Tag Archives: kids

The Curse of Brace-Face

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“Braces are ugly, painful, and horrible.”

Yup. I’ve been there. But now my teeth are all straight and it was totally worth it! Right?

Braces make eating even the mushiest bananas hard. So why do we put ourselves through this socially acceptable form of torture? And how socially acceptable is it really? No, you won’t get dragged though the streets for having braces. No you won’t get sprayed with fire hoses. No you won’t be exiled from your town. CALM DOWN! But you do get dragged down through the Jr. High School hierarchy until you sit dead last in the line of waiting-to-be-a-High-Schooler.  You will get sprayed in the face on a monthly basis by your orthodontist and his/her/creature from the black lagoon’s water-sprayer-thingy that they shoot you in the mouth with then in your eye “on accident”. And yes, you will be exiled from any and all forms of weekend fun.

Ok, so maybe that was a little dramatic, but it’s not wrong. With rubber bands criss-crossing your mouth, making conversation (or any speech) a real challenge; with the sleepless nights due to the aching and ever present pain coming from your teeth being rearranged; and with the insides of your mouth getting cut, giving you eerily Joker-esque scars on the inside of your mouth, braces aren’t far from hell. Or as close as any eighth grader can get to the fiery gates. So this begs the question: why? What was I thinking?!

Well, there’s the practical answer: my teeth weren’t growing in straight and having crooked teeth causes problems with digestion and stuff. But other than that… to make them look nice? Are these the kind of things we as a society are doing today to fit the ever changing norm of what is and what is not “beautiful”? My mom always said it was making my teeth beautiful. Is that what other moms say to their kids whose arms and legs are thinner than sticks? It’s making them beautiful? Is that what other moms say to their kids when they ask why their mom is going in to surgery to put plastic in her face? It’s making mommy beautiful? I sure hope not. I hope moms are saying “It’s making you beautiful” when their kids are trying out for their school play because they love theatre. Or when their teenager asks why they have to do gardening. Or best of all- when kids are asking if they should challenge society. Yes. Because it’s making you beautiful. It’s shaping your character. I guarantee you that the people who will love you for the rest of your life are the ones who think you have a beautiful soul and mind. Not teeth. I promise.

So even though your teeth might get you noticed (and maybe not always in a good way), it’s the people who stick around because of your personality that will tell the embarrassing stories of your horrible brace-face at your wedding. Their the ones you’re going to miss the most when you’re off at college or whatever. Those are the people that you’re going to love and that are going to love you for the rest of your life. So let’s see…. Braces are beautiful because society doesn’t think that they are. They are the beautiful disasters we all go through that help us grow.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.

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Give Your Stuffed Bear to Charity and Kiss Your Childhood Goodbye, it’s time to Grow Up Already

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Give Your Stuffed Bear to Charity and Kiss Your Childhood Goodbye, it’s time to Grow Up Already

“Old teddy bears are pretty gross. They’re all raggedy and worn out.”

Yeah, how ’bout no. As a girl who spent a solid 90% of her childhood in the company of the stuffed, I can personally say this will never be me. My stuffed animals, and I had quite the collection in my prime, were my best outlet for my terminal condition: Over-Active Imagination. (Needless to say I’m still struggling with this reality-threatening “illness”.) My doctor, Aapa, (the giant stuffed dog) thinks I should stop fighting it and embrace it. He says I should make my condition a  strength instead of a weakness. He also says I should start having actual conversations with, you know, like, real people? But hey, one step at a time.

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The best part of stuffed animals is that they will never break your heart. Our parents, friends, cousins, brothers, sisters, and everybody we love will eventually let us down. There’s always that one Christmas present we didn’t get, that one friend who kicked you when you were down, that one secret your parents kept when they were trying to protect you. Our favorite stuffed animal was always the one who was there for us. Yes, obviously our parents and family and those who love us were also there, but through the eyes of a child, our best bet for good therapy was grabbing our stuffed monkey (Bongo, for the record) and heading out back.

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Bongo and me
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Fetch (the tan one) and Sparky (the real one)
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I look forward to the day when I bring my own small human home and bestow unto it my old friend, the stuffed monkey. By then, my faithful Bongo will have seen dozens of birthdays, thousands of tears, and maybe a college dorm or two. Sure, his fur will be faded and his tail will probably have been sewn back on a few times, but that’s what makes him so special. No matter how thrashed he got, my mom was always able to fix him. So one day, when my little girl comes running to me in tears holding Bongo in one hand and his tail in the other, I’ll be the one to smile and sew him back together again.

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Happiest Girl in the World
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Kids need stability just as much as they need change. They need to be constantly on the move, discovering new things exploring, but they need someone to climb the trees and slide the slides with. Someone just big enough to hold tightly and just small enough to drag along behind them. Someone who will always be there. Every kid needs a stuffed monkey named Bongo to make the trials and tribulations of childhood not so trying. And every teenager should have a ratty stuffed monkey named Bongo to remind them not to grow up too fast.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.