Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Smile nicely, now

Take Squirrel to the Orthodontics Doctor. On greeting us, Mrs Teeth welcomes us kindly, and calls me mummy.  She turns to Squirrel, and with that melodic sweet manner you might use for a seven-year old wearing pigtails and a Winnie-the-Pooh scarf, says, Now then, would you just sit in this chair for me?

We both look at her. Squirrel, taller than me and with a fondness for medieval weaponry, barely moves. I laugh, one of my louder laughs, which I'm sure unsettled the man in the waiting room just now when I gave it in response to the perfect kitchen of Homes and Gardens.

Squirrel sits in the comfy dental chair (it's just going to go up and down for you) and mummy sits on the hard plastic chair, snorting.

Five minutes of pulling at Squirrel's face ensues, sometimes involving a steel ruler and sometimes involving highly purposeful language delivered in the way of a military attack. Left! Right! Bite! Open! Five! Eight!

Mrs Teeth snaps off her latex gloves. She has probably wised up to the pair of us and says Squirrel's teeth are fine. Squirrel can have braces if she wants, but the need would be purely cosmetic and non-medical. She turns to Squirrel and asks, How do you feel about your teeth?

Squirrel has the most remarkable range of facial expressions to deal with situations like this. She gives Dr Teeth one of her finest, the one that reads, 'You have obviously escaped from an institution that held you in a straitjacket', then snaps, I've got better things to do with my day than spend time looking at my teeth.

That's a perfect opportunity for me to whip out the soap box on how incisors are referenced in a social construct of female beauty when I bet molars are not subject to the same, and we both are ushered from the room pronto, without even being told to wait for the discharge forms.

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