On Tuesday evening, Trevor took a brave step toward correcting a genetic dental condition: he still has four baby teeth, there are no permanent teeth to take their place, and so the baby teeth have begun to recede back into the gum and cause problems. In order to replace his baby teeth with implants of grown up teeth, he needs to have the gap widened with braces. In order to get braces he has to wear a retainer to keep him from biting the braces off. And this is where our story begins.
Trevor picked up his new retainer on Tuesday evening and has to practice wearing it for a week before he gets his braces on and has to wear the retainer full time. Practice? you say. What’s hard about wearing a retainer? Well, apparently, talking is.
On the way home from small group on Tuesday night he debuted his “new accent” for my ears. Imagine my husband’s usual voice: the perfect British English that lands him regular reading gigs in church circles and makes the ladies in our small group swoon (and sometimes our pastor, too). Now add in an indecipherable layer of hissing, gurgling and lisping and you have his new way of talking.
When I first heard it, I felt a giggle begin to bubble up from the very core of my being. Within about three minutes of his describing his encounter at the orthodontist, surrounded by gangly teenaged patients being reassured that it is *much* better to get this over with in high school, I was gasping for breath with tears streaming down my face. “I’m sorry.” I kept telling him. “You sound fine.” (*Snicker*) “You’ll get better at it.” (*Chuckle Gasp*) It’s just you normally sound so… dignified!” He was very gracious about my indiscretion, seeing the humor in the situation too, and knowing – needing to believe – that the situation would improve before he would be wearing it full time – at work, in church, in meetings. It will get better.
And it is getting better. But there’s a reason why they gave him a whole week of testing out his new mouth in the safety of his own home before airing it in public. These things take practice, and so last night he read the girls their bedtime story from The Lamb, a book that is both very dear to our hearts since we know some of the people involved in its making, and very serious. Or it should have been at least.
Daddy: And do you remember how the one bringing the lamb put hiths hand on itshth head – thshowing that hithsh sthin waths being plathed on the lamb?
Mommy: (Hands on mouth. Not going to giggle.)
Daddy: The Bible sthays that when Djesthuth… DjesthuSSSSth…
Mommy: (Gently shaking from silent giggles. Maybe the girls won’t notice. Why aren’t they laughing anyway?)
Daddy: …wath nailed to the crothsh, all our sthin wath taken off usth and plathshed on him…
Mommy: (Ack! One got out! What’s wrong with me?! My girls are being read a beautiful, serious, scripturally rich story by their wonderful, loving father. Get it together, girl!)
Pippa: Mommy – stop laughing at Daddy!
Mommy: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It won’t happen again.
Daddy: He took everybody’ths thshin – from the bethst people to the very worthst….
Pippa: (sighing deeply) Daddy, maybe I better read the rest of the story.
* * * * *
And so it was that our firstborn officially became *the mature one* in the family. It’s a good thing she’s such a good little reader.