Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Dad. Let Dad Do It.

For Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Although I will be the first to say loudly that my husband and I are a team when it comes to parenting our three children, and an effective team at that, I have always been "the Mom", the parent who, in this family, usually makes those ultimate decisions on whether or not a sick day is warranted or whether or not it's time to get to the doctor to "have that looked at". But, for some reason, I put it upon my husband to take my son to all of his summer's orthodontist appointments--to learn how to do the daily maintenance of our son's palate expander, to responsibly "turn" a notch in my son's mouth each night.

If you've never experienced this task, let me briefly explain. Take a look at the photo. The "key", a little wire poker thingamabob, goes into that hole in the middle (which involves having the child lay down under a bright light, mouth open). And then you "turn" it a notch. Well, I think, to be honest, that I was a little intimidated by the task. Despite all the wonders of technology and the obvious advances and improvements made in orthodontics, there's something quite medieval about this contraption and although I did make an attempt on the second night to learn how to do the "turn", I was quite relieved when my son got a little nervous over me doing it and said, "Get Dad. Let Dad do it". I didn't fight that request at all, and so for the rest of the summer, my husband was in charge.

I feel incredibly lucky to have my husband there when I face these parenting moments, these moments when I just can't do it. I've never been one to duck out of my responsibilities but sometimes, especially after a long day at work, there is an extra-curricular meeting (one that reviews sportsmanship at your childrens' games or which rolls out yet another required "training" before your child is allowed to come home with a school laptop) that I just can't bring myself to attend, or maybe I don't have it in me to go driving with that child who just got her permit. Sometimes it is as simple a task as buying sneakers. It's never the same thing and it's rare that I bury my head in the sand, but I'm forever grateful that this husband of mine is here for us all. I just can't imagine doing it on my own. I am in complete awe of those single parent friends of mine who don't have the option. In complete awe...they are amazing individuals.

So we got the news today that along with twice-monthly appointments to the orthodontist, the daily "turning" of Paul's palate expander can come to an end. We'll return in October for one more check and then in October, just in time for his 12th birthday, the braces will go on his teeth. My husband and I will surely both be there to remind our son to brush more carefully, to avoid sticky foods, and to do all of the other necessary things. But I am going to remember and continue to be thankful for the way my husband took charge of this summer's turning of that medieval contraption, and those regular appointments too. I just might owe him the option of skipping one of those extra-curricular meetings too. But I really hope it won't come to that. Let's be honest. Those meetings can be even worse. Much worse.

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