How “go brush your teeth again” leads to a day full of guilt. 

Uncategorized / Friday, September 23rd, 2016

We wake up, we shower, we get dressed, we brush our teeth, we comb our hair, we make breakfast and then we’re out the door. Every. Single. Day! Every now and again my daughter likes to throw me a curve ball. I always thought the statement “it’s for your own good” was a load of crap. Then, I became a mom. And so the story goes… 

I was fulfilling the usual request of a side pony tail this morning when I remembered that A (my daughter) had her second loose tooth and I asked if I could see it. Mistake numero uno. She eventually showed me, and that’s when I saw the disgusting built up plaque from her half ass brushing jobs. I took a deep breath and gave her my best “your teeth will fall out” shpeel and grabbed the floss for kids. I went in to scrape off some of the plaque to show her (I know, it’s disgusting but I thought it would be effective) and she lost her shit! Tears are rolling, snot is dripping and I haven’t even gotten her to open her mouth wide enough so I can see. About 10 seconds into her melt down she scares the crap out of her little brother, H and I’ve tapped out.

I tell her to forget it, I’ll just call the dentist and he can look at her teeth. Mistake numero dos. Meltdown round two commences and lasts all the way from my second bathroom, to the keurig while my coffee brews, to the car. Her daycare isn’t far, so we didn’t have a lot of time to regroup and talk about why she got so upset. So there I am, about to hug and kiss her goodbye for the next 9 1/2 hours and her puffy pink eyes, sad face and half eaten pancake deliver a pretty big blow of guilt. 

I’m aware that a lot of this is due to the inability of controlling those five year old female emotions combined with my “I’m not a morning person” attitude. But why is it that in our reasonable and well intentioned parenting behaviors we can demand and mold healthy habits in our kids and in return we receive the most gut wrenching guilt trip? With a look. No words, no demands. Just a look. How can these non-verbal communication rituals be so dang hurtful? 

I’m an adult, I know you have to brush your teeth. She knows you have to brush your teeth. So I make her brush her teeth and then I feel like shit. 

My Grama was right “this hurts me more than it hurts you” 

Touché, Grama. Touché! 

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