My boys were all in various states of dental distress; my oldest being cleaned, my middle being x-rayed and my youngest being poked at with a frightening looking tool that just supposed to check his teeth. They all sported the cool shades provided to shield them from the overhead light, and they were all totally numb on an episode of Scooby Doo. Yet, even with the Cotton Candy flavored toothpaste – uh, irony – when all was said and done, we unanimously agreed that going to the dentist just sucks.
The experience inspired me to probe further and find out other things they hated. Nothing I discovered really surprised me, but I was somewhat amazed when I realized that the stuff my kids hate are stuff I consider among my favorite things.
1. Brushing teeth. Coming straight from the dentist, this was no surprise, but, oh contraire little ones, teeth brushing is not a chore. It is a pleasure. God! I am so grateful for the invention of tooth paste. I never understood how anyone could forget to brush their teeth. I mean, don’t they feel the sugar coating their teeth, the meal they just finished sitting in their mouths, or at the very very least, smell themselves in the morning? Seriously.
2. The Shower. Every night, okay not every night, but most nights, my kids shower or bathe. You would think I was leading them to the torture chamber. They fight who goes first. They cry to put it off. And washing hair? Somewhere in between a major inconvenience and major tantrum. I don’t get it. Honestly, I’d never leave the shower if they didn’t come banging on the door because they were hungry or tired of throwing things at each other. Never.
3. Reading. How do they not get this?? I mean, okay, once I get them into a book or am reading to them, they’re generally engaged. But oh the drama to get them there. You’d think my saying, shut the games and pick a book was like sentencing them to hard labor. Come on, babies, for the love of imagination, exploration and escapism, read, read, read!!
4. Sleep. “But Moooooom, there’s no school tomorrow! Can we pleaseeeee stay up soooo late?” is a frequent request while I’m droopy-eyed, cranky and longing for my snuggly bed. “We’re not tired!” They chant. And I think, are you f’n kidding me? You’re up at the crack of dawn, racing like ferrets on crack. Don’t they see that the later they stay up, the meaner I get? Also, we paid a lot for those Pottery Barn beds and mattress, get in them!
5.Vegetables. Apparently if it’s green, it’s gross. Except for M&M’s or those Lucky Charm marshmallows. Uh, not that I buy that crap. They must have eaten it at a friend’s house. But getting them to take one bite of broccoli – that they can dip in ranch dressing, hummus or have covered in cheese – is harder to accomplish than everything else on this list. For me, green is a solid 50% of my diet. I love salads, broccoli, spinach, sugar snap peas… all of it! Yeah, I’m not telling you the other 50%.
Looking over the list, I realize that all five are part of the basics of everyday life. They hate them. I love them. The real differentiating factor between us is age. So basically what I now conclude is that I’m old, maybe a little uptight, and possibly boring. But at least I’ve found something that we can all agree on.