays but it looks like there will be no way he will cooperate with that”. I say, “no, there is no way he will sit after waiting in two different waiting rooms for over an hour, but thanks for helping me make his first appointment so pleasant.”
She leaves the room with a huff and I am left staring at the blank, white, dirty wall where she had been standing moments before. I turn to the hygenist who doesn’t know what to say. I say with a smile, “well maybe we could try; can we do the girl first?” She says, “sure” I am sure she was just happy to have a task.
I get the girl on my lap and the hygenist goes to put the x-ray vest over her. My daughter turns her head into my chest and cries, “No, I don’t want it!”
Backing off the hygenist says, “I don’t want to scare her maybe we could try your son.”
She hands my daughter a toothbrush and asks my son to sit. He walks over to me and I pull him into the chair. I remind him that the Bitch, errr….uh um..I mean the dentist is going to look at his teeth.
Hygenist asks him to open his mouth and tells him she is going to take a picture of his teeth. She gives him the little thing he will bite on and says, “this will go in your mouth and you can hold it there with your teeth, you want to try?” He puts it in his mouth and I am so proud. Ahhh…maybe he can make me a liar I think. I will eat crow when the Bitch uhh I mean dentist comes back and all will be well.
Hygenist tells him she is going to put a vest on him so she can take the picture and he starts screaming. “No, no, no, no”.
I tell him it is a blanket and that we can read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He says, “No, I don’t want to!”
I say, “ok…let’s go”. We head out but not before I remind myself that I didn’t drive 40 minutes, wait over 1.5 hours to go home with one friggin toothbrush. I ask hygenist for a toothbrush for Handsome. She runs back to her office and gives him a Spiderman one. He says “thank you” without prompting. Again I am reminded of how good my kids can be.
We head out the door and I kick myself in the ass for not listening to my husband who said he would rather pay whatever it is going to cost to not have to go through that.