Saturday, March 28, 2009

unintentionally cruel

I think that those of us who are parents have moments where we think, "my god, I really am a bad parent."

I had that moment--not for the first or last time, I'm certain-- on Thursday, March 26th at about 3:15pm.

That was when I paid someone almost $1,000 to turn my youngest daughter's mouth into something resembling a medieval torture device. To say I was shocked is an understatement; in fact, I keep thinking that I will take her back to the orthodontist's office and make him take the horrible thing out immediately.

She handled it well. When she looked at her reflection in the mirror, I expected her to break down in tears, which is what I wanted to do; however, she looked surprised but she seemed to accept her new appearance easily enough.

We had an event at school that night, and most of the kids who saw her asked, "What is that in your mouth?!?!?" A few kids reacted by looking at her like she was a freak and then ran away from her. Very few kids reacted that way, and I wasn't at all surprised to see which kids behaved that way. The next day, she took time during her class' morning meeting to talk about it (it's called a crib) and answer questions. Her teacher said she was very self-assured while talking about it and answering questions.

I don't know how I've raised such a confident and self-assured child because I am one of the most insecure and self-conscious women I know; I told Wayne it must be his share of DNA that makes her that way.

Observe the cruelty:

It's only 12-18 months, right?

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