It's late in the afternoon and we're about to open the door to the Orthodontist's office, followed by four children like ducks in a row.
Smelling the warm scent of coffee from the nice and fancy coffee machine, the younger two - ages four and five - begin to beg - screaming..."HOT CHOCOLATE! Can we PLEEEEEEASE have some hot chocolate?"
This is where you can help me try to explain to them that coffee and hot chocolate are not the same thing, even though they see other people drinking it and "It looks sooooo good!"
As my nine year old son (yes, nine) checks in for his appointment to see the orthodontist, you and I can sit and discuss how ridiculous it seems that a kid so young is here in the first place. He still has BABY teeth for Pete's sake, but here we are, at the orthodontist.
All four kids are tired, hungry and grouchy (with the smell of coffee wafting through the air). It's been awhile since lunch and it's almost time for dinner. The office closes at 5:00 so we are close to the last ones in.
We made it to our appointment 15 minutes before schedule though, so hopefully they'll call us back early. Ummmmm, then again...maybe not. As the time for the appointment comes and goes, we're still sitting and waiting.
Here's where the fun begins. What do you get with a four year old little girl and a waiting room full of almost empty chairs? A jungle gym. Climbing from chair to chair - over, under, over, under and through, Lauren Elizabeth decides to evidently prepare herself for the 2016 Olympics. As you smile with me through gritted teeth we whisper, "LAUREN! SIT. DOWN!"
That will work for about 30 seconds until she decides to turn herself upside down in the chair we tell her she can't move from. Yes, feet in the air, singing a song or two and mumbling something about how much she loves hot chocolate.
Going to pick her up to sit her upright, Preston who is five, decides to look for some crayons that he remembered from the last visit. They weren't where he left them so they must be somewhere around the waiting room. Looking up, we'll find him wandering aimlessly around asking people if they've seen any crayons. One woman from across the room will shoot a look at him, then at us, as we scoot over to bring him back. (Guess who just turned upside down in her seat again?)
It's now ten minutes past our appointment which equals 25 fun filled non-hot chocolate, patients now glaring, upside down, no crayons moments of Orthodontist bliss.
Going to the front desk frazzled and annoyed, you and I snap a little too harshly at the receptionist saying, "Any idea on when Christian will be called back?" The woman smiles at us with the, "It shouldn't be long now" response.
Five minutes later, he's called back as you and I begin to separate the other three kids from each other. We'll do this out of pure necessity as they had resorted to playing a lively game of "kick-war" with each other from their chairs. (I'll post the rules to this FANTASTIC game if you'd like. It's always a hit - and never, EVER annoying.)
Almost as soon as Christian goes back, he comes out again.
"That's it?! That didn't take anytime at all!" (How again was this visit worth one hundred dollars?)
The pleasant nurse responds, "Oh we just had to check his retainer. He's doing great! See you next month Christian!"
Going to check out and set up the following fabulous appointment, you and I will get to stand at the front desk again and wait. The two office workers talk and carry on as we have our heads on a swivel trying to keep track of the four kids running amuck.
Finally reaching "that" point, we'll quickly say, "Can we just call later to make the next appointment" as one of the women blankly stares.
Yes, it's always a wonderful experience to go to the orthodontist's office...and if they didn't already love us enough, the best part of all is that we now get to tell them that Christian's retainer was lost last week while he was at church camp. Oh not by Christian...but by us, because we didn't want him to wear it, worried that he would...what's that? Oh right. Lose it.
On that note, what time would you like me to pick you up for our appointment next month?
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(Anyone for some hot chocolate?)