Do all the dirty jobs in toddler parenting default to the dads, or am I getting a bum deal? I don’t mean actual jobs that involve cleaning, though technically those are mine too according to the prenup that Savvy and I settled on – she cooks, I clean. No, I’m talking about things like emergency room trips and cutting fingernails. If blood is involved, I get the job. Even if blood is a remote possibility, I’m dispatched to do the work.
Last week, Savvy and I took our twin boys to get their teeth cleaned at BJU Dental Clinic. Although my wife accompanied me, it was clear that her role was going to be that of the consoler and that she would remain in the safety of the waiting area while I would be responsible for dragging the boys to their dental doom.
In a failed attempt to stave off the inevitable crying, we read books about dental visits (see, Caiyou isn’t afraid) in the weeks leading up to the big day, allowed their big sister to tell them about how fun it is to get your teeth cleaned, and regaled the boys with stories about what a wonderful dental hygienist Lynn is.
All of this was to no avail. As soon as we rounded the doorway to the room, Ryder started crying and didn’t stop until we left about 15 minutes later, after his teeth had been deftly cleaned and polished. Between sobs and when his mouth was not full of dentistry tools, he kept imploring me to hold him. I tried to explain that since he was lying on my lap, technically I was holding him but for some reason this bit of logic failed to soothe him. Honestly, kids are very difficult to figure out.
Bryson was far more willing to enter the lion’s den. He played with the little sink and even practiced spitting out the water. Once he had to assume the position for cleaning, however, all hell broke loose. I’m quite certain that even the adults in the waiting area were feeling apprehensive about any dental work that needed doing that day. (I should note that since we like Lynn so much, we didn’t take the boys to the children’s dental clinic.)
After pinning down two writhing toddlers for their cleaning, I felt like I had finished a massive resistance workout at the gym. Oddly enough, Savvy was the one who needed to go home and change her shirt. Both shoulders had been soaked with tears; thankfully, there was no blood.
Photo: makelessnoise (Flickr)