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  • Writer's pictureThis Knight Life

And Radders makes 2!

Updated: Nov 29, 2017

My little Radley Bo is following in Mama's footsteps... he's getting his braces! You can IMAGINE how thrilled he is, that at the fashionably tender age of 13 next to my embarrassingly decrepit and unfash vintage of 38, we're going to be brace-buddies!

We are too cute.

When it comes to parenting, like most, Jim and I are basically winging it. It's a role you have to adapt to and roll with. But this was always going to be one thing I would be doing zero bending on - the straightening of wonky gnashers should that be the suggested course of action.

I was supposed to have braces when I was about Rad's age, but oh no, I knew better and played my face, vehemently pointing out to my mother that, circa 1993, hardly anyone wore braces at high school and those who did were ribbed to death for it and doomed to wander five years of school discos alone, metal-mouthed, ostracised and snogless. (Lies. Lies. Lies.)

Mum caved and I went on to spend the next 25 years trying to talk, smile and laugh heartily with my lips together or curled around my canines. Anyone remember Blakey from On The Buses? Vaguely? No? Me neither, I'm too young for that, just, but I've seen clips. I've learned to laugh like Blakey.

I am the master at disguising a happy mouth. Just as the laughter breaks free of me, cue the briefest touch of a lip, the back of a knuckle softly grazing the nose, the nibbling of a fingernail. Basic sleight of hand. Not forgetting the merits of using props. Perhaps a menu, friend's newborn baby or, more recently, mobile phone placed strategically in front of my pie-hole, shielding my crooked laughter.

Hold the phone.

Life. Is. Too. Sodding. Short. To. Shield. Laughter*.

I'll admit it, there's a big old element of vanity in there for sure. Call it the price of being surrounded by unfairly good-lookin' friends, who are not only very lovely to behold but also prone to inflicting sudden bouts of contagious laughter on a girl. I've done a lot of snorting/guffawing/cackling in my time thanks to this very crowd and far too much of it has been behind a cupped hand. Which is just stupid.

Believe it or not I genuinely hold a special fondness for other girls who don't give two figs how they look when in the throes of mouth-gaping belly-aching laughter. Strangely enough I think it's one of the best ways a girl (any human being actually) can look, Hollywood-teeth, missing-teeth or whatever. But that's other people, and we all know how insecurities work. So many years feeling self-conscious about something as superficial as straight teeth really is not something I'm particularly proud of. There are bigger problems. So I do feel quite ridiculous, especially seeing as I've made a concerted effort throughout my life to surround myself with the mouth-agape belly-laughing kinda people rather than those too demure, to statuesque, too-sexy-for-their-shirt types who don't even deign to crack their perfectly aligned toothy grins.

Rad, thankfully, is a pretty cool cucumber. Braces or not, I think he's destined to be a belly-laugher, not one of those twinkly-toothed Ken doll types. Unlike his daft mother, he really doesn't care about all that stuff. That said, he's not 17 and chasing girls yet, so that might change, but either way he'd already decided for himself that braces were probably going to be a good thing for him.

No-one likes biting into a ham sandwich and have half the filling pull away from their mush because their teeth don't meet effectively enough to bite the bugger off properly. I have wrestled with no end of sarnies myself, managing to bite through the bread only to leave a sorry looking slice of filling hanging flaccidly from the bun in my hand. So it's not all about the aesthetics. I finally signed up for my own train-tracks in January 2016 when I realised I was starting to develop a lisp. My wisdom teeth were pushing everything else around and I was starting to notice my speech changing. So that was the final push for me. Nearly two years on, £2.5k lighter and still metal-mouthed, I can confidently report that it's the best thing I've ever done for myself.

I now look less like Blakey and more like Jaws, granted, but I flash my grillz at every given opportunity. I've discovered cheekbones I never knew I had! And most importantly, more crucial than anything else, I'm still getting PLENTY of snogging action from Mr Knight ;)

* Good-hearted laughter. That kind.


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