Friday, June 1, 2012

Not My Best Mom Moment

I blame my sister. She taught my niece about the importance of brushing her teeth regularly and properly by telling her she had to brush off the sugar bugs to keep them from causing cavities. It worked perfectly, and my niece has gorgeous teeth today. Genius, right?

Until about two weeks ago it worked for me too, but out of the blue my daughter completely lost interest. She'd rather play, read another story, watch another show, or do just about anything to keep her a safe distance from her toothbrush. This drives me crazy. I'm sort of a fanatic about brushing my own teeth, and I definitely want her to develop healthy oral hygiene habits. Lately she's tried to negotiate with me. She's said, "I'll only brush them just a little bit, Momma," and "I want Daddy to brush them," (He is obviously not very thorough.) and my very favorite, "Okay, I'll brush them, but I will not use toothpaste." 

I really wasn't on my A game with patience earlier this week. I was tired... tired of negotiating, tired of bribing, just plain tired. So when she took both hands and covered her mouth refusing to open for me to brush away those sugar bugs I didn't have the energy for another debate. I calmly placed her toothbrush back into the cup and left the bathroom saying, "That's fine, but your teeth will become rotten. Would you like to see what that looks like?" She did. 

In my exhausted, if not slightly crazy state of mind I googled "rotten teeth photos" to show my three-year-old. (I agree, not my proudest parental moment.) Before I even saw her eyes grow huge I knew I'd gone too far. I don't believe in fear tactics, and that's exactly what it was. I tried to convince myself it was a here-are-the-consequences-of-not-brushing-your-teeth educational opportunity. In reality it was more of a let-mommy-scare-the-hell-out-of-you-so-you-will-just-do-what-I-ask tactic. It worked, but I was immediately ashamed. And I felt even guiltier as she walked straight to the bathroom for an extra long brushing session. 

Since then she's eagerly allowed me to brush and then taken her own turn without one word of protest. I really feel terrible, and I still blame my sister. 


  1. That is so funny Amy!!! It is okay we all have had our moments!!! Lol