Thing One's first words to me in the waiting room this afternoon after he (prematurely, as it happened) bolted from the orthodontist's chair in a fit of pure elation.
You see, the kid has had a palate expander permanently affixed to the roof of his mouth for a good nine months or so. The type he had is made of wire and is slightly less cumbersome than the one pictured in the link, but it's the same idea. He's been good about having it in (only minimal griping), but it's been a rough road for him: besides the discomfort of the device, he had to have two teeth pulled as part of the palate expansion process, and he's been ordered to avoid many foods that he would love to be eating! Popcorn, gum, and chewy or sticky candies have all been off the table.
But today, and unexpectedly, the orthodontist finally took the blasted thing out. He may need a retainer (we go back to see in four weeks) but until then, the poor kid can finally eat whatever he wants again. I though it was a nice touch that they gave him a celebratory balloon attached to packs of gum and microwave popcorn at the end of his appointment!
And the icing on the cake of the appointment? Seeing this on the whiteboard wall of the kids' play area in the office, drawn there out of the blue by my beloved daughter.
A happy afternoon, indeed.