Kids say funny things: Part 6, The agony of brushing teeth

Brushing teeth is the dreaded chore my kids want to avoid at all costs. Every time I ask, “did you brush your teeth?” my tone and decibel go up each time I repeat (or yell) this despised question. It seems a simple task but to them it means war.

Below is a snippet of our typical conversation:

Mommy: “Did you brush your teeth?”

Elliot: “No, not yet…(moping around)…do I HAVE to?”

Mommy: “Uh…yes. You have some grown-up teeth now and you need to take care of them. Do you want the dentist to yank out your tooth like he did mine? You want a fake tooth like me (referring to a long, expensive, and inconvenient implant process the kids witnessed)?”

Elliot: “I know…I know (Sounding exacerbated, perhaps with some eye rolling). But why does Ellis get to rinse her mouth instead of brushing her teeth?”

Ellis: looking guilty and darting her eyes back and forth from me to her brother. holding her blankie and sniffing it while brother and I heatedly discuss her teeth-brushing habits.

Mommy: “Because she may throw up again. You know she does some mornings. She’ll brush tonight, ok?”

Ellis looks satisfied with my response and nods in agreement with a serious face.

Elliot: “No she won’t! Ugh, why does grown-up teeth take so much CARE???” (Grumbling while getting his toothbrush ready)

Many more battles will come throughout day. Then, we do it all over again with nighttime brushing.

This conversation occurs almost everyday. By the time both sets of teeth are clean, I’m pooped out. This is just one battle to start the day.

Maybe when they start brushing by themselves I’ll miss these talks. I try to remember that so I don’t drive myself nuts. Situation has improved however in the past few years: they’ve stopped chomping my finger while I brushed their tiny teeth.

A short and delightful poem…I can relate to it

“Don’t Worry if Your Job Is Small” – Anonymous

Don't worry if your job is small
And your rewards are few.
Remember that the mighty oak,
Was once a nut like you.

Raising kids is a tough job, with round-the-clock care and tending to their growing needs. All the monotonous activities of cooking the same meals, repeating yourself the umpteenth time to ears that don’t care, and doing the same thing almost everyday seem insignificant.

I can get into a rut, but I believe there is growth occurring everyday that will ground deep roots, extend tall, and sprout leaves reaching towards the sky: not only in our kids but in our souls as well.

Growing pains is often times unpleasant but essential. And like the poem states, I do feel like a nut a lot of times.

Where do missing socks go, and what do you do with the missing ones?

Can someone tell me how socks get lost once they enter the abyss of the washing machine? 

I save a bundle of lone socks that have lost its pair. Sometimes I find one in a stack of folded clothes or hidden inside the corner of mattress sheets. The other day I found a lost pair in the garage.

I should throw them away because the bundle is getting too dusty and unorganized; there’s a bundle for kids and a bundle for the grown ups. I keep hoping that one day I’ll reuse them as a glove duster or sock dolls. I don’t even know what is a responsible way to dispose of them. But when I want to reuse it for another purpose, I can’t find the sock bundle. It’s a frustrating cycle of losing and finding things. 

Where do they go? Sometimes it’s impossible to find the matching pair. But in the winter it doesn’t matter much when you’re wearing boots. You can get rebellious and wear two different kinds of socks. It’s a win-win situation: environmentally friendly and useful.