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.
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.
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.”
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:
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: I think there might have been drugs in that shampoo.
Except when Shannon would stand between her and the mirror. “I want to watch myself in the mirror!”
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:(I think he may have called Shannon beforehand and bribed her.)
…just don’t ask her to open her mouth.