As parents, we don’t get quarterly report cards and annual reviews to analyze our parenting skills. The closest thing we have is when we bring our kids for their doctor checkups and dentist appointments.
During these visits I always hold my breath anticipating the “grade” the doctor is going to give me.
When my kids haven’t shrunk and the doctor asks them what they eat for breakfast and my kids don’t respond with “lollipops;” I consider that a solid “A” in my book.
There was however the time that I brought my middle son in for his 3 year old check- up and I told the doctor about some discipline problems I was having with him. She suggested reading a certain parenting book. A few minutes later, I had to excuse myself from the room briefly while I took my older daughter to the bathroom and left my son alone with the doctor. When I came back she told me that book probably wasn’t going to work for me. She had never seen a child with such a mind of his own. I left there feeling like I was teetering on the edges of a “D.” He had grown a few inches so it wasn’t quite an “F.”
I always leave the dentist office with about a “C.” My kids brush their teeth every morning and I help them floss. However, most nights I forget to have them brush. Every night I cook dinner, wash the dishes, give the kids baths, read bedtime stories and then do bedtime tuck-ins with each of the three kids. Then I get really busy patting myself on the back for making it through another day and everyone has survived. This is always when it hits me that I forgot to have them brush their teeth and there is no way I am hauling them out of bed to complete this task.
Apparently, this oversight shows at the dentist office because the doctor always tells me they have some plaque build-up but no one has completely rotten teeth yet. I’m sure if I got a report card from her, the comments would read, “This area has room for improvement.”
My middle son recently studied “Tooth Care” in his Kindergarten class. He was telling me all about it yesterday in the bathroom while I was flossing his teeth. He was throwing the words “plaque,” “hollows” and “cavities,” out there with great knowledge that led me to believe I needed to start setting money aside to so I could send him through dentistry school.
While I was still under my delusional state that my son was going to be a tooth care extraordinaire he made this statement:
“The teacher showed us pictures of cavities that had fillings in them. They get filled up with silver. They look really awesome and give your teeth a really nice look. Then they aren’t just the boring white anymore. I’ve been doing some thinking and I’ve decided that I’m not going to brush my teeth anymore so I can get some silver teeth.”
Crazy enough, this isn’t my first go around with this kind of thinking. When my older daughter went through the “Tooth Care” segment in Kindergarten she made a similar statement:
“You know, if you don’t brush your teeth, they get rotten and fall out. Since I want the Tooth Fairy to start coming, I’m going to quit brushing my teeth so they all fall out and she can come all of the time.”
Thankfully, I talked my daughter out of doing this and we have managed to preserve her teeth from becoming rotten.
However, remember my son is the one with “a mind of his own” that no parenting book has any suggestions for.
I’m sure my next dentist appointment will be a solid “F.”