Friday, September 13, 2013

The Weekly Roundup...

The most noteworthy events of this week—besides the official end of the Home Phone Era (Pause: yaaaayyy! Resume…)—happen to involve Riley. First we made a momentous trip to the Orthodontist for the “Conclusion of Phase One” appointment. Sounds quite technical and serious, right? It boiled down to the doctor removing Riley’s brackets and wire from his (now straight) upper teeth, and instructing him in the proper use and care of his (rainbow colored, per his choice) retainer. While this was certainly cause for celebration, Dr. E reminded him that he will still need to negotiate Phase Two, which will feature hardware on both the upper and lower chompers. But that’s not gonna happen for a while, so for now he’s just content to appreciate the smooth, even contours of his smile…and the lack of eating complications, caused by food shrapnel  constantly getting stuck in the nooks and crannies of the metal minefield. And of course he will now be responsible for both wearing the retainer to hold things in their pleasing configuration, and keeping track of it at mealtimes. More immediately, he had to get used to talking with a new hunk of plastic resting against the roof of his mouth…which led to a temporary lisp…and diction that resembled someone speaking with a mouthful of mashed potatoes…and a disturbing array of slurping noises, due to the over-production of saliva as his system adjusts to the “intruder”. (I’m afraid not too many people will understand this reference, but to me he sounded like a Sleestak for a few days…thankfully, all of this has passed…)

Apparently these minor irritations did nothing to dampen his confidence, however, as evidenced by the following conversational exchange that transpired one day after school:
Riley: (out of nowhere, completely nonchalantly) “Today I was thinking about asking out a girl at recess, because I had nothing else to do.”

Me: (silent, staring, utterly startled…)

Riley: (continuing casually) “I wanted to wait until I saw a girl alone…”

(Here he paused thoughtfully, and I nodded encouragingly, thinking to myself “Of course, honey, that makes perfect sense!” Which segued instantly into “Wait, why do you even need to talk to girls at ALL? Stick with your buds!” None of this made it out of my mouth, thank goodness….)

Riley: (with an aura of newfound wisdom) “But then I realized, girls are always standing together.” 

(Ha! So, sooooo true, my dear! Congratulations, you’ve learned the Female Pack Principle. Someday, when I think you’re ready, I’ll tell you about the Bathroom Bonding Ritual and the secret that may at some future point absolutely change a relationship for you: the Chocolate Cures Everything Credo…)

Me: (maintaining a tone of interest, but trying not to sound too…inquisitorial) “Hmm, who did you want to ask out?”

Riley: (With his face slightly pinkening, his eyes downcast, his lips curved into a sly grin) “No one…”

Me: (In my head: “Oh, I see, so that’s how you wanna play this. But you forget, young one, that I have become quite adept at certain techniques with your older sibling…call it badgering, I mean browbeating, I mean “questioning in a delicate yet productive manner”…) So I decided to go with the non-threatening, “Would I know her?”

Riley: “Eh, probably not.”

Me: “Oh.” (RATS!!!)
There’s where we left it, as he moseyed off to play outside…and I was remained behind to contemplate the Little Brothers Who Grow Up Too Fast Phenomenon. (And also to feel profoundly grateful that he remains my girlfriendless baby for at least another day!)

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