Every six months, we go to the dentist and have our teeth cleaned. We take turns plopping into the chair, trying to relax as our teeth get scraped and poked and polished and rinsed. And for the kids, a dose of fluoride. Swish swish swish spit. Swish swish swish spit.
N did a great job in the chair, although truth be told, sitting still while still awake is just about the hardest thing he ever has to endure. He compensated today by tapping his fingers on the chair and kicking me while I sat beside him, holding his sweaty palm. He tried to talk with all of the instruments in his mouth, but he laid there and let them poke and prod and scrape and polish. Even if the polishing cream was “NASTY Orange” flavored.
And then, the flouride.
Hygienist: Would you like to swish, or do you want me to paint it on with a q-tip?
Mom: You should have her paint it on. Remember how you threw it up last time you swished?
N: But I want the mint kind. I want to swish.
Mom: I think you should choose strawberry and let her paint it on so that you don’t swallow any and throw up again.
N: Mint. Swish.
Mom: OK, just don’t swallow any.
N: swish swish swish spit. swish swish swish spit.
Fast forward 30 minutes
N: Mom, can I eat yet? My tummy hurts and I need a drink. Can we get In and Out for lunch?
Everyone else: In and Out! In and Out!
Being as I am the nicest mom on Earth, I pull into In and Out, which is cordoned off and narrowed down to one lane while they resurface the parking lot. And it is here, in the worst of the bottle necks that N begins to spew chunks all over the car. His lap, his arm, the seat belt, the seat, down his shirt and very nearly on his sister, who feels the need to scream, “Gross! He had oatmeal for breakfast!”
Four additional heads rapidly hung themselves out hastily rolled down windows as we fought our own gag reflexes. T dove from the seat beside N to the seat behind N, hoping against hope that vomit wouldn’t fly. Because there was not one thing in the car N could heave into and he was already too covered in technicolor yawn for me to get him out of the middle seat without further ruining the side seats. And the side sibling.
Hurriedly, I executed a sweet 97 point turn, forced a line of cars to back up, eeked the car up over the curb, and exited In and Out. He was going to have to marinate in his own barf for another 5 minutes, and that was only if the lights were green all the way home. And the smell was only making the rest of us gag harder.
This makes at least 4 times that N has hurled after a trip to the dentist. As often as I feel the exact same way, I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to the story. Maybe I should stop telling him that fluoride makes him puke.
And for the record, a gallon of upholstery cleaner and a box of baking soda have done little for the stench.