Thursday, March 26, 2009

Open Wide...

It's been a while since I took all 5 kids "out and about". With James willing to take singular folks to appointments and Landen able to "mind the homestead", I usually only take a small representation with me.

Today we ALL drove to L'view to visit the orthodontist. Culture shock. First of all, we took up fully a third of the waiting area. Second, the three oldest were distracted by the exciting prospect of braces in their near future. Therefore, I was seemingly on my own to corral Mari Alice, explain the day's agenda to Ashlin, AND fill out new patient information.

We got a few quizzical looks from fellow patients and the nursing staff, but all in all we were off to a good start.

I heard the doctor coming down the hall, asking the receptionist, "Are all the Johnsons here?" He was finishing his question as he rounded the corner. He caught one glimpse of our monopolized seating arrangement and exclaimed, "Wow! There's a whole clan of them!"

Ok, we are a sight to behold. I'll give him that. But he didn't stop there.

"Momma, I hope you have a lotta money -- having all these kids!"

A brief pause to collect my thoughts and check my tone...

"Well, I have plenty of food and lots of love, so I believe I'm good."

Surely this guy realizes his flippancy is not being well-received. Surely he will keep the rest of his preconceived notions to himself.

Surely not.

As we all went back into his office and began to get situated, the little girls sat quietly along the wall with their tote bags. Landen laid in the exam chair, Luke and Ardyn each took a seat on the other side of the desk, and I joined the nurse at the conference table.

"Well, Mom, I guess there's never a quiet moment at your house, huh?"

(Are we not being generally quiet right about now?? so as to disprove your assumption that we collectively lack the ability to refrain from noise???? Do you not wanna shut yer trap so you can git down to biznez and have a looksie at my kids' teeth?)

With a patient smile, I assure him, "We have a pretty good time most of the time."

"You don't homeschool them all, do ya??"

(boy nellie, do we really have to go there?)

Politely, but with conviction in my eyes, I answered, "Yes."

"Man, do you NOT wanna have a life, or what?"

(wow...this guy is in-credible)

My response: "Oh, I have a life. It's a good life. I love my life."

We went on to discuss the status of each of the children's treatment. He explained their needs and projected a long term plan. He said that both boys were ready for braces and that Ardyn's treatment would be more extensive and could wait a few years. (But he had to throw in one last comment...)

"I mean, if she were an only child, and your husband was a millionaire, we'd start her right away. But we'd better just let you get these boys taken care of - then we'll see what we can do about her."

(Did he just imply that because we had the audacity to crowd Ardyn's life with siblings, she is now going to be blown off. And did he hint that he has a clear indication of our income bracket based on our appearance????)

We gathered our things, smiled, and headed to check out.

I shared the morning's commentary and events with Philip and James this evening. Philip wants to know "how we got this guy". I reminded him that HE told me to take Landen there after he was personally recommended by a retired dentist. JW wants to "shut his rig down".

I came to the good doctor's defense to say that, despite his apparent lack of couth, and an unbelievable inability to limit his words, he shows every sign of being a skilled orthodontist.

Skilled. Schkilled. They're arm-wrestlin' to see who gets dibs on taking the kids to the next appointment.

Heaven help us all.