Our youngest child, O, had a dental appointment this morning. It was just a check-up and cleaning, but it was scheduled for 10:40am, which is just about the worst time because it's right in the middle of the scheduled portion of our day. I don't remember why I agreed to that time, but six months ago, who knows? Anyway, I nearly forgot about the appointment in spite of getting a reminder call yesterday. Fortunately, H, randomly remembered (possibly in hopes of my setting school aside for the day for the appointment) and reminded me.
Before we left for the appointment, I instructed O to go brush his teeth.
I find this practice ridiculous, yet I can't help but to make sure my teeth or my children's teeth are sparkling before we go in for a regular cleaning. Why is that?
I don't fix my car before taking it to the mechanic and I don't restore my health before going into the doctor's office, but I clean my teeth before I get them cleaned professionally. I'm so thankful that the Lord doesn't expect me to clean my soul before going to church or speaking to Him in prayer!!
Anyway, two minutes after I sent O to brush his teeth, he returned, proclaiming that the job was complete. As any mother or lion tamer might, I had him open his mouth wide so I could take a peek for myself. Sure enough, most of his breakfast was still there, crammed into his molars. No wonder the boy is so skinny, he doesn't swallow enough.
I asked him to bring me his toothbrush so I could help him a little more. When he did, I realized quickly that the brush was bone dry. The lies began to culminate at this point when he insisted that after brushing his teeth, he dried his toothbrush with a towel. Yeah, sure he did. Each bristle, one at a time.
Moving on, after an inside-my-head-eye-roll (or two), I sent him to brush again, this time in the downstairs bathroom where I could keep an eye on him.
In a few moments, he returned with his toothbrush and asked, "Do I need to use water?"
Oh my word! Where did this child's head go today?! Didn't he just tell me the lie about drying his toothbrush ... so wasn't he at least thinking about how it must have been wet? And how many times has he brushed his teeth in his life ... has he never used water before?
Wow. Sometimes, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels with these kids. I know I've taught them so many things in life. Maybe they forget everything I teach them in school, but you'd think that practical life lessons would be the one thing that would stick. Teeth brushing, for goodness sakes.
Eventually, he did brush for real (thanks to his big sister's patient help, too) and I rechecked his mouth and he was good to go. Ready to be inspected by his dental hygienist.
He's about to lose two bottom front teeth and as of yet, still no cavities. Praise God for small victories.