1.) Ignore recommendations by literally every single major child-health organization that they should definitely see a dentist before they’re four because pssh that’s ridiculous he’s your baby and if he’s not your baby anymore maybe you need to have another baby and ugh can’t deal with that right now how many teeth can he have, really?
All of them?
2.) Make appointment for four-year-old and his big sister so that he can see how not scary it is. Also you can only have to skip one afternoon of napping. But mostly the emotional trauma. (Mostly the nap. Shhh.) Make appointment for their father’s summer vacation for maximum number of soothing hands/voices involved and a chance for him to get to see what your life of herding cats is really all about.
3.) Tell four-year-old repeatedly about the appointment. Beam in happiness as he gets genuinely excited about being a big boy and think with pride about how wonderful he’s going to do just waltzing in there for the first time.
4.) Arrive at dentist’s office, both kids excited for their appointments. Four-year-old begins telling office staff and other patients in the waiting area about how this is his first time and he is pretty excited. Feel smugly adorable.
5.) Go back with Big Sister for her appointment. Four-year-old seems to do really well. He stands next to you and calmly takes in the scene.
6.) Realize he’s not standing calmly so much as literally shaking.
7.) Assure four-year-old that it will be okay. Look at how well Big Sister is doing!
8.) Have four-year-old start whimpering and then full-on crying and clinging to your body like a spider monkey.
9.) Give up on having him be on his own in the chair and lay down underneath him, cradling his little shaking body and murmur soothingly to him whilst getting sprayed with grape toothpaste and gunk from between your kid’s never-professionally-cleaned teeth. Mmmm.
10.) Not really mind because he picked you over Daddy.
11.) Have dentist tell you that his bottom teeth are cracked and ask if you know when that happened. Shrug and respond, “Frankly I’m surprised he still has teeth. This kid has no fear.”
12.) Walk out of room with four-year-old who is now all puffed up with bravery and saying things like, “Me pretty brave. Uh-huh.”
13.) Tell him you’re so proud of him and that you can’t wait to see him be brave again in six months when you come back.
14.) Watch as his face falls and his spider monkey tendencies come back. “NO ME COME BACK. I ALL DONE!!!! I BRAVE!!!”
15.) Figure out how many teeth he can actually exist with because ugh this is so much work, y’all.