Monday, March 9, 2009

I meant to give you a happy post for Monday, but then we went to the dentist

For the first day of Spring Break, I took my children to the dentist.  Worst vacation plan EVER.  

For Jake it was a nice change since he just got to play in the kids room the whole time.  It wasn't too bad for me either; I got to catch up on People after all.  And neither of the boys had cavities, which is very cool.  But then she told me they need sealants - which is just another appointment really, nothing major.  And she talked about the potential orthodontia in our future.  About five minutes before that I had looked up from my magazine and told Jake, "I don't want to be here anymore."  It must have been my subconscious warning me of what was to come.  I made the appointments for the sealants and was then bombarded with questions from the boys in the car about how much braces hurt. 

I was silent for a very long 20 seconds or so.  I had flashbacks to seventh grade when they put my top braces on in two steps and I actually had to go to school with just the brackets glued to my teeth one day - no wire connecting them.  It looked ridiculous and people told me so.  Then I had flashbacks to the pain - oh the pain.  I almost cried thinking of the way it feels when they first put them on you and you feel your head is being squeezed from the inside out by sharp metal.  "It only hurts for a day or so after they first put them on," I told the boys reassuringly, and then the flashbacks to the monthly checkups.  And I was almost crying again.  Dear God the checkups.  The memory of the twisting and tightening of the wires made me squirm in the driver's seat while I tried to figure out how to answer them.  And then the maddening disappointment of getting out of school to ride 30 minutes to the orthodontist and then to get to eat out at a restaurant only to discover you can't eat the food because it hurts too horribly to bite down.  And then the day that I actually had to return to school with rubber bands from the front top teeth to the bottom.  No teenager should have to endure this.  That's what I was thinking in the car while these scenes were bombarding my mind like the memory of some distant torture and my children were hanging on my every word trying to prepare themselves for the inevitable.  

What was I thinking having children?  We barely survive our own little traumas, and then we bring children into the world and have to go through it all over again with them.  The braces, the embarrassments, the unrequited love.

Yes, this is what going to the dentist got me today.  Not one single pleasant update about Brad or Jen.  Not even the Disney World picture of Tom, Katie, and Suri made up for the trauma of those flashbacks to braces.  If there were ANY way to keep my children from that barbaric practice, I'd do it.  Since I can't, look for two crying people to emerge from the orthodontist's office in a few years - a good looking boy and his poor, sad mother literally feeling his pain.


Lori G said...

I have had the same conversation with our dentist. I know exactly what you are going through.

Just think, maybe they have drastically improved things since we had braces. Let's hope!

Lori G.

Molly said...

I sympathize. Bob told us to start saving big time, last time we were there. Apparently my boys do not have my "perfect teeth". I put quotes there because I think I'm getting a cavity. Well, 32 years with none was a good run though, I guess.

Felicity said...

I'm just laughing my head off right now. I have nothing near this kind of reaction to the thought of my kids having braces. And we went to the same orthodontist at basically the same time! Seriously, was it that bad? Maybe I was so happy at the promise of straight teeth that I didn't care WHAT they had to do to make that happen! : )

Maybe John at least will think of it more like that. Drew is definitely going to think his life is over. Clearly.

caroline said...

Don't despair Serenity! Appearantly braces aren't like they "used to be"! I got mine when Patrick was a baby, and honestly the worst part was taking the molds. The day I got them, everyone in the office kept telling me to use advil, etc. for the impending pain; but it never came. I don't say this to brag, just to offer a little hope. :)

Kathy said...

I'll just ditto a couple of comments here. 1. I think technology has surely improved in the last couple of decades of orthadntia. (or however you spell that.) 2. Felicity is right. Same braces. Same problems. Different trauma level. Make sure John goes first.

serenity said...

Okay, I am somewhat reconciled to the fact that perhaps I was overly dramatic and may even be remembering it as a darker time than it was. But, Felic, you didn't have to go back to school with that rubber band thing on PICTURE DAY, and you must have never tried to eat your very favorite food (Long John Silver's chicken strips) right after having them tighten the stupid things. The fact that Caroline has done it much more recently and didn't really have any pain - that is pretty helpful actually. However, none of you have convinced me that I can actually afford the process. And Michael is completely supportive of that tantrum. :)

Anonymous said...

Serenity! I am exactly where you are. We went to the dentist yesterday too - Yay Spring Break! This resulted in a scheduled X-Ray in Macon on Friday for Jenna as they want to monitor a possible underbite and want to keep it from getting as bad as mine. The word "appliance" was used - as in she may have to wear one - what?!? They want to keep her from requiring surgery in the future (which is what I need but can't afford) at this point it isn't even determined she will have one, but they have to begin the monitoring process. We've already been told Jared will need braces for spacing issues in the next couple of years. I am very afraid of the Orthodontist bills that are to come. Very afraid.

Anonymous said...

Okay A: Felic is the funniest person ever.
B: Sara--appliance? WHAT?! (lol sorry had to)
And Seren....I so understand how you feel. Will never forget the day DD had to get a tooth pulled. I was inwardly hyperventilating and wishing it could be me instead of him so he wouldnt have to be scared and feel the pain. Turned out there was NO pain and he came out laughing even. Thank God for a fantastic dentist.
Oh the joys of motherhood!

serenity said...

Well, okay, I'm convinced it's a racquet now. Has anyone NOT been told their children need orthodontia?

Anonymous said...

Serenity- I'd love to reassure you, but I'm still too traumatized by the memory of Jon's surgery (after two years in braces.) If it's any help at all, Meghann has braces now and doesn't complain....too much.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I have too many user names now that I can't remember. So just call me anon. I never had braces, so I can not say anymore than yes I think it does hurt, I remember my sister saying she always had Chocolate Slim fast ready for my nephew to drink after the appointments and he couldn't eat. I also think it would be best if at all possible have them in braces together.
I can't stand dental x-rays. I literally gag and my eyes water everytime I have to have one. You gotta be fast to get my x-ray or you don't get one.. Dot Kriegshauser