This morning I awoke to a buzzing underneath my pillow. It was my ex-wife on the phone asking if I would be able to switch around my schedule to take Ashleigh to the dentist this afternoon. As stated previously in my blogs, I am almost always up for any extra time with Ash or Tara. The dentist visit seemed like a good bonding moment for a dad and his oldest kid. I’ve been to my share of doctor’s visits with all four of the girls, but I’ve actually only been to a couple of their trips to the dentist.
I call my friend, and rearrange my schedule for this evening, and call my ex back. I get all the details (I thought), and agree to take Ash to the dentist for a filling.
*Side note* My car has no air conditioning and it’s 90 something degrees today.
I drive 15 minutes to get to the girl’s summer camp, where I am promptly informed that neither one of them are there. Instead, on a day that Ash has a dentist office visit scheduled at 3:15, she is on a gymnastics field trip that would not be returning until 4. Awesome.
I text my ex, and inform her of the good news. As I’m sitting in McDonald’s Drive-Thru waiting on my big sweet tea she calls back. I explained what happened, and she told me to go get her from the gymnastics field trip (coincidentally, was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from summer camp). Thank you Summer Camp Instructors for being so helpful on THAT bit of knowledge).
I drive back down the road, and into the parking lot. My shirt was already drenched in sweat, and the cool air inside the fitness center was most definitely welcome. I spy Ashleigh in the other room and motion for her to come here. The summer camp has a policy that children are not allowed to be picked up from the fitness center that I was not aware of, and they were swiftly on their phones to the people in charge to let them know that a dad was coming in there and pulling out a kid early. Don’t worry people, you’re gonna get your money either way. Sigh…
Anyways, before we get to the front door of the fitness center I’m hit with “Am I going to get a shot?” I glance down at Ashleigh and see her eyes swelling up with tears. Oh boy…
I put my arm around her as we step outside and walk towards the car. “I don’t know Ash.”
As I pull away and into the parking lot I thought I was supposed to go to (remember earlier when I thought I had got all the details?), I was informed that it’s at a place by their house and not the place I went to. I look over at Ashleigh and asked if she knew the exact directions.
“Yeah. But I don’t want to tell you” she said, sniffling.
She actually gave me very accurate directions, and we pulled into a parking lot with the words “Dr. So and So” right there on the door. I walk up to it, only to find out it’s locked. I go to the door next to it, and it was also locked. I looked back at Ashleigh, and she said we were at the right place. I go back to another place I had taken her before (it’s now 3:05), and they informed me we were in the wrong place.
Ashleigh is in full-blown tears now, and all she’s blubbering about is whether or not she’s going to get a shot. We go back to the place with the locked doors, and drive a little further down. Oh, look Ashleigh, another dentist’s office. Let’s give this one a try…
Getting Ashleigh out of the car was no easy task, and into the office door was no easier. I actually had to carry her back to the dentist’s chair. She cried, cried some more, and then cried even more. She cried when they took the x-ray, she cried when she found out she was going to have a new dentist that day, and she cried some more when they informed her that “yes,” getting a filling will require some numbing in her mouth and a shot. I thought Ash was about to fight a grown-ass woman when she heard those dreaded words come from her mouth.
She had already wrestled with me out in the waiting room, and these two ladies were no match. As they pulled their gloves off, they suggested nitrous oxide (for an additional $75.00, of course). They suggested taking her to a pediatric dentist, since they were able to cope with problem children like mine. They suggested bringing her back another day. I suggested they try to do it today. Ash said she would do it, asked them if they could numb her without using the nitrous oxide, and then asked to use the restroom.
I kept a close eye on the window looking outside to make sure she didn’t sneak off and back to the car. Instead, during her trip to the bathroom she convinced herself that this shot was really going to suck, and came back in the room tears streaming down her face. The dentist and her assistant looked at me like “Please don’t make us do this to this poor child.” I told Ash everything would be fine, the dentist would numb her mouth and she would just feel a little pinch. The assistant took her hands as the dentist used a pina colada mix to numb her left side of her mouth. She told Ash to squeeze her hands if she needed to and then Ash went crazy. She refused to open her mouth. She moved her head all around, and she bawled like a little baby.
I would love to end this story with a happy ending, something like “And then she closed her eyes, opened her mouth wide, got the shot, and didn’t even notice. The filling was put in and we went home. Instead, I took off work, lost money, her mom is probably going to get charged for an office visit, and now not only do we have to reschedule her dentist visit, but one of us is going to have to go back in there with her. I vote her mom.
It sure was a hot drive home.