Monday, September 15, 2008

Jillson Is In Love

The Gutsy Dad and I used to do experiments with Zephie and Tilly to figure out which treats are of the highest value to them and therefore elicit the best behavior. Well, now we have results for all three of our girls. For a long time now we've known that Zephie's highest value treat is peanut butter or dried liver and Tilly's is a tennis ball. But now we also know that Jillson's highest value treat just might be The Dentist.

Today, Jillsie went in for her first routine dental check-up. I was predicting and preparing for a complete melt-down because the appointment preempted naptime, but to my great relief Jills enjoyed herself--and behaved nicely--the entire time.

She began performing the moment The Dentist walked into the room. "Hi, therrrrre!" she says to him, "I am two!" While I filled out paperwork, she showed him her belly button, counted to six, sang a portion of a (real) song called "This Is My Song," and carried a child-sized blue chair across the room so she could sit down right next to him. "You sit with me?" she invites him, coyly tilting her head to the side and placing a dainty hand on his knee...

And what was not to love? He talked about princesses and Dora and gave her yellow, heart-shaped sunglasses to wear. Giggle, giggle, giggle. She got to sit on my lap (facing me) and then leaned backwards until she was lying with her head on The Dentist's lap. (He was sitting with his knees almost touching mine.) Giggle, giggle, giggle. All throughout the oral exam she just smiled and grinned and laughed and flirted, and let him poke all around in her mouth, brush her teeth, stretch her lips to Timbuktu while checking out her bite, and she willingly opened wide so he could apply a fluoride foam treatment. She thought the whole thing was a hoot.

And, then, of course, because she wasn't already in love with him enough, he gave her a sticker for her shirt. An advanced courting technique, I'm sure. She was smitten.

As we skipped down the hallway after receiving an A+ on our dental report card, Jillson stopped and sighed and said: "I love dat man."

Now if only The Dentist were as portable and readily accessible as peanut butter and tennis balls.

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