It is very gloomy today. Just the GLOOMIEST. It has been raining steadily since last night, and the whole world is cold and dripping and somehow both grey and brown at the same time. Plus Ellie has woken up at least once a night every day since we have been back from vacation, so now we are in full coping mode, and by coping I mean feeling tired and questioning our parenting skills. Will she eventually just stop with this, like all of her other short-lived sleep issues, so we should just wait it out? Or is it time to take more drastic measures? Why do we still feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, even 18 months into this parenting gig? And why don’t we have any cookies?

But it is a perfect day for cocooning inside, which is what Ellie and I are doing. Well, I am cocooning, she is napping. Soon there will be requests for “bobble?” (bottle) and “crack-ah?” (cracker). I am wearing the cozy pants I bought while we were in Washington. I love them so much you can pretty much assume that if I am at home and they are not in the wash, I am wearing them. Mike said to me the other day, “Oh, are those pants new? I don’t remember seeing them before!” and I took that as an invitation to buy another pair. I’m even going to pay a small fortune for shipping. Such is my devotion to these pants.

My dentist appointment last week was pretty much a non-event. I consider it a non-event when I don’t cry and/or have to come back sooner than anticipated for something that requires needles and drilling. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was just a cleaning, which means no polishing or examining or fluoride treatments, but she told me at the end of it that my next appointment will be quite a bit longer, since they have to inventory my teeth and enter them into the computer (or something? I stopped listening when she said “over an hour”) which is unfortunate, because while apparently I am capable of forgetting that an appointment will be SHORT, I doubt I am similarly capable of forgetting it will be LONG, so the Pre-Appointment Dread will probably start earlier than usual.

My hygienist, Leah, is a very nice woman who sings along with the radio and keeps up a constant stream of pleasant, neutral chit-chat while she works in my mouth. She only works two days a week, and the receptionists know I am so attached to her that if she calls in sick on a day when I have an appointment, I am unwilling to see someone else, so they just reschedule me. (That happened once, and the other lady was SO MEAN. And lecture-y! That appointment was not a non-event.) If she ever quits or retires, I will probably just have all of my teeth removed and get a set of dentures. Anyway, at this particular appointment, her chit-chat was a little … off-putting. Not offensive, exactly, just … not things I wanted to hear during my appointment. Here are three examples of things she told me while scraping at my teeth:

  • If I continue to pick at my bottom lip, which I do when I’m stressed, it is possible I will get skin cancer. She’s known lots of people who pick at or bite their lips, and none of them have gotten cancer, but she learned about it in one of her courses, so she thought she’d mention it. (LIP CANCER?!)
  • Her daughter is 10, and she realized the other day that she has forgotten most of her daughter’s early childhood. So I should make sure I pay really close attention and write everything down, because it is all a blur and in 9 years I will be inconsolable because it will all be gone and I won’t ever get that time back. (*sob*)
  • In 2015, she will have been a hygienist for 30 years. As she was telling a young graduate who just joined their team, nothing has really changed in 30 years. (I was born in 1981. Unless there were significant improvements or changes to dental care between 1981-1985, this means there have been no progress in her field over my lifetime. This is … not something I would brag about. Especially not to someone who already thinks what you do for a living is cruel and unusual.)

I hear some peeps upstairs, so I guess naptime is over. I’m going to have to break the news that we are out of graham crackers. There may be tears, people.