Be careful what you wish for

Yesterday afternoon Chuck and I consulted our schedules and realized that lately we’ve not had much time to breathe. We’re over-committed, over-obligated, and, as a result, autumn has nearly passed us by. We also lamented about not having enough time together as a couple, which is a recurring issue considering his travel schedule and our lack of regular childcare.

We had plans to have lunch with my dad and go grocery shopping, but I had a meeting in the evening so we’d try to spend time together Thursday or Friday, or whenever we could manage it. We need more time together, we agreed, and we would make a solid effort to achieve it.

After lunch with Dad, we stopped by Kohls. Chuck took Jeremy, I took Jackson, and we split up to browse. Minutes later, as I caught a glimpse of Jackson talking, I saw it: the wire from his top row of braces was gone. I leaned in to his face, grabbed his chin, and said, “Where is that wire?”

His eyes bulged, then welled with tears. I pulled it out, he said. Last night, in bed.

“Tell me exactly what happened.”

He fumbled with his words and searched for an explanation. He was embarrassed and knew he’d upset me. He’s always been a kid who fiddled with his mouth – chewing on things, biting his nails, etc. I knew having braces would be a challenge, and we’ve already had to change the course of his ortho plan because he pulled out wires from the roof of his mouth last month. I was sure he wouldn’t pull out braces.

But he did, and so I asked, “Where’s the wire?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes you do. Where is it?”

He patted his belly.


“I swallowed it.” With that, he burst into a frenzy of tears.

Then I asked the most useless question a parent can ask a child, “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?”

To which he answered, “I don’t know!”

What proceeded were multiple phone calls to the orthodontist, our primary care physician, and a nearby medical center that had a radiology department in its quick care clinic, along with lots of pacing in the jeans department at Kohls.

After filling out paperwork, we sat in the waiting room of the medical center in a state of disbelief that this was how our afternoon turned out. We would go on to get caught in rush hour traffic, I would miss my meeting, and we would need to buy laxatives to help Jackson pass the wire. Knowing all of this, I leaned over to my husband, who was still stewing, and whispered, “At least we’re spending time together.”

Oh how I wish I’d captured the look on his face. In lieu of that photo, here’s a picture of the wire traveling through Jackson’s intestinal tract:

Jackson swallows a wire

Never a dull moment. Never ever.



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