Drewpy, Itchy and Achey (b 1997, 2000 and 2003) were the fodder for Alison’s writing until they staged an intervention and said ‘Its embarrassing, Mom — make it stop’. Hmmph. So while she stopped publishing a weekly column in about 2013, the internet never goes away 🙂
Did you know that ‘braces’ is a short form used by Orthodontists? The full name is ‘Brace Yourself Against the Counter – this is going to be an expensive.’
When a baby’s teeth start coming in, it seems like such a joyous milestone.
“There is the smallest spec, a glimmer of white, on Drewpy’s bottom gums! I think he’s getting a tooth!!” I yelled into the phone interrupting Mickey’s work day.
Well, proud Papa rolled in that night with teething rings and baby cookies ready for sucking on. He ran his finger over the gums to feel the little bud of enamel and we were as thrilled as when we found change down the back of the couch.
How naïve we were to the hell of teeth.
We honestly figured teething meant Drewpy would let out a little moan, we would hand him a sucky ring to chomp on and that would be the lovey dovey end to it.
Hah. Our home became a giant spit sink with gobs of slobber plastered everywhere, drool-soaked shirts and bibs filled the laundry hamper, fiery red cheeks accompanied screaming, fever, and countless sleepless nights. There was knuckle gnawing and Tylenol doses being doled out – in infant and adult strength!
And it seemed no sooner did we get to the end of the teeth cutting phase when we were on the look out for those white demons as they started falling out and hitting the carpet or doing a half gainer with a twist into a bowl of Alphaghetti. We shook our heads each time we tucked another chicklet under a pillow knowing the ‘Tooth Fairy’ was actually going to have to pay top dollar to cart the blasted thing away.
The big teeth came in wherever, whenever they pleased leaving us with school pictures showcasing a mixed bag of teeth sizes and shapes plopped into otherwise airy smiles.
Dental appointments have always dominated our calendar.
And based on a) the age of our kids, b) allowing for the rare occasion when my command was heard by all three boys and then c) adding back in the times I had to say it more than once (!!), “Brush your teeth” has come out of me a frustrating 18,303 times.
And apparently there is no easy answer to the “Did you brush your teeth?” question.
“Ah, like, today?”
“Why? Are we going somewhere?”
“What do you mean by ‘brush’ exactly?”
“Yes. Well, no. What was the question again?”
I’ve even heard “I lost my toothbrush”. The toothbrushes are 3 inches from the sink – retrace your steps!
But that was all child’s play, meant to push me to the end of my bicuspids and build dental stamina.
For the day has arrived, as perhaps it has for many of you, when your son or daughter, tears streaming, cheeks flushed, argue how unfair it is that you are about to spend a years salary on straightening their wonky teeth.
“I’m not getting braces! You can’t make me!”
“That’s true. I could buy a Lear Jet instead but it was my grand master plan to raise you this far and then, whoosh, pull the rug out from under you.”
So, we’re back to paying for teeth — not to cart them away but to straighten them. And the irony is, no one seems to be smiling about it.
Well, except our new ‘Tooth Fairy’, who requires a credit check, two personal references, statement of debt to asset ratio and proof of a pre-approved line of credit.
Alison Davies writes More About Life weekly. Email her your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org