The Bridge

Welcome to Sunday night. I am preparing for the week ahead, which now includes scheduled blog posts. So bear with me, please as I figure this all out. As I reflect on this past week, I still have yet to figure out how to deal with non compliant parents who believe they are compliant. I will give you an example.

Nightly dinners at our house are not an image of manners and grace. It is usually a table that is set with cloth and placemats, possibly a centerpiece. Beyond that is any number of people from 2 to 10. The pandemic has restricted the extensive numbers that were previously gathered with us. There is food and apparently no topic of discussion is off limits. 

If walls could talk…

Shortly after we exhaust the “how was your day?” pleasantries, Granny generally focuses on the number of poops the dogs have left in the backyard. Poppy’s favorite topic is politics, unfortunately. My boys feed off both topics. It becomes extremely off color at times.

A few nights ago, my oldest son was at work, so just six of us. The meal before us was my mom’s favorite, carnitas and the fixing. All the food is soft or small pieces. This evening there was not much conversation as everyone was hungry.

With everyone about halfway through their first tortilla, Poppy opens his mouth and this mass falls out! He was sitting at the opposite end of the table, so I had an unobstructed view. Wow! I had no idea what he had just spit out on the table! (Words I never thought I would write regarding an adult!) Everyone froze – quite frankly out of fear, we were all eating the same food! What the heck was that!!!

Unphased by everyone’s reaction, my stepfather swallowed his current bite and began cussing the at the dentist. Yes, the dentist, his bridge fell out! The rant started. Pacified that it was not the food, most people started eating again. My mother started bombarding her husband with questions.

“Did they tell you to chew on the other side of your mouth today?”

“Were you chewing on the other side of your mouth?”

“Why wouldn’t you just chew on one side?”

“The food is soft enough, right?”

“Should you be eating?”

At this point, people start leaving the table – no second servings today! Appetites killed.

Now all the information starts flowing from Poppy. Last week he had a temporary bridge put it his mouth while the permanent one is manufactured. Unbeknownst to us, it had fallen out (yes, fallen out on a previous day) and was “glued” back in this very morning. The instructions he had been given were to chew on the other side of his mouth today. Unsure if there were other instructions, as he goes by himself. He thought it was ridiculous that he have to chew on one side of his mouth, they had glued the bridge in place this morning and this is dinner!

As I am now the only person engaged in this conversation with him, I offered suggestions – such as, “Glue must cure, maybe that is why they suggested chewing restrictions.” All comments were met without even being processed. He just continued to be angry and rant in between more bites of food.

It never occurred to him that his behavior was non-compliant to direct orders from the dentist.  It only seems to him that people are out to sabotage him. Do you know what I am talking about? He is a well-educated, upper middle class retiree. Why assume that “they” did “this” to you? We spend countless hours trying to teach our youth accountability – this isn’t helping my bunch!

Are you wondering what happened to the bridge that vacated his mouth?  It sat where it fell for the rest of the meal! I can post my carnitas recipe, if you would like to recreate this at your table!

I am grateful that we still share meals on most evenings! We are blessed to have food.

Do you have a parent that lives with you and has struggles like this? How do you deal with it? We might be looking for another dentist soon too, send me your suggestions.

Thank you for coming back!


“Life’s biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”

Benjamin Franklin

I am a daughter, a wife, a mom of three boys and a "mom" to boys from other mothers. I live for my family and work hard to set an example of a life in Christ. I have to remind myself that to enjoy the little things because the chaos can become overwhelming. I can't make up the things that happen in our world, so after much encouragement, I decided to write about them. Hopefully you will enjoy the stories and think, "Hmm, it's not just at my house!"

4 comments on “The Bridge

  1. I have a grandfather just like that!! I’m baffled, too!


  2. Beth Graybill

    This story! You’re a saint. And would love the carnitas recipe!


    • I’m not sure about saint status, unsaintly thoughts were going through my head at the time! Let me write down the recipe and I will get it to you 🙂


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