Daughter has already gone through a year's worth of orthodontics treatment. [I won't count the three months a year before that with the evil orthodontist who got his Master's in Tween Torturing.] Eldest was checked out a year ago, too, but he "lucked" out in that he was too old for the early treatment and needed to lose a few more baby teeth before he could start what is now probably considered traditional treatment.
[Seriously? When did 8-year-olds and 9-year-olds start getting braces? Isn't it always supposed to happen right in the middle of junior high, when you're all gangly and hormonally wrecked and pimply? Isn't that the traditional time to get braces?]
What's that sound? The clock chiming that it's time for Eldest to start his treatment? Or is it the ringing of a cash register at the orthodontist's? No, wait, it's the sound of the crash cart defibrillator being used as the amount is totaled up for me.
Driving home, Eldest says, "I'm sorry you guys have to spend so much money on us."
"Having kids is expensive," I say. "Don't worry about it."
"Maybe three kids is too many."
"What number should we have stopped at, then?" I ask.
"Well, I love Daughter and Youngest, but..."
I'm just going to be content that he admitted to loving both of them. At 13, that's not something I would have readily done for my siblings.