My Magically Soft Hands Still Cannot Play The Clarinet. And Also… Braces.

I am just popping in here at Jedi Mama, Inc. very quickly tonight.

I may or may not have had a band rehearsal this evening for my upcoming concert, in which I had to play four songs on the clarinet.

The clarinet is not my spiritual gift.  Basically it makes me want to cuss like a sailor, if I had any breath left inside of me to do so, after attempting to play the instrument entirely wrong.  Apparently there are spots in a song to breathe, and spots in a song to just huff and puff and frantically move your fingers all over the buttons while you’re busy not breathing.  It’s become obvious that I do not breathe in the appropriate times.  I just try to power my way through the entire song without inhaling.  When I’m done, I just want to faint and smash my clarinet on the stage, like a punk rocker.



I haven’t shown y’all snapshots of the boy and his braces yet.  This blog is my version of scrapbooking, because cutting little bits of colored paper into roses and embellishing the snot out of everything makes me feel more lightheaded than playing the clarinet does.  So, I blog.  And if I don’t get the pictures on in a timely manner, the boy will look back at Jedi Mama, Incorporated when  he’s thirty-three and say, “Good grief.  My mother never even documented my braces going on.”

The things we do for our children.

Last Thursday, we drove to Bigger Town, USA to see our orthodontist.  I snapped a picture of the boy before we left, because it’s what I do.


That grin right there is an orthodontist’s mother load.  It’s what they commonly call pay dirt.  The boy’s teeth are snarled and crooked.  His mouth is roughly the size of a nine-year-old’s mouth, even though he’s pushing thirteen.

(Oh!  I just typed the word THIRTEEN!  I might have to go sit in my bedroom closet now and rock back and forth for a while to recover, because WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?)

(Except he’s really still just twelve.  Twelve-and-a-half, but twelve.)

When we walked into the orthodontist’s office, everyone just smiled at the boy and whispered, “There’s our beach house in Costa Rica!”


The appointment took about an hour and a half.  Since we had left Thing 2 in Smaller Town, USA with Mam and Pa, Hubs and I were able to kick back in the waiting room, breathe for a small space of time, and READ.  I brought a thick, hardback novel that I’ve been working on.  Hubs simply read hockey highlights on ESPN on his phone.

The boy emerged with a bag of goodies called FLOSS and TINY TOOTHBRUSH PICKS and HORRIBLE PICTURES DEPICTING KIDS WHO DIDN’T BRUSH THEIR TEETH WITH THEIR BRACES ON.  The orthodontist just said, “I will call you from the Costa Rica beach house you’re paying my mortgage on, and I will holler at you, if you don’t brush these teeth well while your braces are on.”

And then Hubs and I pretty much said, “We’ll probably knock his head around a bit if he doesn’t brush, so there.”

This is what the boy looks like these days:


After the orthodontist, we went to Cabela’s, because it’s every man’s dream store.  I looked at absolutely everything I was interested in looking at in exactly six minutes.  And then I was done and bored, but we still had to look at SHOTGUNS!  And AMMUNITION!  And DUCK CALLS!  And FLY RODS!  And BEEF JERKY!  And NIGHT VISION GOGGLES!  I’m not joking when I tell y’all that I lost a little time in Cabela’s.  Afterward, I was all jazzed to hit the mall.  Hubs and the boy looked at me and moaned, “Seriously?  THE MALL?  We just died a little!  The mall is full of boring stores!”

(Dear Gap, They didn’t mean it.  Please forgive them.)

(Dear Cabela’s, Your store is pretty much flat-out boring.  I’m sorry.)

I ended up hitting the mall alone, while Hubs took the boy to Target for Advil tablets powerful enough to numb up a gorilla.  Of course, because I was PLUM DADGUM ALONE in the mall, I was hit up by one of the fellows working a kiosk in the mall’s center.  He asked me if he could give me a little sample of lotion for my dry hands.  I was horrified that he needed to call attention to my dry hands, because SNAKE SKIN!  I told him that I’d like to pass, and he said, “It’s just a free sample,” and I was all, “He probably has a wife and kids at home, so suck me in.”

The free sample of lotion that I thought he was going to hand me turned into COME OVER TO MY KIOSK HERE, AND LET ME GET YOU SET UP ABOVE A BOWL OF WATER WITH MY SPECIAL SALT SCRUB THAT COMES FROM THE DEAD SEA.

Or maybe it was Morton’s table salt, just disguised.  I couldn’t really be certain.

He smeared salt and oil all over my hands, and had me rub them together.  Then I had to rinse my hands in a bowl.  This was all followed up by a lotion that was made from the wings of baby angels and the glitter from a unicorn’s horn.  It was utter perfection.  My hands have NEVER, EVER felt better.

And then he told me, “For $59.99, you can buy the salt scrub today, and for another $59.99, you can take the lotion home with you also.  But look!  Our special today is if you buy both the salt and the lotion, you get a travel-sized bottle of lotion for your purse for no American dollars!”

I think it’s cheaper to buy a kidney on the black market.

I told him that I was going to have to pass, and he said, “Is it the money?”

Well… yes.  It’s the money.  Because not even two hours ago, I wrote a check to an orthodontist for a figure that is usually reserved for people buying plutonium.  I cannot buy sixty bucks’ worth of salt today.

My hands whispered, “Just.  Do.  It.”

I whispered back, “No.  Shut.  Up.”

So then the smooth-talker told me, “Well, since it is the money standing in your way, I’ll tell you what.  My manager will let me make a deal with you.  For $59.99, you can have BOTH the salt AND the lotion, and I will still throw in the travel-sized bottle of lotion for free, too.  But you must promise to tell your friends, and please don’t tell them the deal I am cutting… special for you.”

I still had to pass.  I’m not sure Hubs could have taken it if I’d told him I just spent our wad on salt and FREE LOTION.

And then this man snorted at me, spun on his rather high-heeled shoe, and ignored me.  So much for having a wife and kids at home, which was why I fell for the salt scrub.  But I won’t kid you… IT WAS GLORIOUS.

Also?  It was gloriously expensive, but listen.  What started out as almost $120, quickly turned into $60, and something inside of me told me that he probably could have sold it all to me for fifteen American dollars, if I’d been a better bargainer.


The boy’s mouth has throbbed all weekend, and he’s had a difficult time eating PUDDING!  Pudding, people!  The orthodontist shoved two spacers in between his molars, because they need to create a very miniscule gap to get the headgear set up.

The spacers hurt so badly, they take his breath away and make him say, “Just two grown-up Advil for dinner again, please.”  Thankfully, the spacers come out in two more weeks, and then he’ll have headgear and look like a robot.

He can’t possibly look any more ridiculous than I look with a clarinet in my hands.

My hands which could have been well-softened on a daily basis, but I chose to save $59.99 and my marriage.

Happy Monday night, people.

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