The day started out normally enough. One kid was on a sleepover, and I took the others to the orthodontist, where both Kyra and Aidan had appointments.
It was Kyra's lucky day! She got braces!
Cool, right? She thought so. Aidan, however, did not, because although I've spent approximately 2.4 quadrillion dollars at the orthodontist, he still has not been deemed worthy of getting his braces on. Palate expander? Certainly. Retainer? Bring it. But alas: still no shiny metal brackets glued to his teeth.
I don't think it's quite so cool as she does. Partly this is due to the fact that having three kids in braces at once ain't cheap. But also, do you know how many trips I make to the orthodontist each month? I'm on a first name basis with the parking lot attendant at this point. In fact, I was just there with Shay on Thursday. He is thiiiiis close to getting his braces off, so I bring him to the orthodontist, oh, every 4 hours or so, just so she can peer in his mouth and say "not quite!"
What does this have to do with gingerbread, you ask?
Well, each year the Embassy employee association hosts a gingerbread building party for the kids, so we had to leave the orthodontist and quickly turn ourselves around to get back to the Embassy in time to build our houses. The boys shared one and the girls shared another. (What? I just finished telling you I'm paying for orthodontia. You think I have money leftover to spring for four separate houses? Not to mention the follow-on dental hygiene issues.)
So anyway. They were all happily engrossed in their houses when Kyra told me one of her braces had fallen off. Sure enough, it was flopping around in there. I called the orthodontist and she told me to hurry back. But what to do with the other kids?
STJ to the rescue. She said she'd manage the others while Kyra and I went to get her tooth fixed.
Off we went, exchanging a laugh with the parking lot guy ("back already?"). When we were finished, we drove to STJ's house to pick up the kids and their houses. Ainsley was sound asleep on their couch for some odd reason.
When we walked out to the car, Shay casually tossed a soccer ball through the open car door. It landed right on top of the boys' gingerbread house, immediately reducing it to a pile of sugar-encrusted rubble. Aidan was near tears: "It was the first gingerbread house I ever made without any help."
Kyra walked around to climb in on the other side. Her foot brushed the roof of the girl house, causing it to slide right off of the walls. The rest of the house collapsed mere minutes later. Asked Kyra with a smile, "does this mean we can eat the whole thing tonight?"
I could feel my grandfather the civil engineer gazing down from heaven, horrified at the inability of his great-grandchildren to glue four bits of cookie together in a structurally sound manner. Whatever, granddad. They have kickass Minecraft skills. So there's that.
That was the end of our gingerbread adventure. By evening, Ainsley had a raging fever and a hacking cough; she stayed home from school today. I got a call from the school nurse midway through my work day: seems Aidan had developed the same illness and needed to be picked up immediately. When I got home from work at the dinner hour, the other two kids were lying around miserably, so I guess they'll all be home from school tomorrow.
And thus begins another joyous holiday season!