I have already admitted that I don't have a lot of rules for my kids. I like to say this is because Virginia has taught me not to sweat the small stuff or that I simply don't have time to do things that aren't absolutely necessary. But the truth is I would probably have been this type of mother anyway- one who doesn't ration goldfish, enforce bedtime, or, as this post is about, make her children brush their teeth every night.
I worked at Camp DeSoto for several summers during college and loved every minute of it. I had Cabin A every session- sweet, seven-year-old girls who were the babies of camp. One morning at staff meeting, Phil, our camp director, said he had a funny story.
"Do you know what Mary Frances told me this morning at breakfast?" he asked.
Oh, no, I thought. Mary Frances was one of my campers. I had a feeling I was about to be put on the hot seat.
"She said that she hasn't brushed her teeth in three weeks."
Phil thought this was hilarious, as did everyone else, but I felt terrible. I guess I'll never get the babies again, I thought.
But after staff meeting, Phil came up to reassure me.
"Marsha and I didn't put you in Cabin A because we thought you would double-check to see if they brushed their teeth every night. We put you in there because you love them and make them feel safe."
Right or wrong, most of the time as a mother, I am worried about the big picture, not the little details.
Wills had his first trip to the dentist last week, and I just knew my lackadaisical attitude toward dental hygiene (and sugar intake, for that matter) was going to catch up with me. (And, yes, I know the American Pediatric Association recommends a first trip around age 1. I am just running about 4 years behind.)
Wills still sucks his fingers, went to bed with a bottle of milk until age 2 1/2, and drinks a gallon of juice every two days. I knew I was toast.
Well guess what? He didn't have a single cavity. Not one. Just goes to prove my theory- you are either genetically prone to cavities or you are not. The only bad part is that since I didn't get caught, I am feeling a little too confident. I may never make my kids brush their teeth again!
In other news, Findley wants to have a garden this summer. I think between the dogs, the squirrels, and my lack of gardening abilities, it doesn't stand a chance, but Findley loves a project, so I told him to have at it.
And for all you college friends, here is Uncle T watching five children simultaneously. Two are his, but still, impressive.
Happy weekend everyone!