Todah, dentist.

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.’

Two teeth dumber… yet also wiser…

I’m sitting here, post-removal of my last two wisdom teeth, done by an Israeli doctor at my insurance clinic, and I’m feeling – wise.

For weeks, people have been warning me about getting my wisdom teeth out here – “Go to an American, go private, pay extra for gas.” Sure, it freaked me out, but I figured I’ll see how it plays out. I’m adventurous like that. I was probably able to afford the laid-backness this time around because when I got my first two teeth out in the States, they were impacted and I was knocked out with anesthetics for two hours and handed codeine on awakening. I never felt a thing.

This time, I walked into the room with sweaty palms, having probably been affected by everyone’s warnings. Honestly, the image in my head was the Chemical Brothers video. The dentist was an older Israeli with a stoic face. I sat down and laid my eyes on the tools. I decided not to say anything, and take it as it comes.

What came was a ten minute procedure, reminiscent of those old cartoons when there was a cheeky character as the dentist and he took pliers and yanked out the tooth. So ghetto! The guy actually cracked my tooth and then yanked it out. So easy, so effortless. What is everyone going on about?

On leaving, I couldn’t help but think of a friend going through the same thing today, only he opted for the private American doctor. I’m wondering when the pain will hit me, but I’m also feeling secure in knowing it’s only my mouth that’ll be in pain, and not my wallet or my pride.