Sunday, 6 November 2011

Dental Drama

Do you hate going to the dentist?
Most of us don't like it much do we?
We have twice yearly check-ups plus the occasional visit for emergency treatment thanks to a lost filling, a chipped tooth or an abscess.  Luckily neither I nor any of my family are afraid to go - it's just a chore that has to be done!

However I can remember one occasion, many, many, many years ago, when I was extremely reluctant to attend my 6-monthly check-up, despite the fact that I'd be missing some school.
It was the missing school bit that was upsetting me.  Now don't get me wrong - I was a good student during the week but I was even better at relaxing at the weekends.  It's just that the Primary School that I was at had got an attendance reward scheme.  So it was worth being there. As long as it was every day! 

At the end of each term there was a final assembly when, if you had been there every single day of the term, your name was read out and you were presented with a selection box of sweets.  This was a really big deal!  Sweets were special!!  And if you attended every single morning and afternoon of the whole year you were given a GIANT selection box of sweets!

Now I had already managed to claim both the Autumn and Spring prizes ... and this dental appointment was putting the ultimate prize at risk!  Naturally enough, this cut no mustard with my mother and I was collected one afternoon around an hour before the end of school.

By the time the end of year assembly arrived I had come to terms with the fact that an hour off school had saved my teeth twice over.  So you can imagine my surprise and glee to hear my name read out as one of the pupils who had been marked present in the register at the beginning of each summer morning and afternoon ... and then imagine my utter, utter joy at hearing my name read out again to take delivery of that GIANT selection box ... as well!!!  More sweets than I had ever had in my possession in one go in my life!

Smarties
Source (as I have not one photo of either a selection box or me in this school's uniform)
I can't imagine today's schoolchildren caring enough about a selection box of sweets to ensure that they attend every day of school.  It can't have been an incentive because as soon as you'd had one day off with a cold - you might as well stay off for a week afterwards!  It wasn't that great for your teeth either really was it?!

Today's post was brought to you as part of Sian's Storytelling Sundays - pop over there to share your own and read lots more.

P.S. If you've dropped by to see more details of my Counterfeit Kit for November it isn't here yet (sorry) ... but will be up on the blog tomorrow. I was busy cutting it all up yesterday and have already made a page with it by way of compensation ;o)

23 comments:

Scribble Monster said...

A lovely story Jemma. I do this at work; we celebrate full attendance, it is easy to forget the stars that make it in every day :)
I don't give them sweets, they get a free meal in the staffroom :)
And yes, I fully see the irony and symmetry between school and a large work organisation. Much of the behaviours are still observed as well :)

Amy said...

Jemma, I can just imagine your pride as you have told this story today ... that is a gorgeous photo you have used to help illustrate, I love the reflection.

Mary B said...

Oh the joy, I can feel it in your story, the words just dance with the happiness they convey

JulieJ said...

Things don't really change that much. My daughter's school run the same system - except they do not do the term prize. Just one at the end of the year.
I haven't seen the counterfeit kit yet this month - I was at a crop all day yesterday. I was thinking of doing it this month for Lizzie's weekend. Looking forward to meeting you then.

Lynn said...

Great story - I imagine a happy dance was the order of the day. At my eldest school the celebrate attendance and get a small prize for full attendance. She is hoping to win it this term - has not had a day off yet.

Miriam said...

This is such a lovely story and reminded me of school days, of wanting to be there. Your excitement shines through your story Jemma and I just love your photo.

Sian said...

I can definitely imagine what a big deal this was! My children find it hard to understand how very few sweets we ever had when I was little. My Mum rationed them with a very firm hand! This is a lovely story because your pride still shines through - a perfect tale to tell today.

Thanks Jemma :)

Angelfish said...

Brilliant that you weren't penalised for your visit to the dentist. I imagine it was even more exciting to win the prize, when it was a complete surprise. Fiona x

Ruth said...

Great story. Our local Primary school offered a bike as a prize for full attendance last year!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

How nice that you earned that special reward because it's obvious how conscientious you were about attendance. And I agree with you--I doubt candy would be sufficient incentive for today's kids to not miss school. Many would not care at all and the most others would expect a much grander prize!

Lisa said...

great story!

Nihao, Cupcake! by Margie said...

I love your story. I do think it is ironic that if you had missed the dentist, your teeth would have been doubly doomed - too much sugar and no dentist! It's a good thing such a conscientious student as yourself still won the prize for being responsible - both in school and in taking care of your dental health!

Alison said...

Love your story Jemma...I can just imagine your face as your name was called!
Alison xx

Jane said...

a great story although I always feel sorry for the children who are really ill and so can never receive it!

alexa said...

Super photo ... and it clearly was a great achievement to get the award. Making it to school every single day is no mean task! :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Our schools have various recognition for attendance and good behavior, and I think they're great!
Ridna

Amy said...

Haha what a prize! I agree though, kids these days would need to be offered an Ipod or something equally as flashy. I was a bit of a nerd anyway but a box of sweets would definitely have swayed me! Nice story :)
xXx

heart.hearth.home. said...

This must have been like being let loose in a sweet shop. Oh the anxiety when your mother insisted you attend the dentist and then the surprise of hearing your name at the assembly - Magic! Thank you for sharing your story, I really enjoyed it.

Missus Wookie said...

Fun! My niece did this and loved getting the marks.

Princess obviously joined school to late for this to work on her... it was mentioned that her attendance was low this term (due to ten days off with the flu) she retaliated by pointing out her attendance might be less than 100% but her punctuality was. "So if I turn up I AM on time" :) Fairly certain it would need more than a box of Green & Blacks to convince her.

furrypig said...

it was one of my new year's resolutions to make an appointment for the dentist as it has been over 2 years.... yikes! I am not really scared but I was told last time I needed some fillings replaced so not been back since! Thanks for the prompt!

Barbara Eads said...

Okay, so maybe candy is not all that healthy or good for your teeth, but I can totally relate! It was ALL about the candy when I was a kid. Although I liked school, I can assure you that if there was candy involved, I wouldn't have missed a day!! Looks like we have that in common. I guess kids are the same all over the world!

Becky said...

What a great story! Our dentist was above the bakers and my Mum used to buy us a donut after every check up!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Yes, I hate going to the dentist, and yes, I agree that today's kiddos would not care much about an attendance record (although I'm sure there are still a few who care).

This is a sweet story (pun intended) and it's too bad you don't have a photo of yourself in your school uniform. The photo you found of the candy is a great one though!