Self Preservation through Selective Memory

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 A memorable incident that I’m grateful I forgot … move along.


I just got back from taking my kids to their semi-annual dental check-up.  All but one of my eight kids had no cavities.  I left the office feeling pretty good about that. As I was driving home, I suddenly remembered the previous dental visit that had taken place six months ago … a visit I’m grateful I forgot.

It was springtime and my kids were enjoying the sunshine.  They had been playing outside for a while and I was not paying much attention to them.  I was suffering from a painful headache, which I later discovered was the result of bulging discs in my neck.  I have to admit that I forgot all about the appointment.  

A few minutes after we were supposed to be there, the office called to make sure we were on our way.  In a panic I yelled outside for the kids to get in the Suburban.  They were amazingly obedient and within a few minutes we were on our way.  When we arrived, I instructed them to run inside while I got Joshua out of his car seat.  They did so and when I got into the office, they had already been called back to begin their appointments.  So I sat there playing Mr. Potato Head with Joshua.  

 Margaret was the first to return from her check-up.  She came bouncing into the waiting room with a big smile on her face.  When I saw her, I was horrified.  She had gotten into the car just as she was told.  She had run into the dental office just as she was instructed. And I had not once taken a look at her. I really should have done so! 

When she was playing outside, she must have wet her pants.  She had a layer of dirt all over her, but especially around the part of her pants that had been wet. She didn’t smell too good as you can imagine.  I swear she had a bath that morning and is not generally neglected.  She just happens to be a rough and tumble little princess who can get three times as dirty as anyone playing with her. Her hair was a mess, with twig and leaves stuck in it.  I could not believe that my darling three-year old was in this condition … in public.   It was utter humiliating for me.  

On the up side, all of my other children came into the waiting room looking like civilized, well-cared for young people and none of them had any cavities.  So out of self-preservation I decided to forget all about the embarrassing mother-of-the-year-wet-pants-at-the-dentist experience.  And I’m glad I did.  I certainly don’t need the stress of questioning my own mothering skills.   

And if you try to bring this up with me, I won’t know what you are talking about.  Isn’t selective memory great! J

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