Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My small dogs ate my new jeep.

Not too long ago both my boys wore braces.  My oldest wore his for three years.  My youngest for two. 

It's not an easy thing to have two kids, boys in particular, on the autistic spectrum wearing braces.  First of all, just getting them to take care of their personal hygiene is a challenge.  Most boys, regardless of whether they have autism or not, smell and don't like to brush their teeth, add the additional challenge of sensory challenged kids and well, oh my. 


Herman Munster

My big guy is socially isolated.  He has no clue at sixteen how to comb his hair or groom himself.  For a very long time we had a morning routine of sitting him down in my bathroom, getting his hair a little damp, working some product into it, and making him look "Rico Suave" (my term for "good looking").  This lasted until he became a surly fifteen year old and then he determined that he didn't need to be "Rico" any longer.  His idea of a good combing is the Herman Munster routine - straight down on his forehead or he won't comb it all.  As far as brushing his teeth, one swipe across, no floss, no mouthwash, and he's done.  His breath is still so bad afterwards, I can barely stand next to him when he speaks.

For three years, Eric and I spent close to a monthly car payment on his teeth.  He had a huge gap and an overbite.  Every month, come rain, snow, or sleet I would drive his grumpy butt to the orthodontist's office and listen as they scolded both William and myself that he needed to brush his teeth and floss regularly (really, do ya think?).  I would stand in a crowded waiting room, put up with my son's complaining, pay a couple of hundred dollars, schedule another appointment, and have him beg me for an ice cream on the way home.

Then there was Austy's teeth.  Same deal.  He needed braces a year later.  Wonderful.  The boys' insurance didn't cover orthodontia.  It was all out of pocket.  So we added Austy to the madness;  the long drives, the arguing, and more car payments going into his teeth.  My old, red 2000 Ford Taurus would just have to get us by for a few more years. 

Standing with the kids during their appointments was classic.  I do believe that the technicians actually looked forward to my boys every month because they added some serious comedy to their dreary daily routines.

The chairs in this particular office were all lined up in a long row so I could see and hear William being worked on down at the end while standing next to Austy trying to keep him quiet with his mouth open and the technician aligning wires and inserting new bands.  All the other patients were quiet - but of course, not my boys, no.  They always had something to say.

I could usually hear William commenting about Dad's particularly gassy evening from my baked beans the night before or Austynn telling his technician that she had a booger up her nose.  You see, this is the joy of Aspergian children.  They have absolutely no clue what is appropriate to say and when.  AND, the moment they hear laughter, they think they're comedians so then it's open season.  There would be absolutely nothing left private about the Potts' household and, might I add, they'd share everything very, very loudly.  It would be all I can do to contain the boys over the shrieks of laughter especially when all I was thinking about doing was getting them out of the office and murdering them.  I'm certain the technician with the booger wasn't too happy about the situation either.

So thousands of dollars later, when the braces were removed and the boys' lovely corrected smiles relied solely on the necessity to wear their retainers while they slept, I would pick through Austynn's unmade bed every morning and find it inside the sheets, hidden inside the pillow case, or under the mattress.  And William's...I found my new 4-Wheel Drive Jeep lying on the floor being chewed up and destroyed by our two little dogs named, Tank and Tulip. 




    

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