Dear Noah,

We took a break from our potty-training failures so that I could take you to the dentist last week. It was only your second trip ever, and your first time to get x-rays.

And you were an angel.


I need you to know that I am not okay with this.

First of all, let’s talk about getting up onto the table and laying down.

Have you ever laid down on command when I’ve asked you to?


And certainly not when I needed to perform some sort of function. I mean seriously. You will fight harder and longer than Reepicheep himself when I simply need to remove a giant nasal-blocking booger hanging halfway down your upper lip. But you’re going to hop up on the bed for a masked stranger, happily open your mouth, and allow her to poke your teeth with a sharp metal hook while you act like nothing peculiar is happening at all?




You’ve never willingly opened your mouth for me even when I offered you some delectable treat. Yet you’re going to lay there on that table, happily agape even when she has her back to you, acting as if you’re the most perfectly submissive and joyfully obedient child on the planet.


You do realize that it took your extraordinarily compliant sister three failed visits and TWO YEARS to even open her mouth at the Dentist’s Office, right?


But you know what she DID do, without hesitation or fight?

SHE POTTY-TRAINED. When I asked her to.

Sure, she had a natural fear of being gagged by the spit spray and sucked up by the saliva vacuum – that’s perfectly reasonable. But she didn’t mind peeing in the correct receptacle.

Novel idea.

But you. YOU.

You don’t mind the dentist at all.

The hygienist asked you what flavor toothpaste you wanted, and you simply PICKED A FLAVOR and then – THEN – you were happy with your choice!

I try to get you to taste a new dessert and you scream like a pig. Then I force a bite into your mouth and you gag it back up onto my shirt without even tasting it.

(Seriously – just in the past month – Snow cream and Fruit Crisp. Remember those?)

And we won’t even discuss vegetables. Or casseroles. Or soup. Or meat other than chicken fingers.

You happily acquiesced when they sat you on a stool way too high for your feet to touch the ground and enswathed you in a ridiculously heavy cape (“I’m Batman!!”, you exclaimed) – you were so totally okay with the whole thing, despite the fact that the faux lead turtleneck was certainly cutting off your airway.


But I try to sit you on a toilet where your feet do reach the ground and remove clothes rather than put heavier ones on and what do you do?


Why not be Batman then?

Because I can guarantee you one thing. BATMAN DOESN’T WEAR A DIAPER.

Okay. He kinda does. But I’m sure that’s only because of the intensity of his adventures.

And then she shoves a giant plastic rectangle the size of your ear into your mouth while holding your head in place. And what do you do?


You let her. Quietly and with perfect poise.


Then the Dentist came in and poked at your teeth again. While you had sparkles in your eyes and dimples on your cheeks.

I try to trim your toenails and you turn into a Wildebeest. And my hands end up looking like I’ve been attacked by ten feral cats.

I’m pretty sure the Dentist could have given you open heart surgery without as much as a teaspoon of Children’s Tylenol and you would have still acted like the most precious angel that ever did live.


I just try to get you to take Children’s Tylenol and I end up with a backache.

So. Can we trade dental serenity for potty-training compliance?

Because you only have to go to the dentist two times a year, but you have to pee six times a day.

(I’m not even asking for poop right now. I’m a reasonable person.)

Also? I just want to remind you that I let my doctor cut you out of my abdomen. The dentist has only even met you twice.

Gimme a break.



Your Loving Mother.

p.s. I need you to know that if you don’t take me up on the trade, I might consider leaving you on the Dental doorstep. Because they make you a better person.

17 thoughts on “Taking Issue With the Compliance Department.

  1. OMG, we have the same kids. Liam will be 3 in May, and refuses to poop in the potty. I can occasionally get him to pee. And brushing his teeth? I have to hold him down nearly every time. We went to the dentist for the first time two weeks ago and do you know what he did? He sat in my lap, laid his head on the dentist’s lap and was a perfect angel. She poked around and he even let her brush his teeth. I’m sure it was the best brushing hes ever had! Jenna was the same age when she went and screamed bloody murder and had to be held down by two people. She was fully potty trained by 2 1/2.

  2. This literally made me laugh out loud! All you have to do is cover your bathroom with neon handprints and about 40 flat panel TVs that are all showing a Disney movie, and he’ll pee like a champ.

  3. Oh my goodness. This was a pretty funny post and even though I’m not to that stage yet with Jake, I feel for you! Poor you on the potty training :( I hope you find something that works quickly! And just
    I’m case, I’m sure those people at the dentist’s office think he is just the sweetest thing and would be more than willing to take him home and potty train him ;)

  4. Oh boy! I was so outraged for Elizabeth’s first cleaning – we’d been taking her to the dentist to watch mom and dad since birth, she was great about opening her mouth for brushing and flossing every night for me, she opened wide like an angel at playgroup twice for visiting dental hygienist no problem.

    She even showed our dentist her teeth a couple times at our appointments. But the second I commit to paying $60 for her own appointment?? Mouth tightly closed. So traumatic that daddy still hesitated to take her to the last one by himself and that was nearly two years later.

    So I feel your pain, even while giggling at your tale (I can’t help it!)

  5. I”m telling you-boys are so different than girls. Especially first born girls. They want to please, they want to do right. Boys-they will do the exact opposite of what you expect EVERY time. EVERY time.

  6. Maybe you could pay/beg/plead the dentist to let you try potty training at their building?!

    I think it’s like how our cat behaves perfectly at the vets – it’s the change of location and person handling them…

    1. I think I’d have to *not* be in the building. Maybe I just need to get the Dentist to make it a part of their “routine” – “Okay – we’ve taken your x-rays. Now we need you to pee in this here potty….”

  7. Lol, well at least he was good at the dentist! Our kids do stuff like this too. Everyone thinks they are angels…and then at home they sometimes trade in their halos for pitchforks. :P

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