Today I took the children to the dentist. They cheered, they clapped, they shouted with joy. Well, perhaps not that much excitement but it was close. And why shouldn’t they? Going to the dentist isn’t what it used to be. I hated the dentist. Dr. Jim Nyland. That’s English for “evil, evil man with the personality of a pit viper”. I hated everything -- the cleanings, the examination pokings with the long pointy metal things, and the fluoride. God, I hated the fluoride. Remember? The big foam things coated with pink goop that smelled like Lysol and tasted worse. They were the size of … well, looking back now, they sort of remind me of … nevermind, that’s gross. Giant white cotton rolls. Covered in goop. Shoved in your tiny kid mouth with one set of instructions: Don’t swallow. And he disappeared for days. Well, 30 minutes, but when you’re six it seems like days. Sitting there, holding that ridiculously small napkin thing as pink goopy drool ran everywhere that wasn’t the dinky napkin. Remember now? Oh yeah. That was the dentist I had. Not my kids though. They might as well be going to the amusement park. There are animals to look at (why do all dentist offices have to have fish tanks?), games to play and at the end everyone goes home with a prize!
One thing hasn’t changed though. No matter how great the dentist is, he still speaks Chachingese. I understand Chachingese, though I don’t like to. It goes a little like this: “Well, Mom, Peanut’s teeth look great. Of course, there’s a tooth that needs to be pulled and $$CHACHING$$ blah blah $$CHACHING$$ and her teeth are crowded so we want to think about early braces $$CHACHING$$ blah blah $$CHACHING$$ best for her now blah blah $$CHACHING$$.” I am positive that’s what he actually said. I heard it. If there were other words in there, they were covered up by my future crying at me for the money the dentist had already spent with his Chachingese. So, I gathered my things and took my wounded potential savings with me to go home and ponder how to save up for BABY TEETH BRACES. Let me find a jar.
We have a lot of jars. If there was a show on jar hoarding,
Clark Kent and I would be on the first episode. We have this compulsion to rinse and wash any form of jar that comes in the house. Coffee cans, jelly jars, pickle jars, pasta sauce jars. Anything with a lid. It must be saved. And I hide them. In the laundry room cabinets, on the dryer, in the garage. Jars. They are my Precious. I don’t need them, rarely use them, but I must have them. All of them. You’ll need a jar one day and think “Man, I wish I was cool. Cool people save jars.” Then my jar hoarding won’t seem so silly. It will become the “in” thing. Then I’ll be speaking my own Chachingese.