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Feb
01
2008

A little inspiration can really turn a glum mum around. For the past couple days, I’ve been on a mission to be a more zen mama (inspired by this from Oh, The Joys). I must say that I’ve actually achieved heroic calmness (partially brought on by cold medicine but still) during irrational toddler drama. Now, of course, all good things can’t last forever.

After withstanding two ridiculously long tantrums with the patience and tranquility of a sleeping monk, I finally, ever-so-briefly, snapped after Dylan cried for 15 minutes straight about that evil rain cover (again!) that was (gasp!) keeping her and her little sister dry during a downpour.

I quickly jolted back to a serene state but couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed in myself. I’m relaunching my zen quest first thing tomorrow morning.

I’m also invigorated by contributing mama Daphne Biener who is completely juiced about Super Tuesday. Click here and feel her energy. She even uses the word, “jazzed.” Twice. Now that girl is inspired.

After a year of relentless campaigning, I had sort of tired of ALL the political candidates. But damn that Daphne, she actually made me care again. She is crushin’ on Obama but whoever makes your heart zing, I hope you’ll get out and vote.

Yes, I really did go from political apathy to engaged peer pressuring in just minutes.

I’ll tell you what I’m never quite jazzed about. A trip to the dentist.

After 2 c-sections and 3 other abdominal surgeries, it’s still a routine teeth cleaning that makes me cringe. Completely irrational and dumbfounding, I admit. But something about all that shrilling and scraping and gum prodding just makes me squirm. There is no iPod or fun patient/dental hygienist banter capable of drowning it out.

And there it sat on the calendar this week: a 2 pm appointment, 2 months overdue.

The dental hygienist looks so sweet. So darling. Like she lives next door and bakes you oatmeal cookies and collects your newspapers when you leave town.

Dental Hygienist: Are you flossing?

Me: Umm… well, occasionally. I mean, I used to regularly. Now, not as much. Maybe a few times a week. (A few times a week = Not at all)

Dental Hygienist: Your gums are bleeding a lot. Do you use an electric toothbrush?

Me: (pause) Yes. Yes, I do.

Dental Hygienist: Well, that’s good-

Me: (Go me. Go me. Go me. Doing the electric. Doing the electric. Watch me brush. I’m groovin’. I’m brushin’. It’s my birthday!)

Dental Hygienist: But you aren’t using it correctly. You are missing spots.

Me: Oh.

Dental Hygienist: I’ll show you how to brush when I’m done cleaning your teeth.

Me: That would be great. (That would be great = I’m not a idiot you know. I’m 37 years-old. Don’t you think I know how to brush my teeth by now?! I mean, I have a masters. From an ivy league institution. Well, actually, tooth brushing was not covered in any of my classes. And if you really want to know, I only brush for about 30 seconds. Maybe 20. Yeah, you better show me what I’m doing wrong).

Dental Hygienist: So I assume you’re refusing x-rays again?

Me: Yes. I think the radiation is too dangerous. Just seems unnecessary when I never have any problems with my teeth.

Dental Hygienist: Well, you know the risks. Instead of filling a cavity, we could end up doing a root canal or worse.

Me: Of course. I understand. (Worse? What’s this worse thing? I’m not asking. Oh god, I AM an idiot).

More scraping, sanding, buffing, picking, pushing and drooling.

Real time: 29 minutes. Perceived time: 7 hours.

Dental Hygientist: Ok, We’re done here. You had a lot of plaque. Come back in 4 months.

Me: 4 months? I thought it’s every 6 months?

Dental Hygienist: Well, you’re 2 months overdue. And you had a lot of plaque. You should come back in 4 months.

Me: Ok (This makes no sense. My teeth are clean. 6 months is good. I pay out of pocket for this. This lady is crazy if she thinks she’ll see me in 4 months).

Exit Dental Hygienist.

Enter Dentist. She does a check of my teeth.

Dentist: Your teeth look great, Kelcey – as always. Your gums might just be bleeding a bit from your hormones. You just stopped nursing, right? Totally normal. You’re all set. See you soon. In a flash, she and her pearly white lovely essence are gone.

Me: Thanks. (Oh my gosh, I love her. She is the nicest dentist I’ve ever known. I will floss. I will. I will do it for the extra nice dentist. Not the seems-nice-but-is-really-judgemental-and-super-critical-dental-hygienist. I will even come back in 4 months 5 months. 6 months at the absolute latest.)

mama bird notes

Stephanie (aka stephmod) is the winner of the super stylin’ Mutsy Spider Stroller!! Please know that I wanted to give a new stroller to each and every one of you. More giveaways to come!

NYC mamas, check out drooling over this for a green Valentine’s day.


15 Responses to find inspiration here

  • When I was 37, I ended up with an emergency root canal. I have flossed every day since, except maybe 3 of them. And 2 of those days, I was having a baby. Nothing like extreme pain and dental work to make a person become a flossing fanatic.

    I had one dental hygienist (sp?) I wanted to kill, by the way. She made it sound as if all my teeth were going to fall out within approximately 15 minutes.

  • Tully's Mama says:

    I had a mad crush on my dentist but then he told me my teeth were in bad shape and proceeded to drill his way to Texas. When my husband got the after-insurance bill he couldn't believe I didn't disclose how bad my teeth were before he proposed. Just call me gift horse.

  • It is the JOB of the hygenists to try and guilt you into better tooth care. I would listen to the dentist. Your teeth are perfect, Kelcey!

    Glad you are in a Zen groove with your babies….

  • Abby Siegel says:

    Hi Kelc-i am laughing at this entry. I could go on for hours on this topic. First, get the nitrus oxide to get you through the appointment. Its good stuff! I got kicked out of the dentist in Westport in 1992 after a two-day visit for an extraordinary amt of cavities. I blame my mom because she bought the candy. I was banned until I needed an emergency root canal last year and he took me back. I apologized, got knocked out, and now he says I am a superstar patient!!! Yay me! But really, at the end of the day even if we have great teeth and happy smiles, it aint so pretty on the inside. Just ask my cousin Tracy who has paid our friendly dentist Dr. Rob abt 20K plus! As I said-don't get me started!!! Go every six months!!! Love you!

  • Abby Siegel says:

    I would like to add that between the years 1992 and 2007 I did go to the dentist religiously every six months, just not to the guy who banned me for 15 years until I redeemed myself. I told him I had grown and matured during that time and that I was sorry. He bought it, thank goodness!

  • Kerry says:

    my mom was a dental hygenist for years when i was a kid and i never thought of her that way (the girl-next-door-bake-cookies-pick-up-newspaper type) or the other way (judgemental-etc.)…but maybe other dental-phobes did…hmm, i'll have to ask her if she ever got those vibes. keep up the zen mama gig for as long as you can, honey. i'm right there with ya.

  • Kelcey says:

    My hygienist REALLY does look like she would bake me cookies.

    But then BAM – no cookies. Just guilt, guilt, guilt.

    Well maybe there is a method to the madness… I have flossed every day since.

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    As someone who has experienced the extended pleasure of full mouth periodontal surgery when I was about, well, 37, the memory of that event (oh, the humanity!) has kept me doing the damn floss almost every day since. Either that or the childhood admonition, courtesy of one of my parents, that, "the stewarts die with their teeth".

  • My kids are proud members of the no cavity club…and love to rub it in that mom and dad are NOT.

    Glad that I am finally using my power for peer pressure for good (though the bad stuff was sure fun…!)

  • Francine Kasen says:

    Flossin is Awesome! I always had "bad" check ups, and finally decided to "try" the flossing routine. Sure enuf, my reeth stopped bleeding and my gums grew to a healthy point. It makes it lots easier by keeping the floss in the shower! While my conditioner soaks in, I floss!!! Maybe I should be doing sit ups instead

  • Kristen says:

    Kelcey, Thanks for all your writing and your work on your blog. We all appreciate having the chance to win something really great. You are the best!


kelcey kintner


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