Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My son sprinted out of the awkward stage- from crooked teeth to pierced ears.

Like most parents, we are warned at the outset how expensive our bundles of joy will be. No one ever factors in anguish, mental health or the gallons of sanity reviving alcohol you will need, but one thing most folks agree on is the huge cost of medical and dental care.

We were lucky to have easy pregnancies, healthy kids and generally a carefree attitude about viruses, immunizations and doctors in general. If it ain't THAT broke, don't spend hours where sick people go.( you will defintely be sick after that, and maybe so well informed about the things you DON'T have, that you may find yourself self-diagnosing to the extreme.)

A recent trip to the pediatrician was eye opening when we figured out my 10 year old had not been to the doctor since she was 5. Oops. And the 14 year old would be needing a different practice.
I blame my parents. We weren't real big on doctors then either. As a matter of fact, I broke my arm when I was 5 and walked around with a fracture for 2 weeks, until they finally figured out maybe I wasn't kidding. I still remember the talking to the doc gave them, and the drama of getting the cast off the day before kindergarten began.

But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. When my 2 year old tripped over a Pringle's can and fell headfirst into the tracks of a sliding closet door, i had to call the nurse neighbor to ask her what to do, to have her come take a look. When she told me to "take her in for some stitches", I had to have her explain that meant going to the ER, and then I had to have her draw me a map to the hospital.
I know. I'm a horrible mother.
So, when the dentist told me my son would need orthodontia, and recommended the guy next door. I jumped at the chance to do all the right things.
Never having worn braces myself, and only having heard the horror stories of my husband's experience- end result for him broke parents and not so pretty
teeth, I needed a bit of cajoling.
The handsome young Elvis-looking dentist twisted my arm, and we were in for about 3 grand, and almost 3 years... from xrays and spreaders to an expanding device with a key you can swallow- yikes- to top and bottom braces, all kinds of rubber bands, buttons and teeth removal, even some gum slicing along the way and finally retainers- one which will be bonded permanently to the back of the lower teeth, well, until we get it removed.
My kid's a trooper.
Here he is at 11 years and 10 months.

And here he is today, at 14 years and 9 months. Almost entirely braces free. (rest of lowers come off next week with new retainers)
The orthodontist gave him soft chewy candy and a balloon. What did I get? Satisfaction.

Where did that little boy go?
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