Why is it that things so easy seem to frustrate parents when their children can’t master the skill? I effectively relieve my bladder every day and don’t leave urine at the base of the toilet. I brush my hair without screaming like I’m on fire every morning. AND I brush the fronts and backs of every tooth in my mouth twice daily without gagging, crying, or swallowing large quantities of toothpaste. Can it really be that difficult?
I know it is the parents’ job to lovingly and patiently teach their children these seemingly mundane tasks, but REALLY? Fighting over and over? Give it up and join the rest of the party – give mommy’s ears a break! I swear I’m going to lose my hearing by the time I’m 45 from all the high pitched “girl screams” (and these are much different than a boy scream). Note to self: start clipping coupons from the paper for hearing aids specials.
Let’s start with hair. One of my children has long straight hair which is easy to brush and style. The other child has gorgeous ringlet curls that if you don’t brush them out daily, will rightly turn into dreadlocks. Who of my two children do you think screams the loudest? The Bob Marley child, right?! No way, Mon! Easy, breezy cover girl flips out and runs from the brush.
Teeth: When I was single and had nary a child in the home, I never once thought that brushing a child’s teeth would cause blood curdling screams and back arching. Once you find the hiding child, you then must hog tie them (sweetly and calmly of course) and find a way to brush those pearly whites without perforating the roof of their mouth. Not an easy task, but after doing this for over three years, we are starting to get a handle on it.
Do you think we floss at our house? I’ll give you one guess. Only if they are sedated and since that is illegal in Kansas, and I don’t want child services knocking on my door, we have opted to work on the flossing at a later date.
Now I have a beautiful segue to cross from toothbrushes to toileting. How many toothbrushes have you thrown out because your child either dropped the brush into the porcelain bowl; or maybe even worse…on the floor surrounding the base of the toilet? At least part of the water in the toilet is being replaced after each flush. The floor, not so much! All you mom’s who have “sprinkler systems” at your house, and I’m not referring to those with a lush lawn, the tinkle and/or sprinkle just about does me in!
According to some not yet documented study, potty training is the number one reason for parents ending up in jail for abusing their kids. Thankfully, I never got even close to this because I decided early on, when they were in utero, that I was never going to force the potty training issue. If they went to prom in diapers, it was going to be their choice and I wasn’t going to lose sleep over this.
Little did I realize that just because the child is potty trained does not mean they have exceptional aim. Now I know you are thinking, “Just be glad you don’t have boys!” Yes. You are right. The sprinkle and drips all over the bathroom floor are minimal to what you parents of boys have, but if you are sitting on the toilet shouldn’t all of the urine be directed to the bowl? How does a girl spray urine everywhere?
I guess being a parent is not only a teaching role, but educational for us as well. I have learned more in the last 5 years than I have in the 20 years I was in college. And I am ever so sure I wouldn’t trade my fabulous girls for all the toilet paper and toothpaste in the world!
© 2010, Stacey Hatton. All rights reserved.