Blessed are the mandibled

By Mir
October 8, 2008

So, um, it’s been rather a rough few days.

Yesterday Monkey had an emergency orthodontist appointment first thing in the morning, because half of one of his torture devices simply fell out of his mouth (band and all). Otto was kind enough to take him to his appointment, and I took Chickadee to school… even though she was having quite a morning, herself, for reasons unclear to me. What was NOT unclear was that she was HIGHLY AGGRIEVED, and—I don’t know about you—I just LOVE getting up at 6:00, making breakfast, packing lunches, and generally caring for my family prior to hopping in the car at o’dark thirty to drive a thrashing, crying, angry child to school. IT’S AWESOME.

So that was… um. Unpleasant, I guess. The way being covered in papercuts is unpleasant.

And then I scrambled to catch up on work all day, and by the time the kids got home from school…

… Monkey had a broken wire. He opened his mouth to show it to me, and being the calm, cool and collected paragon of maternal nurturing that I am…

… I burst into tears.

[In case you’re keeping score, our run to the orthodontist yesterday afternoon to get THAT fixed was our sixth emergency appointment in about three weeks. The orthodontist and I had a STERN DISCUSSION, wherein I may or may not have threatened that the next “emergency” will result in me demanding that they remove all of the metal from my baby’s mouth and give me back my money.]

By the time we sat down to dinner last night, I was spent. Done. Drained. Wrung out.

We take turns saying grace over dinner. We just go around the table in an infinite loop, because when we used to do the “Who wants to say grace?” method it was always “Not me!” and “I said it last time!” because my family is FILLED WITH THE THANKFUL.

Last night it was Otto’s turn, and we all bowed our heads while he began thanking God for the food set before us.

“And Lord, thank you for being with us through what has been a very trying couple of days,” Otto continued. “Please continue to be with us as we move forward. Please be with those of us who need special help—whether it be with our mouth appliances or our mouthiness—” (my head was bowed and my eyes shut, but I SWEAR he somehow with his WORDS directed each of those circumstances at the parties in question) “—and let’s just, you know, keep everything working and in one piece for a while. Please. Amen.”

I fell in love with him all over again, at that, because if a man who praises your cooking and asks for special help in managing your children’s mouths isn’t proof of a loving God, I don’t know what is.


  1. Leandra

    I think this must be husband appreciation day or something. This is the third post I’ve read today being thankful for husbands!

    Hope things get better!

  2. Megan

    I remember being on the receiving end of rather pointed family prayers. It’s this sentence I like: “—and let’s just, you know, keep everything working and in one piece for a while. Please.” Because some days? That’s absolutely everything.

    Hope the Very Trying Week improves… soon!

  3. Stephanie

    I think it just MAY be time to change orthodontists…I had a mouth full of braces, as a kid, and never made ONE, much less MULTIPLE emergency trips to the dentist.

    And, I think you may have been talking about MY daughter, when you described your morning with Chickadee…could they have been switched by Pod People during the night?
    Each morning, I hold my breath, wondering WHICH child will get out of bed…the wonderful, sweet, loving little girl who I held for every nap she took until she was almost two…or the evil body snatching whining, complaining, whining, crying, miserable, whining, child who has the most HORRIBLE life on the planet. Betcha can’t guess which one I hope for, can you?

    I’m glad you have such a great companion to help hold you up during the bad stuff.

    I hope your week gets better, Mir.

  4. mamalang

    LMAO, cause seriously? Sometimes, our prayers at dinner include something along the lines of “Grant me the patience to not kill my children, and remind them we have that power before they decide to be (inster appropriate behaviour here) again.”

    The best one though? That was when PB said Thank you for the butter, amen.

  5. Sheila

    You should find a way to bottle and market OttoBalm. I’ve even got your slogan all thought out for you:

    “OttoBalm: a healing salve for life’s little unpleasantries”

    I was once a very excellent copywriter, don’t you know. You’d never guess that I’ve spent the last 10 years enduring (err… make that LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF) motherhood.

  6. Flea

    Wow. You go, Mir, telling the orthodontist where to stick those wires. Hugs to Otto!

  7. Steve


  8. susie

    Perhaps the orthodontist and Mr Magoo should get together and have lunch? They may be meant for each other!

  9. Aimee

    Otto is the awesome. Also, that orthodontist is NOT. I don’t know much about braces, but I do know that I’ve never heard of any kid having the number of problems with theirs that poor Monkey has had.

  10. Wendy 2

    That Otto is certainly a keeper. I hear you on those morning though, unfortunately they seem to happen regularly around here. I hope God grants Otto’s prayer for a good long while.

  11. Jenny

    But how did the bread turn out? ;)

    I hope things do stay in one piece and together for you, for a long time.

  12. Mindy

    “because my family is FILLED WITH THE THANKFUL” been there, done that, over and over again. Now our kids try not to make eye contact with Dad right before dinner for being called on. Otto sounds wonderful! Here’s to a better day.

  13. Keyomi

    The post: just too cute! saying grace: too sweet & precise! and the ortho: Pain in the.. er..neck.. to say the least! can you just not get ur money bck and find a better guy?

  14. Dawn

    are you SURE he doesnt have a single brother?? friend???
    I need an Otto!

  15. Shalet

    My son has orthodontia. During the braces period (we’ve moved on to permanant retainers) we had one 24-hour period where the wire fell out three times. Fortunately we live close to the office. It seems to me your visits are excessive.

    Can you leave the gear in place and find another orthodondist to care for it? Or perhaps superglue and home orthodontia is in order? Kinda like a home haircut – the teeth may be slighty off kilter but will cut the mustard nonetheless. And, yes, I’m just joking.

    Hope your day is better today!

  16. Daisy

    That Otto? He is a genius. And a gem of a man. But you know that — just reinforcing.

  17. tj


  18. ChristieNY

    Love me some Otto. I hope all of his prayers come true, for your sake! :)

  19. Half Assed Kitchen

    Being covered in papercuts. THAT sounds pleasant.

  20. Katie in MA

    I think maybe you didn’t account for the exhaustion from baking all of the bread. Because bread, it is exhausting. Believe me, I know. Maybe you should schedule a mental health day for yourself. Go to a spa. Get pampered. Buy yourself some Heelies. (I know where you can get a great deal on some.)

    It will be a little bit better tomorrow.

  21. Jennifer Suarez

    I don’t know about the whole loving God part, but I sure as heck know that it’s proof of how much he loves you.

    Can I get a collective “awwwwwww”?

    That rocks!

  22. dad


  23. Lori

    And it’s not even Love Thursday. Ahhhhh.

  24. Sue @ My Party of 6

    Very sweet! And note to self: find an orthodontist within walking distance. Let me know if that praying for less mouthiness thing works – I’ll stop researching boarding schools.

  25. Barbara

    Emotional papercuts. Very effective imagery. Ouch!

  26. Mama Bear

    New orthodontist… you need one! I’ve had 2 go through braces now, we had only 2 emergency appointments between them.
    Also, Chickadee’s morning, I have mornings like that, and I bet my kids wish someone else would get up in the morning instead of me. ahem….
    But, Miss 15 also has those mornings and when I have to take her to 5:45 a.m. swim practice on those mornings… sigh. Not all the coffee in the world makes it better.

  27. The Other Other Dawn

    Are sure he doesn’t have twin brothers? I need an Otto, too!

  28. The Mom

    Soldier on Sistah, Soldier on. You will be just fine with Otto on your side!

  29. Paulla

    This is so sweet; thanks for sharing it. As for the braces, that is so odd. I went through braces twice as a kid, and all three of mine children have gone through braces (one of them twice) and we never had experiences like that.

    Hang in there.

  30. Tress

    I think I am in love with Otto. Do you ever lease him out?

  31. Michelle

    Very nice play on words, Otto!

  32. Jillian

    Otto = awesome.

  33. cordy @ mysuperhopelessromance

    Everytime I read about your husband I feel so wistful. I hope I find someone like him someday. He’s awesome. Which makes sense, since YOU are pretty awesome yourself. Lucky, lucky folks.

  34. Little Bird

    I had braces. I had wires that popped out practically every week. I had packets and packets of wax to put on the random snaggley bits. I also had a highly incompetent orthodontist. I KNOW Monkey’s pain. Otto is amazing. Any dad (or reasonable facsimile) who can do that, is amazing. You got a good one.

  35. Ramblin'Red

    Oh Mir….

    I WAS aware of the orthodontist count – reading this I was like, AGAIN?@? Grr…I agree that perhaps Mr. Magoo and the orthodontist are in cahoots.

    I too was a “calm, cool and collected paragon of maternal nurturing that I am…” and, “… I burst into tears” today, but I’m pregnant so at least I could blame it on that.

    Thank goodness for good hubbies, eh?

  36. Berni

    I have 2 kids with braces. In fact, I’m off owrk today to take them to the orthodontist. My orthodontist is Wonderful!! I’ve only had to make one emergency trip to her, and that’s with one of the kids needing 2 sets of braces to straighten out her mouth. Seriously, your orthdontist is incompetent.

  37. StephLove

    Mir, you are so not making me look forward to orthodontia with a touch-sensitive kid. They start them so young these days. Monkey’s not even nine, right? My son’s still got most of his baby teeth at almost seven and a half, so I don’t think he’ll have braces when he’s eight and a half. At least I hope not.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest