I went in and sat down in a patient waiting chair next to a little boy who was having some sort of work done that required him to wait for something. He was maybe 3 or 4 - he could recognize insects in this book he was reading, but couldn't read words.
Well, he started turning the book to show me while he pointed to various insects and said "look, a ladybug", "look, a grasshopper", etc... Crap, this kid is more outgoing than I am! I struggled to respond in a supportive way. I'm no freggin' parent, but I'm not gonna IGNORE the kid who's sitting right next to me when I have nothing else to be doing. So I'd nod and mumble, "mm-hmm". Then he finishes the picture book and grabs something else.. this one has stories in it. He looks through a few pages, and then holds up the book and says to me "I can't read this one" and holds it up like he's waiting for me to offer to read it to him. *sigh* This is what bugs me about my introverted personality. I wish I could just do things that come naturally to others. Why not read the kid a book? I dunno why I couldn't do it.
Later he says he wants to see his mom. I mean, this kid has been sitting there for no reason I was aware of for 10 minutes. But the dentist's assistant told him no, he'd have to wait. Then he starts crying. :( So now I'm not only unable to encourage this kid's education, but I can't console him too. That is, if I even should. What would other people do in that situation, sitting right next to a kid who is crying for a very good reason - I would've been crying too. He eventually calmed down, and I got called back for my cleaning. I was in there for about 10 minutes, and when I came back, the kid was still sitting there. I had to go back and sit next to him again for 5 minutes with that fluoride horseshoe of foam thing in my mouth. 3 minutes in, he asked again to see his mom, and the assistant told him no. This time he really cried a river. It wasn't a fake cry or a "I'm not getting what I want" cry, but more of a cry of desperation, or fear. The dentist came in to talk to another patient sitting with us, and the boy asked him if he could see his mom, and he also said no. He cried for a few seconds before the dentist told him in a firm voice, "No more. Stop crying, you hear?" Meanwhile my 5 minutes had passed, but that wasn't exactly the best time to get up and spit. The dentist managed to quiet the kid, and then left. Then I got up, spit out my horseshoe and left. I didn't take note of the women in the waiting room who might have been the kid's mother, but I can't imagine any mother allowing her kid to carry on like that for 30 minutes without wondering what's going on. What, did she bring him there purely as punishment with no need for dental work? I just don't get it. It didn't make me feel good.
While sitting there, I thought I heard my car alarm going off outside. That thing's pissing me off.