What to Wear in Third Grade

You don’t have to wear that to school.

I’m going to.

Please don’t wear that to school.

I’m going to.

Your father doesn’t want you wearing that to school.

I don’t care.

Does anyone else in your grade wear that kind of thing to school?

No. Older grades, yes.

Don’t you think you’ll stick out, then?

I don’t care.

Last week you were teased for jump roping “incorrectly” and then for being too pale for a certain shirt and you got very upset. Are you sure you want to wear that to school?

Yes.

Positive?

Yes.

You might get teased.

And that’s when my daughter told me how it is. Why they wouldn’t tease her about this, about her wearing *gasp* neckgear. Voluntarily.

“They’ll ask me what it is, and I’ll just tell them it’s part of my treatment plan. Fixing my over-jet.”

Damned if she wasn’t right. Some kids asked her what the contraption was, and she told them. They then asked what an over-jet was, and she drew a diagram of one.

Her teacher sent me an email asking if my daughter had to wear the neckgear all day, even during recess. I replied, “She doesn’t ‘have’ to wear it anytime during the day. She’s been wearing it at night only and was getting impatient with the results. She decided, on her own, to accelerate her treatment by wearing it—to her dad’s and my horror—to school.”

Hopefully her over-jet will improve more quickly now. Her Dad and I are impressed by (and just a little scared of) her determination to take control of her treatment. And we’re relieved that our concerns about teasing have thus far apparently proved unfounded. Unless she’s just stubbornly not sharing any incidents with us…