Maybe he’ll name his yacht after us

I meant to sit down and write something this morning, before I had to drop everything and take Monkey up to the orthodontist to get braces installed on every remaining tooth and possibly a few of his limbs, but as usual, I didn’t get it done.

I was too busy doing work things. And also soup things. I do love my crockpot, but some day I’m going to figure out how to remember that when recipes call for a metric buttload of chopped vegetables I should probably take care of that the night before, rather than while checking email and making phone calls and freaking out about everything that needs to be done that day and OMG I haven’t even showered yet and the carrots still need to be diced! Whoops.

Any by the way, it’s a wee bit challenging to pack a lunch of “soft things” for a picky eater, but I figured a ham sandwich after getting another pound of metal in his mouth would be sort of mean.

And that’s how it came to be that Monkey and I sat in the orthodontist’s office for ninety minutes this morning, him with a nice soft lunch packed and waiting in the car (to be eaten on the way back to school), and me having forgotten to eat breakfast and starving by the time we finally got out of there. Not really the pinnacle of my “good planning” career, you could say.

While we were there, I had a little chat with the billing lady, as it’s nearly that time where we have to decide if we want to put any money into a medical flex spending account for next year. I wanted to figure out what we were looking at, expense-wise, for the next 15 months or so.

The good news is that eeeeeeeeverything Monkey’s had done so far—double expanders, top “starter” braces, fifty gazillion repair appointments, and now a full set of braces—is considered part of his “Phase 1” treatment, which means the cost has already been figured into our payment plan.

Then, of course, the bad news is EITHER that:

1) That means there’s a “Phase 2” down the road for him (we’ve been told he may need braces a second time when he’s older, and they didn’t seem all that amused when I responded, “Really? Couldn’t you just DO THEM RIGHT the first time?”), or

2) Chickadee will start “Phase 1” in 2009! We get to do it ALL OVER AGAIN!

I also really like how EVERY SINGLE TIME I take either child to this orthodontist, someone says something about Monkey being the eldest, naturally, because he’s in active treatment and his sister isn’t. And then I have to explain that no, SHE’s older, but she started treatment with a different orthodontist in a different state, who had a different philosophy, who did some things that made it such that we now have to wait a little longer to start torturing her. It just never gets old!

This orthodontist is pretty nice, though. Ever since Monkey’s braces broke umpteen times and I had a small meltdown at their office, we have gotten VERY good service there. I guess when you see all of those crooked teeth in one family coming your way, you become highly motivated to roll out the welcome mat.

He probably fits those wires in Monkey’s mouth while dreaming of the diamond letter opener he’s thinking of buying. For his boat.


  1. Damsel

    Oh, Mir, Mir, Mir… *shakes head sadly* I see you have not learned of the many, many virtues of frozen, chopped veggies.

    Glad to hear you’re at least getting good service for the small fortune you’re dumping at the orthodontist’s office!

  2. Half Assed Kitchen

    I think he was imagining the Waterford crystal paperweight. For his RV.

  3. Megan

    Ugh. Now I need to go rock quietly in a dark corner for a while so I can repress all those orthodontia memories from my child hood…

  4. StephLove

    I am so sorry for M every time you write about his mouth.

    My boy was having such a sensitive day yesterday his chapped lips were making him scream. I think about this as I watch his top front teeth grow in crooked and I shudder.

  5. Vicki

    My kids are totally going to end up with braces and I dread it. Those places should charge less to make people look beautiful and be happy about it…hehe.

    I hope you have better luck with them this time around then you’ve been having…

  6. Jen

    My 7 year old had his top incisors COME IN SIDEWAYS. Yep, rotated almost exactly 90 degrees. So he gets to enjoy braces starting in January. I upped our flex spending account by 400%. I hope it’s enough…

  7. Flea

    Yeah, we just discussed taking out the max amount for the flex card, for Maybelline’s oral surgery, which follows the taking off of the braces in May. Ouch. Paying half is painful.

    Chopping veggies sucks. But fresh soup you chopped and diced yourself? Mmmm! Soooooo worth it! Enjoy your dinner!

  8. Sally

    My boys’ teeth are just coming in, and already they’re crooked and funny looking. We’re considering moving to England, where they’ll fit in, instead of getting braces.

  9. G's Mom

    Hi Mir! Newbie to commenting here. Just wanted to say that I feel bad for your babies…in my family we all have gigantic mouths, so our teeth have plenty of room to come in. From the time my baby was a year old, all I heard was “oh, look at all those TEETH!” You’da thunk I’d had a shark or something…

  10. Tress

    The orthodontist is evil. Also, they sell pre-diced vegetables, you know. As my mother would tell me, “don’t be a martyr!”

  11. Katie in MA

    And you got everything done anyways. You are AMAZING!

  12. jennielynn

    I can’t wait for it to be cold enough for soup here. I’ve been postponing DQ’s orthodonture for a while now, and methinks it may be time to get started. I’ll be sure to have a minor melt-down first thing.

  13. jennielynn

    And I’m chuckling at all those suggesting the outrageously expensive pre-chopped veg. Do they not know you at all?

  14. Kate

    I had braces when I was a little younger than Monkey. And now? Well, it’s certainly better than it WOULD have been had I never had them (that crossbite would be a little embarrassing now) but yeah, it still doesn’t look like I actually had braces to give me STRAIGHT teeth. They still look a little caved-in.

    My brother, meanwhile, has a lower front tooth turned almost completely 180 degrees. But his bite was always fine so he never had to have braces. He also didn’t have to have his wisdom teeth removed, they just GREW IN AND FIT. Dentists are baffled when they see extra teeth. Not fair. Mine of course were impounded. Oh, and I had to have a gum graft, and baby teeth extracted, and all that. Him? Nothing. At least with your kids it is kind of fair!

  15. ImpostorMom

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Boog gets my bite and my husband’s straight teeth. See that way we won’t have to endure the expense or the torture. I’m thinking we prolly won’t get that lucky.

  16. KD @ A Bit Squirrelly

    At least you kids get braces when they are young and not as adults. Yes I had adult braces. When I was pregnant. I looked like a twleve year old, yet I was pregnant toting around my 2 year old. Man I got some nasty looks.

  17. Lori

    I’m in the wrong line of work. But as my OB/GYN told me, “I was going to be a dentist but I didn’t want to spend all day with my hands inside someone else’s mouth.”

  18. BethRD

    My mom just opted not to do braces because it was just too expensive. Which means I have an overbite like a nutria and back teeth that meet at angles, but honestly, it’s cool.

  19. sheila

    I’m on kid #3 in braces. And that would be 3 and DONE! The other two have recently gotten their off and the result was astounding! I’m pretty sure that we have paid for the new addition to our ortho’s office. Just shy of 4 thousand each kid. Of course no dental insurance BUT OF COURSE!

    I used to always tell my daughters “You won’t be complaining when you see your wedding photos!”

    It’s great fun, isn’t it? lol

  20. Jackie@agsoccermom

    I feel your pain. Both of mine are in Phase 1. And they are 4 years apart. I asked how many phases there are and they said typically 3 but sometimes they skip 2 and go strait to 3. Yipee.

  21. Headless Mom

    *fingers in ears*

    What is this orthodontist of which you speak? I know not of what they do…

  22. LiteralDan

    I think my parents bought our orthodontist a fleet of yachts just before he retired, fat and happy.

    Let me just say, if “Phase 1” is anything like the “Early Guiding Treatment” I received, you’re being taken for a ride!

  23. LiteralDan

    P.S. Unfortunately, that ride is NOT in his sweet yacht, “The Mir-acle”.

  24. Chuck

    One of my nephews had to have braces done twice. He’s out of them now…but then, he’s also in college now.

  25. Ray

    Orthodontist? Dentist? Money?

    Hmmm… I have gorilla glue, wire, and a dremel tool if worse comes to worst. I am mama, nurse, cook, chauffeur, and everything else to them. I will be dentist (and orthodontist) too! And if they ever need to have their appendix out, I have a trusty rusty saw for that, too! :)

  26. Daisy

    A student in my class is getting (further) surgery for a cleft palate. She has an amazing positive attitude.
    As for the veggies — chop them ahead, and then freeze them. You’ll always have a batch when you need them.

  27. Shalet

    We just got the phase two bill today. Schnikes! At the same time middle sis was begging, begging, begging for her own ortho appointment. Nooooo! I can’t afford two at a time.

    As we were leaving I loaded all the office baked cookies, ortho-label bottled water and toothbrushes I could fit into my bag – after all I paid for them several times over.

  28. Sharon

    When my first child, of three before it was over (and me too), got braces I kiddingly offered the orthodontist my van as payment. One look out the window and he and his wife, the technician at the time, declined. “That’s okay,” they said, “we know where you live.” We all laughed. It’s a good thing we started off on the right foot because it turned into a decade-long relationship, which included my daughter in braces a second time before she had two implants. Good times.

  29. Elaine

    The only thing worse than imagining what your orthodontist is buying when you hand over a small fortune (x2) is SEEING all the toys he’s bought. Because your orthodontist lives across the street. In a WAY nicer, tricked-out home. Sigh.

  30. Hip Mom's Guide

    Our dentist & orthodontist have offices nicer than my house. A lot nicer. Enough said?

  31. Jenn

    We had our first orthodontist appointment for my 8 year old yesterday and she was VERY impressed that instead of the usual prize box, the ortho gave her a teddy bear. I had to stop myself from explaining that when your parents have to SELL THEIR SOULS TO SATAN to pay for your teeth, a teddy bear is the least they can do. . . .

  32. Aimee

    It might be worth buying those pre-chopped veggies sometimes, although I would recommend against frozen carrots. Frozen carrots are the devil’s work.

  33. Kim

    We just had a very nice two days without orthodontia — braces came off Tuesday, but the retainer was fitted this morning. Now I have the joy of keeping track of that very expensive piece of “invisible” plastic for the next year… until Phase 2 of his braces. I can definitely relate to your pain!

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