CSI New York in my Bathroom….

I am not sure how brushing teeth goes in your house, but my kids need to be reminded to brush teeth – and I have to include the words P.R.O.P.E.R.L.Y in the instruction.

I tried just saying “brush your teeth” then I realized that my eight year old has no problems following instructions. What he does do is he takes it quite literally.

He brushed his teeth, sure there was no toothpaste on the brush, and sure the entire process lasted less than 8 seconds, but if quizzed: “Did you brush your teeth?” He could always answer in the affirmative and not be lying.

On the weekend, I had my hands full. Sick baby on my hip, four year old who would not get dressed and was throwing a wobbly about something or another. I was trying to get eight year old and four year old to brush their teeth after getting dressed. There I am barking out instructions.

You know how you do not realize how you sound, until you have house guests and start seeing and hearing yourself through their eyes (and ears). You then realize that you possibly do look a little trailer park in your bathrobe, no slippers and with snot and vomit (neither your own) on the front of your night shirt and some other unidentified matter in your hair.

That however did not dissuade me from my goal of enforcing good dental hygiene in my house.

Connor trots out from the bathroom, I look at him and immediately assess that his blue t-shirt does not have any toothpaste on it. They don’t teach this sh*t, one learns this at CSI and motherhood school – it’s a combined course done through correspondence, with a huge emphasis on the work experience part.

Now a clean shirt and an eight year old is compelling – not definitive (I watch the crime channel a lot) – but nonetheless compelling circumstantial evidence that no tooth brushing has occurred. The toothpaste spatter is not evident on this eight year old in my passage.

I used to use the dry toothbrush as my evidence – but I got about 6 uses out of that tactic until Connor twigged how I knew he skipped the brushing. Now he wets the toothbrush. Kids – they are like drug dealers, you always have to outsmart them!

Me: “Connor have you brushed your teeth?”

Connor: “I went to brush my teeth.” Now a niave person/not a mother would take this that he has brushed his teeth.

Again, you are not dealing with the Connor-master, who knows a thing or two about negotiation and word play. This boy could be the spin doctor for Julius Malema.

Me: “Connor have you brushed your teeth?”

Connor: “I WENT to brush my teeth.”

Me: “Connor H.A.V.E Y.O.U. brushed your teeth?”

Connor: “I WENT to brush my teeth.”

Me: “Connor H.A.V.E Y.O.U. brushed Y.O.U.R. teeth?”

Connor: “I WENT to brush my teeth.”

Me: “Connor, I got that you went to the bathroom. Did you make it to the basin, put toothpaste on your toothbrush and wiggle it around your mouth?”

Connor: “I diiiiiiiiiiiiiid…”

Me:  “Connor, did you brush your teeth PROPERLY for two minutes?”

Connor: “Awwwwww…………………..”

Me: “Get to that bathroom and start brushing until I tell you it is two minutes.”

Why do we always sound like our mothers, no matter how hard we try not to?

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11 Comments

  1. Kiara

     /  March 18, 2010

    Brilliant Blog 🙂

    Your children are really funny and I know it doesnt seem like it at the time for you but your stories have me in stitches.

    My Little Girl is only 8 months old so I dont have any experience but at least now I will be able to use my CSI mom skills to make sure she brushes her teeth 🙂

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 18, 2010

      Your CSI skills come as a natural talent. They should just fire men as police officers and investigators and have moms there. The stuff you can spot when you walk in to a room is astounding. I know what Connor is going to do just by watching his expression. Or you hear a cupboard in another room open, you immediately know which cupboard, who is opening it and what they are getting. Your spidey-sense sometimes even freaks you out.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the blog – thanks so much for the encouragements. I am glad my life makes other people laugh

      Reply
  2. Malema’s spin doctor! Excellent girl!

    Reply
  3. ttcnot2easy

     /  March 18, 2010

    TOO funny.. I remember these conversations at home only too well! And now look – I brush my teeth for a full 2 minutes! Thanks mom!!
    xx Lisa-Marie

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 18, 2010

      A friend of mine mentioned that her boys are 12 and 17 and she is still fighting with them. Her theory is that the problem will be solved when they get a girl-friend, which I think is a brilliant way of outsourcing the responsibility to someone else!

      Reply
  4. Luddite Lass

     /  March 18, 2010

    Hi, You did find me and I’d love to chat. I’m not sure how to send you a private message on your blog either. On mine I think you have to be my “friend” (button on right) of screen and then we can communicate in the Spaces. BTW I really enjoyed the few posts I’ve read on your blog.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 18, 2010

      Sent you an email, just to check that you have received it before I start blabbing away uncontrollably.

      Reply
  5. Hahahaha hilarious! especially because I can soooo relate!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 18, 2010

      I do weep a little inside that this is how I am going to facing many mornings for the rest of my life. This morning I was brushing the 4 year old’s teeth. This might all be related to my desperate need for approval when we go for our 6 month dental check up. When ever we go and the oral hygienist and dentist complement my kids on their teeth, I get a little glow about me.

      Sort of sad, that I need a man in a white coat with saliva on his glasses to make me feel more worthy as a mother …….

      Reply
  6. I would really like to feature you on Female2Female – please mail me!!!!

    Reply
  7. Tania

     /  March 17, 2010

    we have the same with our 8 year son – our daughter who is 2 and only has half the amount of teeth, well, she’d brush her teeth and eat toothpaste all day long if we allowed her too – we spot check ethan every couple days, morning or night, even when he says he has done so, and most times he goes back to redo it… ha ha

    Reply

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