Just came back from Koala’s first time at the dentist. I’m pretty sure I managed not to project any of my own dentist dislike onto him, and maybe got him a lil too excited for it, because when we walked into the office reception he was SO EXCITED DENTIST IMA YAY!
Then we got called into ‘the room’ and I watched his face go from WHOA DENTIST COOL to oh… dentist… um, I think I have to take this call, I’ll catch up with you later…
Can’t blame him, it’s a room filled with ‘furniture’ that look like they’re going to stick you with pins and nails and then swallow you whole.
Anyway, it was all of 30 seconds. She wasn’t the friendliest pediatric dentist, and fairly impatient for the field she’s in… After speeding through the instructions in Hebrew, I calmly explained in English, ‘let’s open our mouths together so big so she can see our teeth.’ Look, if he was a native-Hebrew speaking 2.5 year old, I think he still woulda been freaked at her very rushed, very stereotypical Israeli demeanor.
Anyway, she turned him around, forced-opened his mouth and checked the teeth while he stared at me as if I had betrayed him (which I did; I should have asked for a few seconds to get him to do it himself, he would have – just another ‘I should have’ in a long list of my pathetic immigrant passiveness).
Then she somehow had the box of toy prizes in his hand before his face could go back from red to pink. As she filled in his fresh chart, she went on and on about what a gibor he had been.
And I couldn’t help but think… Gibor? Really? You didn’t even let him be a gibor! Just another example of what I and a lot of immigrant friends see as the incredible amounts of spoiling that goes on in raising kids here.
And isn’t this all just so indicative of society here: Scary process, don’t stop to calmly explain, give it a second before giving up on the diplomacy, use force and call everyone a gibor…
Maybe the gibor bit is, in the end, deserved: as we left, Koala gave her a very sweet, polite, American, ‘todah dentist.’