Tuesday, December 15, 2009

They're Definitely Mine

Over the weekend, Billy noticed a peculiar way in which both Sebastian and Collette take after me: they both have an oversized labial frenum. It sounds gross but what it means is that the little piece of skin that connects your top lip to your top gums is too big and grows between the two front teeth. This is why I have a gap and why that gap never closed. I have some very mixed feelings about my gap - I have been teased plenty because of it but, almost as often, I get complimented on it. People seem to think it gives me character. So, I'm not sure what we will do if their labial frenums don't shrink. There is a pretty simply surgery they could undergo, one I may have had if I had known about it at a younger age. I think they do it on kids once they hit 10 years old. But, in a way, I kind of like that they have this little physical quirk of mine. I was almost positive they wouldn't get my red hair, so the gap is next best thing.

So, readers, what do you think? My guess is that, when the time comes, I will probably let them decide. Do you think cosmetic surgery for children is never ok?


8 comments:

  1. I love your gap! But I struggle with this too because Penny got my unibrow (and ahem, slight hair on my upper lip). I have no idea what to do about it - she's so little! But I notice it every time I look at her because it is a physical flaw of mine I've always hated (and did not start waxing until college). Good post.

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  2. I think the answer also depends on what is going on with the rest of their mouth. I had a tooth that was much higher than the rest of the teeth. That was not a big deal but it made the rest of my teeth not line up so I had jaw problems. 3.5 years of braces and I have perfectly straight teeth. I don't consider that cosmetic surgery!

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  3. One of my daughters has the same thing and, at age 4, the dentist is already talking about surgery. Mainly because she also has the issue LauraC mentioned with the higher tooth. Put it all together and it could lead to dental problems down the line. Quite frankly, I would like her to have the surgery sooner, rather than later.

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  4. who knows though Cole, we ALL had the gap and it closed up for me on its own (kim had braces so who knows). theirs could close up too! :)

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  5. your gap is a gift...and it makes you even more beautiful!

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  6. By 10, the kids will be old enough to have a say. My vote is not to bring it up unless they have concerns, or develop the type of personality that indicates that it could be emotionally scarring to be "different".

    We've had similar conversations regarding Melody's facial cleft. First, we knew that we would go for plastic surgery if her nasal structure caused breathing or speech problems. Fortunately, there haven't been any issues there.

    Next, we're going to wait until she's about 6 or 7, around the time that her peers will make it clear whether or not her uniqueness is something that will cause social stigma. If she starts getting teased or if she becomes self-conscious about it, we'll go ahead with reconstructive surgery. We already have a surgeon lined up who has been seeing her since birth.

    When Mel was an infant, people would often ask what was wrong with her nose. (They don't see her wideset eyes or widow's peak as anomalous, even though those are also a result of her cleft.) As she's grown, it's become less and less apparent as being odd, and more and more people have a hard time telling her apart from her sister. (They are identical genetically, but Jess doesn't have the cleft.) There's the odd kid that asks why she has a funny nose (Answer: so you can tell her apart from her sister) and the rude adult who gets right in her face and says that there's no way the girls are identical twins and the ultrasound must have been wrong. I expect now that we'll do without the surgery, although if she chooses it, insurance will only cover it until she's 18, after which it will be considered cosmetic rather than corrective.

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  7. I have lots of dental problems, so one little gap doesn't seem like such a huge deal. I am congenitally missing all four of my 2nd premolars. I inherited this condition from my father, and I am terrified that I have passed it on to my kids.

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