I’m not quite sure what kind of vendetta I had against myself when I planned two brand new, somewhat invasive experiences for Ali within 48 hours of each other.

Seriously. I know this child. I know she doesn’t like change. So why stack this week’s odds against me?

The First First: Wednesday – The Dentist.

I’ve been thinking about taking Ali to the dentist for a while now (special shout-out to Mama Hen for making it sound SOOO easy to take a toddler to the dentist, by the way. That was a nasty trick.)

So, in preparation, I’ve been strategizing and optimizing: What could give us the best possible odds of having a favorable experience?

I debated with myself – should I take her to a Pediatric Dentist, or a Dentist that is a friend of ours and Ali knows?

I decided on the friend – familiarity is key with Ali – not bright and fun toys.

Then I started the preparation. I talked about how much fun the dentist was, that they were going to make her teeth pretty like a Princess’ teeth, and we practiced opening our mouth REALLY wide.

(There WAS that incident the day before where my Mom started telling a horror story – in front of Ali – about me getting a filling at Ali’s age and how I thought I was choking to death and totally panicked.)

(At which point I kindly interrupted her and reminded her that Ali did indeed speak and understand English, and that this particular story was not helping my preparation AT ALL.)

But besides that, I thought we were ready. I got all bribery in place, and even let her hold a bag of Cookie Bear Crackers all the way to the dentist, while we talked about how fun it would be, how good she would open her mouth, and how she would get Cookie Bear Crackers and ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD THAT SHE WANTED if she’d simply open her mouth for Doctor Jayme and her helper.

We arrive, and Ali was excited. She started talking about how pretty Doctor Jayme’s office is – “It’s like a Castle!!”. This is a good sign.

Doctor Jayme came out and was wonderfully inviting to Ali. Ali obviously admired her. Another good sign.

And then, we got back to The Chair.

And we were met with a mouth personifying the solidity of The Great Wall of China.

No amount of bribes, me sitting under her, fun things to play with, the appeal of seeing her teeth on the flat screen tv on the wall, Guilt trips about how sad Daddy would be, Doctor Jayme’s sweet kindness, my PRYING HER MOUTH WITH A CROWBAR –

NOTHING would convince her to open her mouth.

“Baby, if you don’t open your mouth, then you won’t get your Cookie Bear Crackers – Mommy will have to eat them.”

“You can have them ALL, Mommy.”

“Don’t you want to go to the park after doing good at the dentist?”

“No, I want to go home.”

They were SO awesome and SO patient with her – but I don’t think that Cinderella herself could have convinced Ali to open her mouth.IMG_5362
Needless to say, I ate a lot of Cookie Bear Crackers on the way home.

The Second First: Friday – The Hair Salon.

I was always convinced that I wouldn’t cut my daughter’s hair for a really long time, but Ali’s hair has gotten so uneven, frizzy and scraggly that I found myself trying to convince Chris to let me get her “just a little trim.”

“Won’t it grow out and get better?”

“It will grow faster if it gets trimmed. Just like mine.”

“Can’t we just buy her more expensive conditioner?”

“She’s already using mine – it is expensive!”

“Can’t we buy her MORE expensive conditioner?”

“That’s not going to fix her uneven hair. It JUST needs a trim.”

“Okay…but only if it’s just a tiny trim. And if you bring me her curls.”


For proof of the need of this action, I brushed the curl out of her hair:IMG_5525Just a BIT thin on the ends. Can we say Mullet? Yeah – no amount of conditioner can fix THAT.

So I hyped it up to Ali: “We’re going to get our hair cut together! At the Salon! And we’ll look beautiful!! Like Princesses!!!”

I took her to my salon, Hair Reflections, and we saw my favorite hair stylist ever, Shannon.

Ali wasn’t too excited about the Princess T-Shirt dress that she had to wear for the haircut: IMG_5539

But it grew on her.

She watched me get my hair washed and cut first, asking “What’s she doing NOW??” every five seconds.

(In theory, this strategy might have worked at the Dentist, too. But I seriously don’t think ANYTHING would have helped.)

Then it was her turn. We headed back to get her hair washed first, and she started to panic.

Great. Deja vu.

I kept telling her how great it felt, and that Miss Shannon was even better than Mommy and Daddy at washing her hair, and that she’d get pretty colored shampoo, and finally, with her sitting across my legs, I got her to sit and let Shannon work her relaxation magic:IMG_5543 I think there might have been drugs in that shampoo.

She then happily and sedatedly headed back to the chair to get her hair cut:IMG_5546
And, besides the constant wiggling that she did to truly test Shannon’s steady hand, she did fairly well.

Except when Shannon would stand between her and the mirror. “I want to watch myself in the mirror!”IMG_5551
Ali seemed happy with her cut (or at least that it was over),
And Chris should be happy that really, in the grand scheme of things, very little got cut off:IMG_5593(I think he may have called Shannon beforehand and bribed her.)

And Ali looks the same, just hopefully a little less scraggly:IMG_5572


…just don’t ask her to open her mouth.

15 thoughts on “Week of Firsts: a Fail and a Win.

  1. Sooooo sorry about the dentist experience. And remember, James did throw up on me. But I'm an old pro at throw up so I didn't think too much of it. Take her to the pedriatic dentist and see if that is any better. And if she still won't open up just remember all those baby teeth are going to fall out anyway :)

  2. I probably should've mentioned what worked for us was to have the kids come in with me and watch while I got my teeth cleaned. When I was done, they got to take a ride in the magic chair and go get a prize out of the treasure box. At age 4, Luke was begging to go to the dentist. He got a tooth filled this year and told me he didn't need me to go back with him. They can't wait for our next appt in January.

    I like Ali's haircut. That was the cutest mini-mullet I ever did see. " Business in the front, party in the back! LOL!!

  3. I'll be honest…..that was a scraggly do! She is so cute though, she could rock a mohawk and still be precious! I hope you're saving all those adorable baby clothes to lend to me one day!

  4. The nurses at Alex's dentist let her shoot water from the rinse gun at everyone that walked down the hall. Now she loves them.
    Ali is so cute. Her hair looks great.

  5. I think her hair looks great. She should enjoy that girly stuff. The dentist, hmmm, that may be quite the challenge.

  6. Ali's hair looks great! So funny the difference between boys and girls….I did not know they shampooed the little girls and everything! Very cute and she does look very sedate after that shampoo. Maybe I should take Jack to get his hair shampooed and then take him to the dentist. :)
    You try it first with Ali and tell me if it works. LOL

  7. Don't worry about the dentist thing, David did the same thing the first time, and now he loves going. Although for him it helped to see big brother doing it first. Maybe see if a friend of hers could go on the same day next time so Ali could watch him/her.

    And I love how her hair looks with that little trim – especially in the back. It makes her pretty curls look even prettier and much more princessey!

  8. Cute hair, the before picture reminds me that I really need to get mine trimmed too. My curls are starting to look like Ali's uneven and scaggily.

    Sorry about the dentist, but I don't blame her. I don't really like going either and I am 34.

  9. I just LOVE those curls! Her hair is so precious and it didn't lose any of it's cuteness with the cut.

    I am putting off taking K to the dentist. I'm so afraid of them that I am afraid K will sense my anxiety and be scared too…but at the same time I don't want her going to one of those torture chambers without me! I'm going to have to work out my dentophobia, but I'm definitely putting it off as long as possible.

  10. That's a bummer about the dentist…maybe she did hear too much of your mom's dentist horror story ;)
    We go to Hair Reflections too! Ryan has been going there since he was in college. Amy is who we see and she is the ONLY person on the planet who knows how to cut Ryan's hair correctly so it doesn't stick up everywhere. When he moved to Mobile, he would still drive up to B'ham regularly to get her to cut his hair!
    That's where Luke went for his first haircut (after Ryan butchered it for the 1st time).

  11. I used to go to that salon about 10 years ago!

    Her hair does look better. Maybe now it curls better making it fuller, thus healthy looking.

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