September 17, 2008

How long before they ask me to hand over my keys?

This has been one of those days that leaves me wondering if I'm really cut out to mother these four precious creatures God's given me. In the grand scheme of things, nothing horrendous has happened, but it was just enough to make me question my capabilities.

B.B. hates to have his teeth brushed. To be honest, I've not always brushed his teeth after each meal, snack, or drink. And more than once the tooth brushing has been a hit & a miss as I sit on him & try to brush as quickly as possible then let him do the rest himself (as if that accomplishes anything).

In the past week, that has changed. Suddenly he's OK with me brushing his teeth. He's also, out of the blue, figured out the whole spitting thing. So it's just this week that he's graduated from toddler toothpaste to real toothpaste. Honestly, the toddler stuff was far from cutting it. It does nothing for tartar & truly little for plaque...especially on a child who eats constantly.

This week I've discovered 3 or 4 spots on his teeth that are either cavities or holes in the enamel. I'm sick at my stomach over this. I feel like a complete failure. I can't even keep my child's teeth clean! BabyGirl & #1 Son have good teeth. Why can't B.B.? The dentist will be called in the morning. I will be a basket case.

Maybe it's all genetic. Truth be told, I do not have good teeth. They're fairly straight. Nothing truly odd about them, but the enamel is weak. It always has been. I get cavities at the drop of the hat. When I went to the dentist after B.B. was born (I hadn't been in 10 years) I had 10 cavities. Yes, you read that right. 10. All of my molars are filled at least once. I have a wisdom tooth that's seen better days. QM has teeth problems. I'm pretty sure Busha & Bucka do as well since neither one has had their own teeth since I was little.

And lets add to that BabyGirl's mid-term report. Phonics/Grammar...B. Reading....B. Spelling...-A. Math...A. Penmanship...S. Science...S. Social Studies...S. Music...+S. Needs Improvement: Completing daily assignments on time, Using time wisely. Comments: Reading tests only...+D. "BabyGirl is doing a find job overall. However, her reading tests-which she has to read on her own-is a big concern. The B in reading tells me on daily work she is listening and following directions. The D tells me she is struggling reading and comprehending her reading stories. I'm going to ask BabyGirl to read her weekly story more often at home."

It's not my report card, but I feel exactly like I did when I was little & I got a bad grade I knew my mom would have to see. The Daring Young Mom posted last week at the Parenting blog about feeling like she's forging notes to her daughter's teacher. I thought I was alone in that. I keep waiting for the school office to call me & say, "I'm sorry, but we really need an adult to sign BabyGirl's permission slips. You don't count." Parent/teacher conferences make me break out in a cold sweat. When ever I have to talk to one of the teachers (two of which I'm pretty sure are at least 4 years younger than I am) I get mildly ill.

Now that BabyGirl is having trouble, I'm taking it VERY personally. We're working on her listening issues (which so far is me saying, "Pay attention. You have to listen. BabyGirl...LISTEN. BabyGirl, what did I just say?" and her getting 1/3 of what I say), and now we're working on her reading comprehension...but I feel like I have somehow failed as a mother because she's not breezing through 2nd grade.

I know neither one of these issues are life & death. I know they don't make me a bad mom. My kids get fed. My kids are bathed regularly. They do not live in a box. We don't tie them to the radiator when we go to the store. We're not stoned out of our heads & driving them around in a 1973 VW Beetle. I know there are much, much worse things that could be happening to them than cavities and reading trouble....

But still, I think I'll go cry for a bit.


Grace said...

I felt the same way when Bee had about 8 cavities at the same time last January. But the dentist says she just has bad teeth and probably always will. Poor kid! the boys have both had cavities, but nothing like Bee. We actually took her to the OR and had her knocked out so they could do them all at once!

Terri said...

sometimes it's these little things that bring us down as moms. I remember the first time I had to be "talked to" about my kids' behavior in church (yes, church!) my daughter bit another child. Oh I felt horrible, even though they had a biter in the class for weeks prior that had bitten all the kids over and over (how he dealt with the toy issue) and I think she was just "trying it on for size". It never became a habit but I seriously felt like a terrible parent for weeks at church. There are just some things you cannot control and you just work at the things you can. The kids will be just fine. But I empathize !

Art the Omnipotent said...

I wouldn't worry about the cavities, the dentist told me that some kids can brush the heck out of their teeth and still have a mouth full of cavities. It just has to do with the bacteria in their body and how they react to it and not parenting. Some kids never even think about looking at a tooth brush and have perfect teeth. Lu-Lu had to have all of his first molars pulled and C.A. has had perfect teeth. I'm sure Baby Girl will be fine with a little extra work. At least it's not the principal calling!!

Queen Mother said...

I'm having flashbacks.

Miss Perfect
Mr Drive you to drink
Miss Whhhatever