Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where is that instruction manual again?

For the past month, getting Kate’s teeth brushed has been a battle of epic proportions. She’s quite content to “brush” her own teeth, as in sucking the toothpaste off the brush and the brush making little (if any) contact with her teeth. When I attempt to brush her teeth, she acts as if I am wielding an ice pick and attempting to do an unmedicated extraction.

My first brushing game involved finding sugar on her teeth to scrub off. Look Kate, I see RED sugar. Scrub scrub scrub. Uh oh, I see some BLUE sugar. Scrub scrub scrub. That lasted for, oh, a couple of days. Then she’d say, “I ALREADY got all the sugar off mom. DON’T BRUSH MY TEETH!” Kate: 1 Mom: 0

The second brushing game involved searching for animals in her mouth. Oh no Kate, I think I see a bumble bee. Scrub scrub scrub. Let me look on the bottom and find that snake. Scrub scrub scrub. Yikes, a lion in your mouth. Scrub scrub scrub. I’d give this one a generous week of success. Then, Kate started each morning with a giant, blubbering spit, “I SPIT all of the aminals (yes, that’s how she says it) out already. DON’T BRUSH MY TEETH MOM!” Kate: 2 Mom: 0

The third desperate attempt involved having her beloved Baby Kate brush her teeth. The sacrifices we make in the name of motherhood. Do you know just how ridiculous I look trying to use a plastic doll’s hand to brush Kate’s teeth while cheerfully saying, “Baby Kate says open up …”? Scrub scrub scrub. That one lasted for a couple of days at best. Suddenly Baby Kate “Doesn’t want to brush my teeth ANYMORE mom. Her doesn’t like to brush my teeth.” Kate: 3 Mom: 0

It’s entirely possible that I am making this more difficult than it needs to be, but I can’t get the kid to brush her damn teeth. It’s been a three ring circus, with me as the starring freak show. Recently, I resorted to threats and bribery. Yeah, well, those aren’t working so well either.

Why am I in a panic today? I’m glad you asked. I’m in a panic because tomorrow Kate has a dentist appointment. You know why they make 2 year olds go to the dentist, right? It’s a basic measure of public humility for the mom, and a true indicator of who is running the house. Of course I don’t brush her teeth Doc, I wasn’t quite sure that there was a necessity. (That last line must be read in a nice southern drawl, for effect you know).

6 comments:

Carol Beth said...

Does it work to tell her that if she cooperates with you while you brush her teeth, she can "brush" them afterward? Sometimes that works with Ana....

Lyndsay said...

Thanks Beth, actually that was route 1 ... THEN we proceeded to games 1, 2, and 3 ...

Amy said...

I think that have little tablets (at least they did when I was little) that you chewed and it turned all the places you missed when brushing pink...do you think if she chewed one first she's have fun brushing all of the pink away from her mouth? Also, I think I saw a commercial for a mouth rinse that does something like that too...not sure how safe that is for little girls, but hey if her teeth are going to fall out anyways...

Special K said...

Well normally I enjoy dispensing advice to other moms like pez. But in this case I'm going to suggest taking a valium, some alcohol and maybe I IV full of anything numbing for that dental visit. Sylvie only had to sit on my LAP to watch Logan's dental visit and the whining is still ringing in my ears. The dentist took one look at her (she did have an appointment after all) and said "She's 2? We usually start at age 3. Looks like she has at least one cavity. Here's the # for the pediatric dentist. I'm guessing they are going to have to sedate her to fill it." Ugh. So now I have to make a new appointment with this other dentist for her and HOPE the first dentist was wrong. Am I horrible for putting this off? For the record, at age 4-1/2 Logan was an angel at the dentist:)

thatgirljenn said...

If it does make you all feel better, my son was 4 and my girls were 3 when we took our first trip to the dentist. It went better than I had expected!

My husband lets the kids brush their own teeth on "his" nights to put them to bed, and when it is my night I brush them. When my son was 2.5 he used to scream and cry and all - I did the same thing you did Lyndsay - I started trying everything I could think of and NOTHING worked for him, so finally I just gave up and told him that mommy was brushing his teeth and he could just cry (I know horrible) however I have to say after about - oh I don't know 2 months of the "poor pity me, you are hurting my mouth, scratching my gums, you are gagging me mommy" tantrums, he finally figured out I was not giving in and he did. Do not get me wrong - I dreaded it every night, it made for a horrible bed time routine, however in the end it worked out. He will be 5 in December and I still brush his teeth before he goes to bed, however he is allowed to brush his own in the morning, and afternoon (he is addicted to the toothpaste LOL). The girls, well lets just say you learn your lesson with your first child. I never let them even try to brush their own teeth and they never ask (they are probably traumatized from living through my sons experience) LOL we too have a fund for "therapy" set aside... LOL

I love reading your post - and I wish you the very best of luck on this one!

Liz said...

I remember mom was pretty die hard about this, she told my sisters it was their choice, but if they didnt brush their teeth she got to take one of their toys and put it in the attic very night they went without brushing. Yikes. But after 'losing' several beloved toys, they gave in.