And there, in the dentist chair, it was all that I imagined and more--the disappearance of the hygienist mid-cleaning, notes being scribbled, whispers behind my head, some pain, and far more than the requisite amount of rinsing. Oh, and firm words and an appointment to come back "sooner than later" to fix a series of problems.
I survived, and have focused on my teeth far more than normal in the few days since. But I can't help but think, as I did in the chair that day--isn't it enough that I fairly reasonably manage three children while managing overnight work and off-hour sleep and dinner for people who like meat and people who don't and projects at home and...? Isn't any of that enough, or does being a dental disaster mean that ultimately, I have failed?
After the dentist, I went back to the managing and the running and the multitasking that usually make me feel pretty accomplished. I will brush my teeth more. I might even floss regularly. I will attempt to make sure that my next dentist visit has a little less pain and a lot less whispering. But along the way, I will also try to remember that while being ANY kind of disaster is not ideal, having a little disaster sometimes, while having a fair amount of success most of the time, is actually not so terrible. I'm still a darn good multitasker. And in six months (no, wait, I am now required to go every three), I will be a multitasker with much better teeth.