My son often presents himself as an older, more knowledgeable individual when he employs his large encyclopedic vocabulary in daily conversation. Yet he can’t hide the sixteen-year-old boy he really is, when he chooses to sprinkle his conversations with many frowned upon “colorful” terms (“Shit” or the “F” word, for example). Most especially when he’s conversing with his parents. Needless to say, I’ve scolded him “Bay potty mouth, I should wash your mouth out with soap…” on more than one occasion. “Sorry mom,” he usually replies, acknowledging his faux pas. Meanwhile, I shake my head at his teenager behavior and lack of filter around us.
On the drive home from school yesterday the boy asked, “When is my next orthodontist appointment?” Without looking back at him, I replied, “January 19th, why?” “There is something seriously wrong with my retainer. I mean I can’t even wear it anymore”. Retainers certainly have changed over the years. In comparison, my old retainer was a metal band attached to a plastic mold of my upper pallet, whereas the boys’ is simply a clear plastic mold that fits snuggly around his teeth. Unlike the boy, I was supposed to wear my retainer all day and night, taking it out only to eat and then wash daily. The boy however only needs to wear his retainer in the evening and overnight. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “It tastes like dog shit. Uh, sorry mom, I mean, it has the worst taste in the world and I can’t bring myself to even put it back in my mouth. It’s simply horrible,” He explained. “Have you washed it?” I asked trying to figure out what could be causing the pungent taste. “Yeah, as a matter of fact I do every night…” He began. “With toothpaste?” I interrupted. “No, with soap and water,” He replied.
Karma!! My mind shouted.
“With soap and water?” I said before breaking into uncontrollable laughter. In the absence of common sense it seems, every time I’ve wanted to wash his potty mouth out with soap recently, he’s already unwittingly taken the task upon himself.
“No wonder it tastes horrible…” I said trying to stop laughing and catch my breath. “Dude, tell me, do you regularly brush your teeth with soap or toothpaste?” I asked him. “Toothpaste…. Ohhh!” He said as the light bulb went off above his head. “I mean seriously, you should really be using toothpaste….” I said still laughing. “You know, now that you mention it, toothpaste does make better sense,” He replied and chuckled at his goofiness. “