Mommy Chronicles- The Palate Expander

Hey All!  
Well, it’s officially Fall…well, it has been for a couple of weeks, but I am officially giving in!  
There are a ton of beige, pink, yellow and orange leaves that have fallen into our yard (darn neighbor’s tree!), so it has to be true.  It’s time to break out the boots, fun patterned knee socks, and cozy duster sweaters because it’s apple crisp making and pumpkin picking season!  <–my only seemingly happy sentiments you’ll ever read from me regarding fall time.  
This week has been an interesting one.  My husband was away for most of it, my office was extremely busy and my hair was out of control curly..egad!  But the biggest change was our daughter’s palate expander. 
Our oldest daughter, 9 years old, is the cutest blue-eyed girl in the world, but, oh man, did she inherit my sized mouth with my husband’s sized needless to say it is quite crowded! Poor chicken.  Yesterday, she finally went in for the long awaited first step in the correction of her teeth… the palatal expander. And, yes, the expander is as horrific as it sounds! At least right now.  If you are not familiar, the expander is a metal winding bridged contraption that goes from one side of the mouth to the other. When you wind it the expander widens the arch of the palate to relieve some crowding.  It is done by hand cranking the expander nightly.  See? As a horrific as it sounds.  haha  
One night down.  Phew.  Thirteen more to go.  Igh!  
Right now she is having some speech issues and eating problems, which I heard was to be expected..but I feel so helpless because aside from giving her pain relief meds or mashing, cutting or offering her blended foods, there really isn’t much I can help with. 😦  I do not like to feel helpless.  EVER.  So I am struggling.
The worst part is not the expander..well, it is, but it’s more due to the fact that our daughter had been looking forward to this big step for a year since we talked to her about it.  I am not sure why she was looking forward to it, but who am I to crush her feelings when I, myself, would dread the thought?  It may be cause both her dad and I had braces as kids, or, cause we don’t frighten her with the unknowns but over-explain it so it seems like a snap?  I am not sure, but it was all crushed yesterday after she got the apparatus put on.  She changed demeanor within minutes..and stupid me I offered to take her out for frozen yogurt with her sister and cousins right afterwards.. I had no clue she would be having issues with controlling her saliva, swallowing or talking.  UGH.
I know this is short lived discomfort, but I am not looking forward to clicking that thing every night.  I just need to vent about how bad I feel for her.  Her little face last night at dinner was so sad that I just felt awful.  We had dinner company over and couldn’t be all about her issues alone.  That just killed me.  
Tonight it is just us.  It’s not a night her dad is working.  It’s not a night we have plans.  It’s going to be the best family Friday night we will have darnit!!  We will watch whatever movie the two girls can agree on.  Eat ice cream. Not talk of her mouth.  Right now, I am making two for her and one for the others.  I hope she can get it down and not feel too terrible about being slow. I can see she feels bad.  I am boiling the crap out of a soup and softening everything.  I haven’t decided if I should blend it cause visually I would hate to see my soup blended. (i’m a visual eater and I think she is too!), but it’s her decision after all.
Ok, I feel better putting my frustration down.  I just hope that this comes to a normal phase soon for her sake.  My little girl is a drooling mess. 
Have a great Friday night!

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