Ellie goes to daycare on Wednesdays, and I try to get some client work done and go to appointments that are otherwise difficult to schedule. I love Wednesdays, although yesterday kind of sucked, because I had a dentist appointment, and rather than cancelling it I actually went, because I’d already rescheduled it twice and even with my dental phobia I still have a keen sense of just how much WORSE things could get if I didn’t go (that’s really the only thing that ever gets me in the door for any sort of dental appointment, cleaning or fillings or whatever) and you can only call to reschedule so many times before you’re just too embarrassed to do it again. My limit seems to be 3 times, although it can be 2, depending on which receptionist I talk to. (One of them is very nice and one of them is a little abrupt.) I also employ this strategy at the gym, where they allow you to make a reservation in the nursery using their online system, but make you phone and speak to an actual person to cancel, so I end up going to work out much more often than I really want to, because I am too mortified to call and cancel on account of my imagination, wherein the receptionists and nursery staff (who are actually quite lovely in person) are cold and judgmental and snicker after getting off the phone with me, rolling their eyes and saying “Guess who called to cancel AGAIN!” (I know this is probably not true, but please do not ruin this illusion for me. I require it for my health.)
Anyway, the dentist. I was 10 minutes early, and then they were running 10 minutes late, so at one point I emailed Mike to say that the hardest part of any dentist appointment is sitting in the waiting room, trying not to panic. Once I was actually in the chair, I changed my mind: the worst part is THE WHOLE THING. Each part is equally terrible. My hygienist asked me several times if the new techniques she was using were better or worse than last time, and I basically lose all ability to carry on a conversation as soon as I walk though the doors, so I just mumbled “I don’t know” several times, because I couldn’t figure out a way of explaining to her that the extent of my misery at any given appointment means that things could get a lot better and STILL wouldn’t even register on any scale I could use to objectively evaluate my appointment. While she was updating my chart she asked me how my fillings went last time, and I said, “They went okay, but I came down with strep throat afterward” and she said, “Oh no! You were probably a carrier. Good thing you didn’t infect the dental team!” and then my head exploded, because I just … I can’t even. THEY gave ME strep throat, and I didn’t even want to be there in the first place, and was paying good money for the privilege! At any rate, they tend to treat me like some sort of frightened woodland creature (the receptionist called me “my dear” SIX TIMES while I was checking out) and every time I’m there I wonder if I’m on some sort of watch list for clients with the potential to go completely postal.
For the second week in a row Ellie elected not to nap at daycare, so she fell asleep on my chest after I fed her when she got home, and we had a nice little cuddle, which is pretty rare, since she spends most of the day very busy with searching the house for anything breakable/dangerous/messy/inconvenient and then yanking on it/throwing it on the floor/feeding it to the dog/putting it in her mouth. During the cuddle I realized I am starting to maybe understand how people eventually get a hankering for a fresh baby, when their current baby is moving on to toddlerhood and their baby-ness is practically all used up. I was talking about this with a friend of mine this morning and we think it’s remarkable how your brain tricks you — you moon around thinking, “Oh, remember when she was so little, and she used to have naps on my chest several times a day, why doesn’t she ever want to snuggle anymore?” when really at the time you were thinking, “OH MY GOSH WHY WON’T THIS CHILD EVER SLEEP IN HER CRIB?” I guess that is why there are so many families out there with more than one kid — if we really remembered what it was like to have a brand new infant at home, our species would probably have become extinct quite a while ago.