From diapers to orthodontia to college

IMGP3957Yesterday I sat in a cheery room looking up at the long watercolor of a beach hanging on the wall. Elevator music played gently from the overhead speakers as I waited rather nervously for the orthodontist to walk in and tell me just how much it was going to cost to iron out the mouths of my babes – the children who, sadly, inherited their mom’s regular (slightly larger than normal?) teeth and their father’s much smaller than normal mouth.

It dawned on me as he explained what we were looking at (thankfully a little further down the road…like starting next year and beyond until forever) for their teeth that I have one more coming up behind them who’s going to need as much, if not more, orthodontia than they do.

I tried to calculate the cost in my mind, allowing for the overlap in treatments from one child to the next, and then smoke came out my ears and instead of finishing my sums, I envisioned swimming in a pool of Nutella because the math was too much and Nutella is my happy place.

Once I settled down a bit, I had a second revelation – I am going to go straight from pull ups to orthodontia without so much as a week off and I suddenly wondered why on Earth we didn’t space these kids out more so we could have a little breathing room?!

Then I remembered that we intended to space them out more, but God has a sense of humor and was all Oh you want to wait awhile? Here, have a third before the second can walk a straight line.

IMGP3955Then I thought about the day I found out I was pregnant with Landon and I thought for sure I’d forever ruined Sloan and Tia’s lives by forcing them to accept a new baby when neither could really speak in complete sentences. This, of course, led me to remember Lee’s reaction to finding out we were pregnant a third time. Shock, a small measure of horror and an accusatory stare that somehow placed all the blame on me for apparently thinking a child into my womb.

There followed a rather significant amount of time when I had one child in pull ups and two in diapers. We finally, mercifully, got it down to one in pull ups and one in diapers and then two in pull ups and we’ve finally chipped and whittled away to where we are only buying pull ups for one child.

IMGP3958Nighttime potty training is my nemesis.

 

My oldest will be 10 next month, which means I have been investing in Huggies and Pampers products for a decade and when I finally surrender the last pull up to the landfills (you’re welcome environment), I will walk straight to the orthodontist’s office and give him my right arm for straight teeth and with three so close together, treatments will overlap, I’ll have to surrender the other arm and six-seven years later we will pay off the orthodontia just in time to start paying for college.

I’m starting to wonder if there is some validity to choosing your favorite child and investing in only that kid for the duration of eighteen years.

All the books on raising children lead me to believe that would be a poor course of action to take in child rearing, but really how much can those crazy child psychologists know anyway, right?

Wrong?

I know, of course, that having children close together is, in the long run, really the way to go. They will be the best of friends (We hope. Judging by how many arguments I’ve broken up since school let out I’m not sure when exactly that friendship thing will kick in, but I have high hopes. High, high hopes. Hiiiiiiiigh hopes), they will experience much of life together and in relatively similar circles. They will be able to create so many memories together, which will hopefully make converstaions around the Thanksgiving table in twenty years a lot more fun and they will have the benefit of knowing that there’s always someone nearby who has your back.

Those are the pros and I’d say, for the most part, the pros outweigh the cons. 

And there’s always the hope that the final child will graduate pull ups at least a week before the expanders/braces begin. Seven whole days.

A girl can dream.

 

Comments

  1. Hummmmm. It’s as though I typed this…. Only, we’ve told our kids we aren’t paying for college. Not sure what the future holds and we want them to work for good grades and try hard in sports as if they are paying for it themselves. We aren’t as nice as you and Lee. 😉

  2. melcable says:

    yep, we are there too, in fact the week before kamp starts 4 random braces go on the top 4 teeth and an expander the week after. Can we talk $ for a minute, because I am curious. Actually I’ll just text you :). I asked the ortho if we decided to do nothing, and send our kids to college instead, what that would look like. He used the word fangs, teeth overlapping each other, so figured a college degree was worthless if you had a vampire/backwoods look to ya.

    • Haha! I think I like your ortho. Ours looked like a hippie surfer dude, but I really liked him. 🙂

  3. I feel your pain, sister! BUT, can I just say that braces was about the best money we spent. It really is life changing to be able to smile with pride and you won’t regret a penny of it….ok, well that is not exactly true, but it will be worth it! 🙂

    • Good to know, Karen. I’ll hold on to that. 🙂

      • Oh yeah….and our kids had to get loans for college. We paid a set amount for food, but they had to work. It was REALLY good for the older 2 and I anticipate the same for the youngest! 🙂

  4. If we go into ministry I envision not buying my kids braces OR college, and they can buy MY Pull-ups when I need them, thank you very much.

  5. You don’t have to pick a favorite, just pick the one that you think will keep their teeth looking nice. I needed them when I was young but I have knocked so many out or loose that they don’t look so bad after all.