Bracing to Take Them Off

I wasn’t going to post today, but then I saw that funky 1,000 words a day button in the sidebar and started feeling guilty so …

Here goes another 1,000 975 words.

The only time I left the house yesterday was to take Dude to his dentist appointment. Well actually, Dude DROVE us to his dentist’s office. When I told him he would be driving, he huffed and rolled his eyes like I was asking him to go out and dig up our backyard so I could plant a garden or something. Yeah, driving yourself around is SUCH an inconvenience, wise guy.

(*snort* And as if I WOULD plant a garden. I’m a wussy girl when it comes to getting my hands dirty).

I have to say, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of Dude acting like driving is the last thing he wants to do. Granted, I GET the fact that driving is not exactly high priority for him right now, but guess what DUDE, it’s called life and you’ll participate in it whether you like it or not.

I had to get that off my chest.

So, Dude drove us to the dentist’s office. And he was pretty sloppy about it. I don’t know if it was because he just didn’t want to or if just wasn’t paying attention or what, but seriously, his turns were so jerky I’m surprised my head is still attached to my shoulders.

And I know he can do better because when we drove to Willard to see his cousins and Jazz was in the back seat, he drove perfectly. He anticipated traffic, his turns were smooth, his stops were precise, but not jerky – he did great.

And I’m assuming he did so well because he had Jazz in the car with him.

Apparently, being a good driver is not as important when plain old MOM is in the car. Pfft.

We get to the dentist office early, he signs in and they call him back within five minutes. As I’m sitting there, flipping through an old something-something magazine (I can’t remember the name of it) and reading about *Jon and Kate, I’m thinking to myself:

Now how do I tell these people that enough is enough and it’s time to remove Dude’s braces? It’ll be three years in August and when we started this whole process we were under the understanding that it would take no more than 30 months, tops. I don’t want the kid to start his junior year in high school with braces. Take them off already!

So there I am, stewing over my fumes while waiting for Dude to get done and I’m still mentally working the problem over in my mind, turning it every which way, trying on different scenarios, offering various options (picture solving a Rubic’s cube and that was the state of my mind at the time), when Dude comes walking out.

And he’s smiling.

Well, that knocks me back a Rubic’s turn or two. Dude is 16 going on six (meaning he’s still pretty immature) – he never smiles unless he’s trying to butter me up for something or he gets a high score in one of the endless games he takes way too seriously.

I’m instantly suspicious.

And hopeful.

I put down the magazine and meet him at the front desk. The dental assistant who worked on him is standing by and I don’t even give her a chance to intimidate me (as I’ve done in the past by allowing them to talk and never asking my own questions) before I jump in with a firm smile and a “So, what’s the deal?”

I’m afraid I was so determined to get a definitive date out of them as to when we could expect to get Dude’s braces off that I might have been a little … pushy abrupt.

The dental assistant looked nervous (I tend to intimidate people – sorry) before offering a soft smile and a look at Dude.

“Good news!”

I immediately relaxed.

“He needs to wear the bands for five more weeks and then come in for an impression.”

I must have looked confused.

“For his retainer. You know about the permanent bottom retainer?”

I nodded, too stunned to actually see the light at the end of the tunnel to do more than that.

“And then, two weeks later, he’ll get his braces off!”

“Hallelujah!” I shouted at the top of my voice and did a happy jig right in the middle of the lobby.

Oh wait, that’s what I WANTED to do. Instead, I simply turned to Dude and gave him a big smile and a wink.

He smiled back.

My heart swelled and pressed against my breast bone.

So, dates:

July 14th – impressions (Poor kid, he’s got to have a whole mouthful of gummy clay stuffed into his mouth).

July 30th – BRACES COME OFF!!

At least, that’s the plan right now. If they change it, believe you me, not only will YOU hear about, but so will the dentist.

Okay, that sounded a little bitchy and I can assure you, I’m not really like that in real life but dang it, it sounded good, didn’t it?

This is off-topic, sort of, but periodically, Kevin spends his weekends going through old home movies and digitizing the best parts (I hadn’t realized how many HOURS I used to spend taping the boys when they were little. I swear, I have entire eight-hour tapes of them simply being babies – you know, waving their chubby arms and legs, cooing and blowing spit bubbles. I love the tapes, but the sheer mind-numbing inaction drives Kevin bonkers. I don’t know, I was just so FASCINATED by them. I mean, I pushed these little creatures out into the world!!!!!).

Anyway, I thought this video sort of went along with Dude’s teeth drama. In this video, please note how Dude’s new tooth was coming in behind all of his other teeth. And that’s because his lower jaw was very narrow and he simply didn’t have enough room for all of his teeth.

I have the same problem.

So, we took him into the same orthodontist when he was in 3rd grade to have braces put on and his lower jaw expanded (they put some sort of contraption in that I had to crank three times a day so that it literally pushed his teeth outward. Yeah, it was as much fun as it sounds.)

He had his braces removed in 4th grade to allow for the rest of his baby teeth to fall out. When his two upper eye teeth grew in, they grew in too high so he looked like an over-eager vampire on the prowl.

That was stage one – to make ROOM for all of his teeth. We’re ending stage two now.

Hence, the reason he had braces put back on in 7th grade.

My family didn’t exactly agree with my (and I say “my” because even Kevin wasn’t entirely sure he agreed ) decision to put braces on Dude in 3rd grade. But I’m quite convinced it was the right thing to do because if we hadn’t, chances were that all of his permanent teeth would have grown in at all sorts of odd angles because there wouldn’t have been room for them and I’m sure when he finally had to have braces it would have been a much bigger, and longer, process.

So, in a nutshell, I’m trying to say the kid is SICK TO DEATH of braces.

But man, his teeth are going to be nice.

I would also like to apologize for the fact that we paid the kids $5 bucks for every tooth they left under their pillow.

I know. What the hell were we thinking?! But in my defense, all I can say is, we were so excited about them losing their first teeth that we got carried away, but that it was too late, we had already set a precedence for future teeth.

Learn from my mistakes, people.

And Jazz? Is so cute I just want to eat him up. I wish I had taken the time to really appreciate their cute factor when they were that little.

*The Jon and Kate thing. I was going to write a post about how I think people are being way too harsh on them when I happened across this post from Temporarily Me Dot Com and well, she says it so much better than I ever could.

I’d like to say though, I agree with her assessment – we’re ALL Jon and Kate to some degree.

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