Getting My Report Card as a Parent

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.”

Eating Lollipops

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46 responses

  1. Love this ! I give my Toddler cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies for Breakfast (only if she asks) I Dont floss her teeth! She is 2.5 and has not seen a dentist and I forget to brush her teeth in the mornings (except on weekends) Nice to know I am not alone in this. I think there are bigger battles some days.

    • haha!! Cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies certainly have some of the major breakfast components to them…eggs and milk! And definitely don’t beat yourself up about not flossing…she’s 2.5…you’ll have plenty of years to feel guilty about many more things!

      • So true – we are so hard on ourselves. And yes – what a great way to think of it – mostly eggs and milk! I love it ! Should have know this last night when she had 3 mini cupcakes (with green icing) for dinner last night! Much to my own mums suprise 🙂

  2. This cracked me up!!!! I fall down many nights with the teeth brushing myself with the boys. Sometimes after they are tucked in for the night they come out to “remind” me and I say we’ll just bump it up a notch in the morning. Bad granny!!!!

  3. This had me giggling. You have a vivid descriptive style. 🙂 It also made me feel less cruddy about forgetting to brush my little ones teeth every night. Sometimes *GASP* I even forget in the morning, too! It’s good to know we aren’t alone in our oopsies. 🙂

  4. Hilarious! Your son is a total firecracker. I love it!

    I always, always feel judged going to the dentist! I am such a crazy dental hygiene person so I desperately want to hear how well I’m doing. Inevitably it will be all: You brush too hard and grind your teeth! Alas…

    • I know! My dentist always tells me I need to “start” flossing. The thing is, I actually do floss everyday but instead of trying to plead my case I just nod and say okay because I feel like they will think I’m in denial and am just trying to get out of a punishment!

  5. Melissa, thanks for sharing this post. Most children don’t like going to the dentist, or doctor. A + for them being able to attend and get checked. A+ for Iris and her reminders whenever she does. I was thinking an activity with you all making a poster for the bathroom in inference to brushing reminder might help. I know there is an artist in the house besides you. He is going to enjoy working on that poster. My comment on the poster is just a thought, and I hope it is okay. Be Blessed, Mtetar

      • You’re welcome, Melissa. There are better days ahead, and the reports will change for the best. Be Blessed, and make your weekend a great one. Mtetar

      • Melissa, we have a border collie, which you would have seen on my blog. Anyway, I found a great print for sale on ebay of a border collie brushing his teeth. I’ve been meaning to put it up but haven’t got around to it yet. Our kids are both in a good routine of brushing their teeth at night but I’m trying to get them going in the mornings and am having a hard time there. I need to get the school in on it. Get their teachers to mention it…along with brushing hair grr!

      • Oh, I bet the Border Collie print is adorable! I don’t have a border collie and I would even like that hanging up! As for the school getting in on it….you can see how well that worked with my kids!!! They sure can twist a good message up!

  6. I feel the same way about the doctor and the dentist (the doctor mostly because I usually have all 3 and it involves much screaming over nothing and the dentist because I too often forget to have them brush their teeth and since Big Trouble won’t sit still for the dentist, I’m petrified of what his teeth will show when the day finally comes!! I think I will go make them brush their teeth right now to “make up for it” – haha)

    • You know what is really terrible? I just am finally sitting down for the night after the hubbub of the all the evening rituals and thought I would check my blog…and I just realized I forgot to have them brush their teeth!!! Seriously, you would think since I just wrote this today that it would have lodged in my head somewhere!!! Ugh!!! There is just too much to do every night!!

  7. That’s funny! My son took a field trip to a dentist’s office today. I need to ask him how it went. He’s pretty good about brushing. A few years ago my husband went online and showed him pictures of tooth decay, and that was very motivational for him. We’ll have to think of a different tactic for Bency, though!

    • Well, if it gets out of control I’ll tell him that you have to get a shot in order to get those cavities filled. Bency does not like shots so I’m sure that will be an effective route. I’m only going to tell him that though if I find out he is actually not brushing his teeth otherwise it will just give him one more thing to worry about!

  8. Funny result. Why bother learning? I think that this the lesson hear – take the F.
    My kids brush their teeth in seconds. I have to make them take 30 seconds – and I dont bother doing that often enough. So it is typically 10 seconds and done. So, I might get an F too.

  9. A friend of mine from college has a dental practice that’s almost an hour away from us. I swear I’d drive two hours just to see her because 1) she is an awesome person, 2) she totally understands my fear of all things medical and dental, and 3) she loves the kids and they love her. For me it’s got more to do with the trust issues. Plus she’s one of the most tactful people I’ve ever met.

    But the doctor visits? Oh boy.

    • It’s amazing how a certain dentist really makes a difference! When Iris was 3 I tried bringing her to my dentist but she was so shy and scared. I then found a children’s dentist in our area and we didn’t have one single problem. The atmosphere is great and everyone is really nice. When I was there a few weeks ago I told them they must have some sort of magic going on because I can not get Iris to cooperate at the orthodontist at all!

  10. Oh man, Melissa! That Bency really sees the positive in every situation. Now, he thinks silver fillings are cool. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree with him just a teensy tiny bit because I loved Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m guessing that’s not the look our kids should be aiming for! 🙂

    • Ohhh….good call for a couple of reasons! That is a particularly good look on Johnny and….Bency has never seen that movie and now I’ll definitely be sure not to let him see it because he will be fully committed on making those silver fillings happen!

  11. I think your report card would pretty much be a 9/10 Mel. Teeth hmmm eldest cleans, flosses 3 times a day has done she can remember and has issues, the youngest (26) hardly brushed, never flossed and no issues…go figure. Eldest takes after me, youngest after her dad…genes play a part…but forget the silver fillings – mercury! Tell em the white ones do the same job and much prettier 🙂

  12. Yet again last night the kids moaned “We’re too tired to brush our teeth!” Guess what? Mommy’s too tired to deal with you being too tired to brush your teeth. Honesty: A+. Practical Implementation: F. I think there’s a good solid C- average in there somewhere…

  13. Too funny. Sounds familiar. The two days a year I take my sons to the dentist are the worst days out of 365. I have one son with an unbelievable gag reflex who, at 9, still manages to puke on the hygienist 90% of the time. It’s always an adventure. With two boys, I consider it success if they brush their teeth twice a day. Most days I’m not successful.

  14. Do you remember when they made us put that pill in our mouth and the red dye would show where your teeth needed brushing?You make me laugh because you ARE a great mother, you know it is an art!

  15. Oh that is too funny! Oh, Bency! You know, I think kids who have a mind of their own grow up to be determined and self-assured. At least I’m hoping this is the case, as Emma too has a mind of her own!

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