Due to some last-minute schedule shuffling (Tilly, Judah and Enoch were invited to attend a Civil War learning day), I ended up at the dentist with Ezra, Boaz, Kalina, Mordecai, Jubilee, Hezekiah and Avi. Not exactly my A-team for leaving unattended in a waiting room (or dental chair). Now, Ezra and Boaz are fine, but not the best help with little ones. Kalina usually tries to help too much (which leads to irritated toddlers), Jubilee and Hezekiah are a breeze, but still, Hezekiah is only four…Mordecai and Avi, well, they basically require 24 shour a day surveillance.
We walked in the door, and I went up to let the receptionist know we had arrived (as if she didn’t notice me and seven children walking in). While we were getting settled, within minutes of walking in the door, someone bumped into the small plastic chair Avi was sitting it. She toppled to the floor. She was unharmed but indignant. You know that big mouth of hers? Well, think of it this way. If her mouth were a remote, and closed = mute, wide open would be full-blast with surround sound. That’s what her normal cry is like. Really, ask anyone who knows her in person. And you know, they have a saying…Hell hath no fury like Avi scorned. Or something like that.
Oh, and as soon as we walked in the door, it was like a switch was flicked. She went into Hyper-Even-For-Avi mode. She (like Mordecai) has sensory issues, so a new environment can be difficult for her. She was climbing on chairs, pulling toys off the shelves (instead of playing with them), running in circles. I begin to fill out the stacks of paperwork required. And of course, about this time Avi decided she needed to sit on my lap, while I juggle clipboards, a pen, fill out papers, and try to keep an eye on everyone else.
I told the receptionist I wanted Avi looked at first and was informed that wasn’t possible. She had to wait until the dentist was ready…hmmm. He probably wasn’t even in the office yet. Soon, Kalina, Boaz and Jubilee are called back. I restrain Avi for a while in the waiting room, then head back to show her everyone getting their teeth worked on (just one advantage to being the only people there. I can wander from room to room without worrying about privacy issues). Then she decides she wants to go in every room. The room where they do x-rays, the room where they sterilize everything, the storage room, the treatment room. But of course, she can’t. So she says she has to go to the bathroom. I take her. Seven minutes later she needs to go again. I take her. Three minutes later, she says she needs to go again. “No you don’t, you just went” I whisper in her ear. She keeps insisting. Louder and Louder. Oh, and by this time, Mordecai is lying nervously in the dental chair. I didn’t want to leave him alone in the room. Avi is still insisting she needs to use the bathroom. She is now bouncing up and down as if an accident in imminent. The ladies in the office are looking at me, obviously wondering why I don’t just take her potty. So off we go.
I line the toilet and get her settled on it. Avi looks like the cat that ate the canary. She smiles at me. She makes her eyes grow large. She leans forward. “Mama, I’m falling in the toilet!” she says. The proceeds to fold herself in two, and intentionally fall in. I catch her just before she gets wet. I take her off the toilet. “Mama! I need to go potty!” I ignore her and head out. Thankfully, the dentist is now ready for her.
They call her name, and she takes off running. Into the exam room she goes and hops right onto the dental chair. She smiles.
“I didn’t expect her to sit on the chair,” say the hygienist. Neither did I, but we go with it.
The hygienist puts on the bib, lowers the chair, puts sunglasses on Avi, and headphones on her ears (so she can watch the movie on the ceiling).
In comes the dentist, surprised to see Avi on the chair and ready to go. I am surprised too. This is the most still she has been since I walked in the door.
At one point she lay on her back, folded her knees (so her feet were flat on the chair) then crossed her legs and slowing tapped her foot. The picture of nonchalance. The hygienist said, “Look, she looks like she’s lying there, having a cup of tea!” Oh yeah, this was all old hat for Avi.
She lay there still, while the dentist gave her a thorough exam and the hygienist gave her a full cleaning.
Leave it to Avi to be completely unpredictable like that, and surprise us all.
Oh, and her teeth are just perfect.