Brace yourself, son

Today was not one of my finest mothering moments. Sam had an orthodontist appointment, a follow-up to his getting spacers last week. The office said he would be getting bands and a headgear (remember headgears? I can't believe we haven't progressed orthodontically enough to come up with a better solution than those torture devices). I was a bit fuzzy about the details of the appointment but told Sam he was getting bands around his back teeth where the headgear would be attached.

He came out of the appointment just under an hour later with a betrayed look in his eyes. He opened his mouth and showed me the source of his displeasure: braces! What?! Somehow I had missed the idea that he would have brackets across his top teeth. Worse, I hadn't prepared Sam AT ALL for the possibility. He managed to make it through the little braces indoctrination session with the dental assistant (what not to eat, how to brush, the scared-straight pictures of gross mouths who didn't take the hygeine advice) but the minute his feet hit the blacktop of the parking lot, the tears came.

Have you ever heard of a worse surprise? Ever? What a spacey Mom. Oy.

So, of course, he took the rest of the day off from school. To go to lunch. To choose books at the library. To look in the mirror and adjust to a mouth of silver.

Personally, I think he rocks the braces and looks very handsome. And after a bit of talking through it, he's on board for the whole braces thing.

And now for the traditional first-day-of-braces poem, now on its third generation (I had to call my mom to get the complete verse):

Children with braces
Should wear happy faces
Because it is easy to see
That sooner or later
When their teeth are straighter
What good-looking people they'll be!

(Yeah, it didn't make me feel much better when I got braces and it probably didn't help Sam much--since he already IS good looking and all!--but it's part of the circle of life, that poem. The tradition continues.)