Friday, March 4, 2011

Ignore your teeth and they'll go away

I had a dentist appointment on Thursday afternoon. I like my dentist office, and dentists in general. Not that I spend a lot of time thinking about them one way or the other, but when I do, it's generally positive.

I work more than an hour away from where I live, but the dentists office is less than a mile away (Google maps said 2.0 miles, but since I made it in eight minutes without hustling and I am not, as far as I know, Usain Bolt, I think they gave me a more meandering route than I actually took.)

The office is perpetually understaffed, and I had an hour wait, but that's okay, because they had The Electric Company ("Heeeyyyy youuuuu guysssssss!") on in the lobby!  I didn't know they still made that! (Aha! Some quick Googling shows it was revived in 2009!) I used to love that show and I'd been thinking about it and other shows, because I'm always on the lookout for worthwhile stuff to show to Lily.

So after that wait, I got in the chair and did all the things one does at the dentist. After a while he came to me and said "Your teeth are in great shape-"


"-except for that suppurating abscess. We'd remove the tooth, but your blood pressure is too high."

High blood pressure certainty runs in my family, and while I do walk a couple miles every day, I'm under crazy stress at work (magnified by a commute that not infrequently stretches out to 90 minutes) and my diet is just a ball of sugar, salt and fat squeezed into a ball, and I'm older than I've ever been. (And now I'm even older.)  I should take better care of myself, but this job has been grinding me down for a long time. 

Lily, for instance. There's a good reason for taking care of myself.

Even at four, Lily has has an extremely fine distinction between real and make-believe. That's great, but sometimes, I feel that she's missing out on part of the sense of wonder of being a kid. So I was happy that Jen told me the story about a missing lovey, Baby Bear.

Baby Bear is her little pink bear that goes everywhere with her. Other favorites come and go, but Baby Bear is eternal. (Though it's more reincarnation than immortality, as we've located a source of Baby Bears online and we try to keep a spare sandbagged in my sock drawer in case of emergency.)

We couldn't find our first Baby Bear and the other had already been left behind elsewhere, so Lily had to go Bearless into her day. Once we all got home and started looking again around bedtime, Jen shook out Lily's blue blanket, just as she had in the morning, and Baby Bear fell out on to the floor.

Lily's eyes got huge, and she said "They really do come to life!" When we asked her what she meant, she said that she was thinking of the Toy Story movies, where the toys scurry around on their own when they're not being observed, and they might cling to the back of a blanket as it's being shaken out. I thought that was really cute.

I came home from work on Tuesday night in a pretty good mood and realized as soon as I came through the back door that I had forgotten my phone. So I said that and opened the door to go back out to retrieve it when Lily said "Can I come? I have long sleeves on!" and I said yeah and we both went out to grab my phone. As I opened the door, she saw the little Scott and Romona plushies I'd had sitting at my desk at work for the past couple weeks, but which I recently brought home.

"Are those for me?!" she gushed, and what was I supposed to say, no, those are daddy's dolls? So she fell in love with them, and we've played with them every night since. At first they were siblings and Baby Bear was their mother. Then Baby Bear became Romona's adopted mom (she was raised by bears) and Scott became the boy who pesters her all the time. Baby Bear bites him on the heiney when he looks away and Romona yells "hi-ya" like Miss Piggy and karate chops him all the time. We watched Scooby Doo for our Wacky Wednesday movie, and Romona (played by Lily)  offered commentary for Scott (played by me). I was asking easy questions to allow to provide some chance for her to segue into exposition. I asked "What's Halloween?" and I think she was role-playing Romona when she huffed and said don't you know anything?"

She's got a mint in her mouth, which is why her cheek looks like that. Her smile is normally much cuter.

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