I know one of the alpha rules of parenting is consistency. And about some things, we are very consistent. The kids know that they ALWAYS wear seat belts, ALWAYS wash up afte eating before they resume their play activities and Mommy ALWAYS has coffee in the morning. If they forget any of these cardinal rules, we remind them.
However, we have been less than consistent about the eating of vegetables and the brushing of teeth. The vegetable thing may be the subject of a whole other confessional blog, but today I'm gonna talk about teeth.
Somehow we have had a hard time making this happen every evening and every night. The mornings can be rushed, the evenings can be wrestling matches and somehow the teeth cleaning thing didn't always happen.
We have toothbrushes in three bathrooms, including the noxious blue kid toothpaste, in the hopes that more opportunity would lead to more brushing of teeth. It worked for a while.
When Jackson had two mini cavities a couple years ago, our dentist told us that with excellent dental hygiene, he wouldn't have to have them filled before the time those baby teeth fell out. A year later we were at the pediatric dentist getting metal caps on two teeth.
We redoubled our efforts and made tooth brushing a family priority. For a while.
I wondered if we could ever instill better brushing habits in our offspring.
Then suddenly, this fall it happened. The kids are brushing their teeth twice a day. Every day. And they are dong a good job of it.
I'm not sure why. It may be that I am on the a.m. before school routine 4 days a week instead of the 2 or 3 of the past few years, so it's easier for me. Or that Sydney is older and she remembers on her own sometimes. Or that Jackson has developed his own nighttime routine and has voluntarily put tooth brushing into it. The more they were doing it, the more we remembered to remind them on the days they forgot.
And I just got home from the dentist and clean bill of tooth health for both of them.
The only problem with the improved brushing is that we are spending a lot more on toothpaste and I am now spending a lot more time cleaning bathrooms. And because they brush their teeth in at least two bathrooms, you will see what I am up against:
Jackson was in the bathrom this evening and I asked if he had finished brushing his teeth.
"No" he responded "I had to clean the sink. Did you see how much tooth paste was all over the sink?"
I assured him I had.