Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today I got up at the *crack of dawn and prepared myself for the stimulating fun of taking Lula to the dentist. Seeing as the last time she received medical attention no less than three people were needed to hold her in the chair, and the last time she went to the dentist, for god's sake, she wouldn't even open her mouth, not even to take a breath, not even with all the crying, I was prepared for some bedlam--probably during breakfast, definitely in the car, and without a doubt in the waiting room.

I was wrong--the flouride didn't hit the fan until the dental hygienist tried to take some x-rays, five whole minutes after Lula kind of willingly followed her into the special x-ray room, during which time I almost fainted from reading a story, printed on a card in the parent's waiting area, about a poor boy who died from an infected cavity. As horrifying as the story was, having the card there did the trick: I'll NEVER be negligent about Lula and Malko's teeth. Again. Starting today, they floss after drinking water and gargle after breathing Diablo's breath.

The parent's waiting area has a one-way mirror from which a big room with eight dentist chairs can be seen; the idea, I think, is to reduce the anxiety created by hovering parents, but as the dental hygienist asked me if Lula had ever been "traumatized"--thus her tears--I wanted to say, "no, except for that time six months ago when someone stuck a very sharp object in her mouth, a kleig light shining in her face. No, nothing since that time, but I have to say--you guys have got the death penalty theme down pat! The mirror, chairs, equipment--very realistic!"

I'm being mean; it was a pleasant dentist's office, with nice staff. Lula is going to a pediatric dentist on Monday for the x-rays, and I promised her candy if she behaves, so I think everything will be fine.

After the dentist we visited a couple of schools. Texas elementary schools include an hour of gym, music, and art on a rotating schedule throughout the year, which I think is great--it was so fun to see the art rooms! And the music rooms! Ok, the gyms were cool too, but I'm REALLY happy about the art and music. The second school we visited was nestled in the side of a hill, and it looked so cute and felt so inviting (there was a hedgehog sleeping in the office) that I think it's the one we'll choose. Kindergarten here goes from 7:45 to 2:45, which is a good amount of time, I think--not too short or long. It's going to be weird having Lula in school again, what with all the time we've been spending together since Costa Rica. I'm going to miss her, I know, but she's going to have a great time, and I'm excited for her...

Speaking of Costa Rica, while filling out the school application I put "Samara Pacific School--Samara, Costa Rica" as the last school Lula attended. For a second I looked at those words and tripped out on the fact that my daughter went to school in Costa Rica. How cool, I thought, how extremely very cool. Joedy and I pulled that off, I thought--we moved ourselves to Costa Rica and sent our daughter to school there. For just a little while, ok, but still. Cool. It is. Yes.

Other big news is the night before last Malko, who was standing up holding onto the bathroom door, lurched away from it and propelled himself, all stumbling feet and flapping arms, towards me. He took two wild steps before falling over, and for the next half-hour he was in a state of TOTAL exhilaration. He'd walked!! Soon, I imagined him thinking, he'd be able to get the refrigerator, with its shiny red beckoning bottle of hot sauce, open...


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