A Man-Child in the House
Every evening just before bed, my son and I brush our teeth together. He has new braces on his upper jaw. At the first check up after they were installed, the hygienist and orthodontist both talked to him and to me about improving his oral hygiene. They pointed out some inflammation on his gums in a couple of spots. Since I was already brushing my teeth before bed side by side with him, we needed to improve, so we also always use the three minute egg timer, and I have plenty of time to survey the counterscape.
So what's on the countertop in his bathroom? Shaving cream. I don't think he uses it much, if at all, but I know he uses his electric razor a couple of times a month. Deodorant. He definitely needs to wear that, especially when he has to go to the gym or goes on the treadmill. Acne wash and acne medication. He does get blackheads and zits. Soap. That's always been there, but now it is in a pump bottle. There are also all kinds of devices for cleaning around and under those new braces...there is a narrow, round brush, regular toothpaste, his electric tooth brush, mouth wash, regular dental floss and long, special flosses to go under the braces. The orthodontist's office gave us some of these supplies in a bag with happy faces on it. I am sure they are part of the bill so they are not free. And last of all there is the little egg timer with blue sand in it. His electric tooth brush apparently also has a three minute timer. No-one in the family knows how to set it. The instruction manual has disappeared. The trusty manual egg timer needs only to be upended and it shows us visually when we are through brushing. Then he can begin the longer process of flossing his lower jaw's teeth with regular floss, brushing under the braces with the manual thin round brush and threading the special long floss under the braces and between his upper teeth. He does all this without complaint and has begun to always give his teeth a quick brush after every meal and snack. Let's hope his check-up in June shows progress.
And I marvel and this young man who is now taller than I am, with the deep voice and teen-age needs and behaviors.