I took the kids to the dentist last week. In the US I was fastidious about twice a year appointments but this is the first time we've been in the 17 months we've been here. I was a bit anxious. First I'll start by saying that we had an amazing pediatric dentist in Kansas. If you live in or near Overland Park, and you don't take your kids to Dr. Matt, then you are basically a negligent parent. (Not that I'm judging.) We went to him because of his credentials but he is so personable and the entire office is so friendly, plus they have it set up in such a kid-friendly way that after experiencing the long lines at the actual Disney world I think my kids would prefer a trip to Dr. Matt. For them it was like going to super fun land and they came home motivated to take good care of their teeth--with actual instructions and know how. But enough about smilesdentistry (and no I have no vested interest) it's just that I was pretty sure he was going to be a tough act to follow. Plus, here we're on a socialized medicine plan and were just going to our plan's local dental clinic.
I am happy to report, we were quite pleasantly surprised. There was some initial confusion in which I thought the tech was the dentist and the dentist was the tech, (have you ever had a dentist who wore a big gold chain? It was a first for me) but he was very good with the kids. No plasma TV to watch in the ceiling while you are lying back in the dentist chair, but N even had a minor procedure and was fine. The dentist recommended removing two of N's baby teeth. N told him "Please don't do anything that will cause my teeth to become straighter because I want to move to England and become a footballer (soccer player) and I want to blend in." Where does the guy get this stuff?? All I can say is he reads A LOT. Fortunately, the dentist had a sense of humor and they hit it off. A couple of painless shots and the teeth were out. N and the dentist were like buddies at the end with him calling N the next Mr. Bean.
Afterwards, we took them for flu shots. A being our youngest and bravest jumped right up to the table and pulled up her sleeve. N who had just had the oral injections and was still having fun with his numb mouth requested the numbing spray prior to getting his shot. The nurse happily obliged.
Meanwhile my parents sent N a pair of goalie gloves. Boy, was he excited. By mistake they happened to choose the color that his favorite goalie wears.
Cost of kids goalie gloves: $15
Cost to mail to Israel: $15
Getting yellow goalie gloves in the mail from your grandparents: Priceless
And the school year moves along. Thinking of last year when we just couldn't get help and comparing to this year when our kids are not even new olim (new olim have the most "rights" to get help) and all the help they are getting. L's school just started a twice a week after school program to help with homework and for reading exercise. The school librarian works with this small group and I am so excited. First of all, school here ends at 1:30 so she now will get twice a week after school for free plus tons of help to close the reading gap that 2nd year Olim tend to have. Hooray! If anyone reading is considering aliyah, take note: Go to a place where the schools have Olim-- it is much easier for your child and much better academic support. The English programs at both schools are also good. L's friends from Australia were complaining that they have to learn the American spelling for certain words (i.e. color vs. colour) but I guess such is life.
Today, the 17th of Tevet, is the 8th Yahrtzeit for Michael's dad, Arthur. We miss you Arthur.