Ice-Cream and Dental Sealants
I notice that my son, whose throat is raw from vomiting all night, has apparently fallen asleep on the couch with a coffee cup full of ice-cream gripped in his hand.
“Look,” I say to my wife. “He feels so bad he can’t even eat any ice-cream.”
“He ate it all!”
“He didn’t eat it all.”
“He always eats ice-cream slowly though,” says Maddie.
“No, that’s me,” says Erica.
“No, not you. You do not eat ice-cream slowly,” I say. “You clean up after yourself slowly…”
My wife laughs.
“No…” begins Erica.
“It takes you days.”
Maddie defends her. “It takes her forever too.”
“Yeah,” Erica continues. “I have really sensitive teeth in that one spot where I got it cleaned. I don’t know…”
“Yes, that will take a while to go away,” I tell her. “About six months.”
“Just in time for your next checkup,” says Maddie.
“I hate it. I can’t eat things on that side of my mouth.”
“Don’t get any more cavities, because that’s what happens,” I say.
“It wasn’t a cavity,” she says. “They wanted to give me a sealant”
“So they drilled a hole in your tooth…”
“…and put a filling in?” says Maddie.
“…they used that laser thing.”
The Science of Salt
The conversation turns to science when Linn notices dried salt deposits on the outside of the pot used to cook the salt potatoes. She points to the side of the pot and looks at me.
Erica throws me an assist.
“With the pot.”
“Oh, heat…” I begin, and then notice by the look on Erica’s face that she knows the answer and wants to explain it. “Erica, explain it to her.”
Now Erica is a bit of a mimic. For the past several weeks she has been using her Eric Cartman voice from Comedy Central’s South Park television show (I watched a few of the cleaner episodes with her), which she’s perfected enough that it almost funny. What makes it funny is that she uses is at the most inappropriate times as a diffusion technique when Mom’s “yelling” at her for creating some mess or not finishing some chore.
This makes everyone laugh. Except Mom, who doesn’t like her name pronounced “Meah-ummm.” She is not amused. At all. Which, of course, makes it even funnier.
It is only natural then that Erica begins to explain to Linn how the streaks she noticed running down the sides of the pot are dried salt and how they got there—as Cartman. This was lost on Linn, who has not, and will not, ever watch that show, but she did sit and listen to the explanation, her full attention on her big sister.
When Erica had finished, Mom chuckled, smiled, and said,
“See? Now you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to teach other children.”
“You don’t even have to teach them correctly,” says Erica.
“No…!” begins Mom, horrified, before Maddie and I cut her off with our laughter.
Dinner is in full swing.