Sunday, April 17, 2011

My daughter wants to be a dentist. No grimacing or groaning!

My 5yr old daughter wants to be a dentist when she grows up.  She actually gets excited to go to the dentist! 

Why? Probably several reasons:
  • Everyone in our dentist office is female except for the receptionist.  (And the dentist's husband is a stay at home dad!  This dentist is really challenging the gendered division of labor.)
  • The dental hygienists are very pretty.  So she probably thinks of dental work as a glamorous job.
  • She generally is interested in science and the body (including teeth).
This is a major step up, in my opinion, from wanting to be a princess when she grows up.  So I'm trying to nourish her interest in teeth and the body.  But the general public is not making that easy.

Yesterday, daughter and I went to the science and nature museum.  There is a kid's "discovery zone" which includes a life-size plastic body with removable organs.  Daughter and I were busy removing and replacing organs when some random woman comes up and tries to engage my daughter by grimacing over the organs and repeatedly saying, "Ooooo! Yucky!  Ick!"  What the....?  This is a SCIENCE and NATURE museum.  The point is to engage kids' interest in SCIENCE and NATURE.  It isn't a Halloween-style horror show.  I couldn't get daughter's interest focused back on the body parts after that.

There have been other acts of discouragement. 

As I wrote in a previous post, I let daughter participate in a fashion show.  The worst part  was that they asked each kid what they wanted to be when they grew up, and the woman filling out my daughter's form grimaced and groaned when daughter said she wanted to be a dentist.  And then, during the fashion show, as my daughter walked down the aisle, the MC announced that she wanted to be a dentist when she grew up.  And then the MC also grimaced and groaned! 

In effect, they were making fun of her career ambitions, playing it up for a few laughs.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this was the attitude at a Nordstrom fashion show....

I don't remember anyone discouraging my son's career ambitions like this.  But maybe I'm just more sensitive with my daughter.

My mom and dad last year took a trip to Costa Rica to have semi-major work done on their teeth--they said it was cheaper to have the work done there, including once hotel, flight, great food, etc were factored in.  So they had a ten-day vacation, with a little dental work thrown in.  But I'm hoping that Nordstrom didn't ruin my chances for having free dental care closer to home.

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