I’m Pretty Sure My Answer Will Always Be “No”

About six months ago, my son Benjamin began wearing braces. He recently had them removed, and is now wearing a retainer only at night. He is faithful about cleaning it in the evening just before bed, and it seems like every night (I’m exaggerating) he says, “This thing smells horrible! You wanna smell it?” I know he has asked me this question at least three times in the past month. Every time he has made this unique offer, I have declined. Call me crazy. Tonight, after he repeated his favorite question, and after I repeated my consistent answer in the negative, I decided I would punctuate my answer with a new twist. I said, “No.” (Pause for effect, and for time to tabulate how many times he has asked the question) Then I said, “I am pretty sure my answer will always be ‘no’.” I wonder if that will sink in…

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