With all the great genes me and the wife have stored in our loins, immaculate teeth throughout our lives were not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, they look relatively presentable now and we don’t look like any of the alien characters from Men in Black. Or French people. And besides the wife and I found each other so we could not have been that ugly.
In order to ensure grandchildren one day, we decided to assist the natural process of incisor development in our kids with a visit to an orthodontist. As we suspected the two kids would need to wear some braces for a period of time. It’s no deal breaker, I just see it as support to enhance the beauty they already have. In that way braces are like a bra. It lifts, tucks and supports. It deceives the average eye. Simple.
I decided to not start a rant on the price tag of these little thingamajinx they would have to wear, for if I do, I might end up chewing on my own wrists and by the end of it, there will just be too much blood, spit and tears on my keyboard. Just understand this: It’s excruciatingly expensive.
We had to break the news yesterday. Telling son, who’s 13, and princess, who’s 11, that they will have to endure these instruments of social murder, killing confidence in teenagers since their conception. We broke the news softly, briefly and in our minds, sympathetically. The reaction of the two were somewhat different.
Princess just wanted to know if she can get brightly coloured versions of it so that she can look funky and cool. Excitement was evident, and we were not surprised for EVERYTHING is an event in her life. Yes, even getting braces.
Son was a bit more perturbed and analytical about the whole issue. He understood the importance and he eventually decided that it would be an improvement and he was sold. He is going to high school next year, where social status gets tricky, but after promising him that I would beat up every kid who has something to say about his braces, he relaxed. Kidding people! I won’t hit those kids, I’ll shoot them, in the knees.
There was one part of our discussion that was sort of, well let’s just say unexpected and my handling of the conversation didn’t give me any credibility as a “Good kisser” in the eyes of my spawn. Here’s the conversation, judge for yourselves:
Son: “Dad how old were you when you first kissed a girl?”
Dad: “Well, I think about fifteen, maybe sixteen? Why?”
Son: ” Jeez, I don’t want to wait that long.”
Dad: (massive gulp) “Umh, what?”
Son: “Dad, if I’m going to get braces how long will I have to wear them?”
Dad: “I’m not sure, but the doctor mentioned anything between eighteen months to two years. It might be shorter but…”
Son: (interrupting) “Exactly. This is not good.”
Dad: “Why, I am not sure I understand your problem?”
Son: “Dad, I’m gonna fall behind with my friends.”
Dad: “Fall behind? Behind what?”
Son: “Dad, I’ll be the only one with braces.”
Dad: “I know that son, but maybe not. You never know what is going to happen and besides, why would you think you’re going to fall behind?”
Son: “When it comes to kissing girls, dad.”
Dad: (My mouth dropped and my chin chipped the table I was sitting at. I think the frantic look in my eyes resembled a deer in headlights. I honestly did not expect that!)
Son: “Who would want to kiss a guy with braces?”
Dad: (I wanted to run away screaming, hoping desperately that the wife would walk in and safe the day. She didn’t, so I was left racking my brain for the right comeback. This was it:) “No-one is going to kiss you on your teeth son, if they were, they’re doing it wrong.”
Yes, I actually said that! Not my greatest moment but in my defence; I was talking about a little peck on the lips, you can’t blame me for hoping that my 13-year-old son only fantasizes about kissing like French people, I didn’t realise it was an item on his pre-sixteen bucket list!
I realised my reply didn’t make any sense, for the moment I said it, my son gave me ‘that’ look; you know the one that said: