When I was pregnant with my first child, I wondered about so
many things. Since there was no way to predict temperament or
personality of Baby Walsh while in utero, I instead pondered all
the possible physical attributes of my future child. I had waited
30 years to meet this mysterious person, and I could barely contain
myself. To make matters worse, I had access to the internet. So I
started obsessing. About everything.
I first wanted to know whether my child was going to be a boy or
a girl. I read books that provided hints in determining the sex. I
did the old ring and thread trick. I had strangers check out my
derriere for clues. Not a single Old Wives' Tale went ignored as I
tried desperately to glean this first big big bit of information
about my growing passenger.
I was rather embarrassing.
Imagine my excitement a few months later when I headed to the
OBGYN for the 20 week "Big Reveal" (a boy!). Mystery solved! You'd
think I might stop obsessing then? Hardly.
Next, I focused my research on eye color scenarios, and even
busted out the old Punnett Square of odds and probability. After
that, I explored dominant and recessive traits relative to the
cleft chin (a mainstay amongst my husband's people). For hours and
hours, I stared at ultrasound pictures while trying to decipher
bone structure and body shape.
I was a lot of fun back then. Just ask my husband. He'll tell
Yet there was one thing this madwoman never doubted during those
entire nine months of pregnancy. My future baby would one day need
braces. Lots of them.
Joe and I both represent several textbook chapters of
orthodonture anomalies. My own mouth and jaw were once so
misaligned that I required countless extractions and wore braces
for the better part of seven years. My husband grew up in a very
large family, so braces were never really an option. Still, his
need for them is still quite apparent if you were to examine his
spacing and bite.
Despite my mental readiness for fangled-tooth children, I never
once considered the possibility of putting braces on my 7 year
old. Yet about a month ago, I received a referral from my
dentist who was concerned about possibility of infection due to
Danny's teeth growing in (predictably) askew. There was already
discomfort as his teeth started digging into his gums and the roof
of his mouth.
That's when I learned about the new trend in orthodontures.
Apparently, it is now normal to slap braces on kids who still
believe in the Tooth Fairy. I've read up on the reasoning (early
correction of a still-forming jaw, helping a kid feel less
self-conscious about fangled teeth, etc.). The disadvantages
include costlier long-term care and the possibility of a second
phase of orthodontures during high school.
I will be taking Daniel to his first consultation this Friday.
Oddly enough, my son is thrilled at the prospect. I keep telling
him that the doctor won't be putting braces on that exact day, but
he is holding out hope that I am somehow wrong. He peppers me daily
with hundreds of questions on "spacers" and "head gear." He's been
carefully marking squares off the calendar until his appointment as
though he was counting down to the final day of school.
As Daniel crossed yet another day off, I noticed my middle son,
Jack, sulking in the corner. I asked him what was the matter.
"It's so not fair. Why does Danny get all the good stuff? Why
can't I get braces, too?"
You will, my son. You will.
And in the meantime, I will be investigating group rates and
family orthodonture packages.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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