I always thought my mom was over-the-top thrilled to have us home from school for an unexpected snow day. In retrospect, maybe my brother and I were just over-the-top thrilled on her behalf.
The boys were certainly over-the-top thrilled when they had their first snowed-in, snowy, snow day last week. I was a little caught off guard. And moving slowly.
I had an apparently romanticized idea of perfectly-shaped chocolate chip pancakes for three. The shape and texture were far from what anyone expected. Everyone was feeling disappointed or under-appreciated . . . until we tasted them. And then all the complaints were silenced by the lull of satisfied tastebuds. Presentation isn't everything.
We managed the morning with pancakes, Netflix, and Lincoln Logs. (This is Robb's childhood collection of Lincoln Logs, and a few of them were broken and taped together from the playing of three decades ago. The boys took turns imagining what Daddy and his brother had done to break them. I suggested that maybe Daddy and Uncle Jay had tried to use them as drumsticks, just as Tucker and Tyler were doing. The boys thought this was bunk. Surely that couldn't be the case.)
My phone rang at 11:15. My orthodontist: my Invisalign retainers were in. "Would you like to come and get them? Let's see... you can come today by noon, or you'll need to wait until the end of next week."
Oh, dear. "Well, I could come today, I think, maybe. I have my children with me, though. They're having a snow day." The presence or absence of my children didn't seem to change her calendar options.
I haven't taken them many places together with me in the last year . . . I can't imagine the orthodontist would be our best debut. We're sort of out of our stride a bit in the mid-day adventure department.
But I'm sort of impatient for straighter teeth.
"By noon you say?" It was 11:17. They were in their jammies. "We'll be there."
I reminded myself of a girl I used to know: up for anything.
I hung up the phone and announced the plan to my little jammie boys. Bless their hearts, they sprung into action. (This may have had more to do with the joy of walking in the snow with their new boots on.)
Bundled and ready, we left the house at 11:37. I wore a messy bun and no makeup. (If you're going to put your hands in my mouth, I may or may not put on mascara.)
Throughout our slip-sliding drive, I quizzed them on behavior that is appropriate in a doctor's office. I let my mind vaguely wander to the truth that I would be the one in the chair and they would be the ones with free will, but I didn't really explore those ramifications.
Instead, I prayed 'grace and peace' at every stoplight. Please, let the other patients have grace toward them, and please, let there be peace between the two of them.
We arrived at the doctor's office, and they promptly piled their jackets, mittens, hats, and boots in one corner chair. The receptionist said, "Hi, guys. Would you two like a DS to play with?" Are you kidding me? Handheld video games for them? I could have kissed her.
Never mind that they have never played with a DS. Never mind that they don't really know what they're doing and this might actually call for greater dependency. Never mind that. "Yes, we would love to borrow two."
When my name was called, I gave the boys one last pep talk about sitting still, not touching each other, no fighting, and the promise of great rewards. And I started the long walk to a brighter, straighter smile.
I could see them from my dental chair, and I kept snapping my fingers and hissing at them when it looked like they might come anywhere near doing anything I hoped they wouldn't. I'm pretty sure the tech knew I was slightly distracted.
"Oh, he can come back here, if you want."
"Um, there's two of them. Does that change the deal?"
She smiled. Graciously. "Not at all."
Turns out, this hi-tech ortho has TVs planted in the ceiling - the whole distraction sedation movement. She turned on the movie Tangled, and the boys lay squarely on the floor next to my dental chair. Except for the occasional kicking at each other, they were brilliantly quiet and still. Thanks to the provided entertainment from above (and by 'above' I mean the ceiling . . . and heaven).
I have a nine-month plan for orthodontia, and my children have the promise of Legos coming their way. Well done, little tagalongs.
And to think. They could have built a snowman instead.