Monday, January 05, 2009

Splutter! Cough! Gag! Hwaaaack! Wow!!!

You know what that sound is? That’s the sound of me, nonchalantly and innocently going about my day, sitting in front of the computer, drinking something, la-de-da, minding my own business, eating something …. Oh, I don’t know …. Say, something like Milk Duds, perhaps, when suddenly a comment pops up on my blog that takes me totally by surprise and I wind up choking on my own spit.

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments on Kendrie’s latest fashion crime accessory. Suffice it to say, the hatred the entire Beatles band (except for John, of course) felt for Yoko is not even close to the hatred she feels for her headgear. I’m afraid, if her orthodontist is to be believed, however, that it’s unavoidable. She has a cross-bite, an under-bite, a too-small palate, and crooked teeth. She got the always-fun expander right before Christmas Break and we cranked that bad boy open every night for two weeks, so she now has a lovely gap between her two front teeth. The headgear is an attempt, like someone said in the comment section, to correct the under bite without resorting to surgery. She wears it in increasingly longer increments each day after school (no way on earth would I make the poor child wear that monstrosity out in public) until she is able to wear it for five or six hours at a stretch …. Then she’ll begin wearing it at night. She’s already extracted the promise from her father and me that she can skip any night that involves a sleepover, either here or at a friend’s house. According to the literature, skipping one night equals a loss of four night’s worth of correction ….. wow. We might need to re-think that.

Anyway, this is all “Phase One”, and is basically the prep work to get her ready for the all-out braces she’ll wear in a few years when her permanent teeth have all come in. Brayden also went through Phase One and is now waiting on her permanent teeth for braces. Kellen was able to skip Phase One, but the Grand Canyon gap between his front teeth, plus the fact he is genetically mutated and was born without his permanent upper incisor B’s, means braces are definitely in his future as well. So pretty much our family is an orthodontist’s worst nightmare. Or greatest windfall, depending on your perspective.

But anyway! That’s not what made me choke on my own saliva. I was reading the comments from all of you, commiserating and flash-backing to your own orthodontic nightmares (for the record, I had braces to correct the same gap as Kellen, then wore a retainer to correct a cross bite, but never had full-out braces. Hence the reason my bottom teeth are crooked to this day. I like to think it gives me character. Truth is, I hate the dentist so much that NO WAY would I go to the trouble to correct it.)

And suddenly one of the comments was signed, “All my best to Kendrie, thanks for reading my book, Sandy Humphrey.”

Holy cow, she’s a real-live actual author, signing in here on my site! You can see for yourself that I have one of her books listed in my sidebar under the “currently reading” section. And she signed MY blog?!?!

Now, I don’t know this person personally (person personally, does that even make sense??) and I’m sure her publishing house has some kind of automatic search engine that turns up any site with her name on it, which led her here (much like my blog story about my child-hood friend Steve, my lab partner who threw up on frog-dissection day, who is now the Chief Freaking Financial Officer for Sonic Corporation, turned up on *their* search engines … sorry about that, Steve.) But still, how cool that she took the time to actually look at Kendrie’s picture and leave a note of encouragement?

So, turn about being fair play, and what have you, I thought I’d give you guys a quick plug for her book(s).

I saw a recommendation for Ms. Humphrey’s book “Hot Issues, Cool Choices” in a parenting magazine. The subtitle is “Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Put-Downs”, which I thought might facilitate some helpful conversations with Brayden, now that she’s in middle school. Thank GOODNESS we're not having any of those issues, but you can never be too prepared, right? When I went to Amazon to order the book with the Amazon gift card I won on Dad Gone Mad’s site (yippee!) their search engine suggested her other books as well. She has books titled, “It’s Up to You … What Do You Do?” and “If You Had To Choose, What Would You Do?” Some are geared to younger kids, some to older. Each book contains 25 stories of moral, ethical, social dilemmas that kids find themselves in, and then questions to promote discussion with your own children.

A few years back we had a book of questions for kids, some funny, some insightful, some thought-provoking, some silly. We took turns asking questions and giving answers every night at dinner and enjoyed ourselves. When I realized these books of Ms. Humphrey’s would allow me to expand on that concept, I bought four of her books and received them last week.

We started with the “youngest” “What Would You Do” book and I must say, our family has greatly enjoyed them. The chapters we’ve read so far at dinner each night discuss real-live, ACTUAL possible scenarios for kids in today’s climate. Not “what you would do if you found a million dollars?”, but a more realistic possibility, like “what would you do if you saw a $20 bill fall out of a person’s pocket?” …. Or, “what would you do if you saw a $20 bill fall out of a person’s pocket and your best friend grabbed it and wanted to spend it?” Other topics include school scenarios, bullying, peer pressure, friends, perceptions, etc.

What I like about these books is that the scenarios are presented in a non-biased way. The story is told, and then questions are posed at the end of each story for parents to discuss with their kids. “Right” and “wrong” aren’t crammed down anyone’s throat, and it really lets parents promote their own values and opinions without being preachy.

So far our family has discussed how to be nice to a new student when your best friend hates them, how to be a good loser, the importance of chores, and is it really stealing if you don’t get caught? I tried really, really hard to smoothly turn the chore story into a comparison of why it’s important for our kids do actual chores here at our house, but alas, I’m not sure it worked.

Anyway, I highly recommend this author, Sandra McLeod Humphrey, and these books. At twenty-five stories in a book, with the four books I bought, I figure we’ve got enough material to last until April or May. Maybe by THEN my kids will be more willing to do chores.

Nawwwwww, I didn’t think so either.

20 comments:

Natalie said...

Oh my gosh. It's a brush with fame. How cool! I'm going to check on those books--they sound great.

And, my wallet is crying with your wallet. We are in the "maintainer" phase of Declan's orthodontics. Phase 1 is paid off and now we're sitting and waiting for more baby teeth to fall out so we can move on to Phase 2. Which I'm sure is more expensive than Phase 1.

Coachblogger said...

I thought braces were bad enough... I feel bad for your daughter. Damn, I could read your stuff over and over again. Impressive...

Pam D said...

I saw that comment, and thought "Wow, THAT'S cool!" But, I'm not surprised, cause you are a blogging goddess, Kristie. Thanks for the review of the books.. I think I may just have to look into them. And once again, I'm REALLY sorry, Kendrie... ugh. One day, you'll thank your parents.. really.

Rachel said...

I feel so bad for Kendrie. I was my orthodontist's worst nightmare/jackpot as well. Get this: I had 7 extra teeth PLUS all 4 wisdom teeth. The extra teeth were taken out with 3 oral surgeries but they impeded the progress of my front left tooth. I HAD ONE FRONT TOOTH UNTIL I WAS 11.5. Oh wait, I capitalized too early BECAUSE I ALSO HAD BRACES. BRACES AND ONE FRONT TOOTH IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. Plus I was already 5'7" so I had no chance of blending in. I also rocked some headgear for awhile. Just hang in there Kendrie, it happens to the best of us!

Rachel said...

Oh wait, the best part: during one of the oral surgeries they put a bracket on my tooth (the one that hadden't grown in, up in my gums) and linked it to my braces wire WITH A GOLD CHAIN. I had a dangly gold chain hanging down out of my gums where my front tooth should have been.

This was supposed to help my tooth come down and possibly be pulled on...but I didn't care about the reason, I cared about the mortification.

Nate's Mom said...

Wow Kristie, how cool is that! I'm going to have to check out those books. I like your idea of dinner reading, but I'm thinking they would be awesome bedtime reading with my 8 year old. I don't think Nate (6) will quite get it. And the older boys? Honestly, I don't want the little boys hearing their answers, lol. They are good kids. But, even good kids, when they are teenage boys, will say the thing you don't want impressionable little boys to even consider.

Sheri in CA

Lauren said...

Hey, Fergus has that crossbite/narrow palate thing too, but without the underbite. They've been talking expander for him too, but so far are sparing our wallets because they say he still "orally guards" too much. In other words, even when they clean his teeth, his tongue frantically fights them all the way. He is overall cooperative, but anxious, yet he can't keep his tongue from blocking them. Our dentist is pretty clear that he'll have to be more ready before we can do the expander. And now that we are paying for a small private school, I'm not sure who would pay for the orthodontist anyway...

Jennifer DelaCourt said...

My daughter had the same awful head thingy for awhile. I hated it and so did she. This was 4-5 years ago and it was still on the new side but our doc convinced us to try it. After a year or so she went back to the doc and he told his nurse to get the right chart there was no way this child had a bad underbite. She will still need braces but not the surgery for the underbite. So stick with it! Thanks for the book suggestions I plan to check them out right after my milk duds!

Liz said...

I had that happen on my blog, too! I had done a giveaway of a book of winter time activities for kids and the author appreciated it and even sent me a copy of another of her books!

I wonder what other authors I should mention... hmmm...

Winkin1 said...

Super cool about the author. Love it.

Oh yeah. The expander. I had that, too. Before the headgear. Also I had front tooth that wouldn't come down on its own and had to have that little guy surgically brought down. Poor Kendrie. She has my sympathy. When I was pregnant with my first I was terrified that she would get that underbite and I was always watching her bite as her little teeth came in. She seems to have escaped it. Here's hoping we are as lucky with number 2!

Heather said...

Those books sound awesome! I am going to get one.

Marci said...

Wow, you might become famous too....How awesome for you....

I feel horrible for Kendrie having to wear that but I know that it will pay off for her in the long run, or in the bankrupt of you..LOL...

Love, Marci

Anonymous said...

Wow...surely headgear would have become less medieval-ish by the 21st century! I, too, feel bad for Kendrie.
My son had to have an expander on his upper teeth for two weeks. The second night, I was using that sharp, pointy, tool thing and accidentally stabbed the roof of his mouth! I got fired and dad had to finish out the next 12
nights.
...good thing I didn't go into orthodontics...

Anonymous said...

Hey, while passing time in the carpool line (rain), I entertain myself by reading your blog. Does that make me the coolest mom in the carpool line? Any whoo thanks for the laugh. Jen

Anonymous said...

I just saw a jaw doctor today who is treating me for tmj pain and problems caused by my underbite, crossbite, and too small palate. I won't have a headgear, but I'll have 2 splints that will make me drool. I'm sure my third grade students will enjoy that a lot. Kendrie, baby, if you don't get it fixed now, you'll have to get it fixed later...and at least now it's your parents' money!

Amy said...

Was it kind of like sitting at the "cool" table in high school?? We all think your cool out here in blogger land.

Kathy said...

Totally unrelated to today's post, well sort of, maybe...You decide.

I was looking at your list of recently read or reading books and noticed your movie listing. I went to see Marley and Me. I understand the movie was based on a book. Even knowing that, could you not have picked at least 5 other spots they could have stopped the movie that didn't entail us having to watch the dog being put to sleep? (Sorry for the long, drawn out sentance.)

That is the second movie that I have taken one of my kids to that I got the comment afterward of "You are the Mom!! You're supposed to know better! I'm just a kid!" I guess the cute funny parts were shown as trailors. It was a great movie with an even greater message, especially as a dog owner. However, I really didn't want to bawl like a baby on Christmas Day.

I love your blog. I love your personality. I don't think I've commented before (except when I nominated you for Sonic's customer of the year) so I am pretty much a stalker!

Hope Blaine is doing well. As well as you can with the crap he's had to go through. Thanks for sharing your life with us through your blog.

Kathy Pereyo

Lanette said...

AAACK! Kathy...You should have warned with a **SPOILER ALERT** at the beginning of your comment...about Marley being put to sleep. Darn! Oh well..I'll go watch it (and sob) anyway! :-)

jaime said...

I feel for your daughter, and for your wallet. I don't have children, yet the orthodontist loves me. I'm on my third set of braces (once in middle and high school, again when I was 25 and now a third time...I'm 30.) My husband teaches 7th graders and likes to tell the ones with braces that they have something in common with his wife.

Sandra Humphrey said...

Hi, Kristie
WOW! Thanks for mentioning my books again--I really appreciate that! Actually, I used stories to talk to my kids (and now my grandkids) the same way you're doing with your kids. Stories are a great way to get kids thinking and talking about specific issues and life in general. I really do feel for your daughter--I think I mentioned before that I wore braces for many years, but they never pulled any teeth, so I still have what I like to affectionately call the "Eleanor Roosevelt overbite." P.S. I LOVE your blog!!!