Thursday, July 10, 2014

Epic Mom Failure?

 I continued on my quest to be the meanest mom in the world by "strongly encouraging" the boys (and my niece) to participate in a one-mile Fourth of July race while I ran in the 5K.

Cooper and I both secured third place.  Cooper finished third in the mile.  I was third place overall female/1st in age group.

The kids soaked sore muscles in the St. Joseph river.

Grandpa was our patriotic chauffeur!

S'mores provided a sweet end to the Fourth of July.

Cooper tried every trick in the book to snag extra treats!  Grandma is on to him!

July 5th was spent at the South Bend Zoo.  We certainly had full faith that this glass would hold!

Grandparent time!

Cooper's penalty for misbehavior: yard work!  Although he seems a bit too giddy about it!

I've heard dentists are some of the most hated professionals.  It certainly isn't personal, as I've met some truly lovely dentists.  It's what they do to sensitive mouths and the pain they inflict that tanks their popularity points.

Today I took the boys to the next worst thing to the dentist: the orthodontist.  

I hate taking my children to the orthodontist.  Why, you ask?  It's not because I'm worried about their discomfort during awkward X-rays, nor am I concerned about jitters before the orthodontist chisels away at unwanted plaque.  It's because of the guilt...mommy guilt.

When I escort my children to the orthodontist, I know what to expect.  My child will recline on the patient chair.  I'll plop down nearby.  The doctor will walk into the room, tools in hand.  He'll examine the gaping mouth, poke and prod, and then rattle off a slew of questions or comments sure to elicit guilt.

Orthodontist fiddles with teeth.

Dr:  Hmm, looks like his brushing could use a bit of work.

I squirm in my chair.

Me: I've really been working on brushing his teeth thoroughly.  We've practiced brushing teeth for the duration of the Happy Birthday song.  Next week, we're going to brush for the entire length of the William Tell Overture.  

Orthodontist doesn't look up.  He pulls out an additional instrument.

Dr:  Is he flossing?

Me:  I've caught him putting his shoe lace in his mouth.  Does that count? 

And on it goes with questions and comments that remind me just how poorly I've monitored my child's oral hygiene.  The entire time, three words flash through my mind:

Epic Mom Failure

I spiral down into this guilt-laced pit where I'm pelted with all my mommy failures.  My inner voice keeps an impeccable record of all my wrongs.  

Remember the time when you forgot to make him lunch.

What about the day he spilled his milk and you lost your cool.

Then there was the school holiday party you didn't attend.

And on it goes.

It's funny how my inner voice doesn't keep the same records of my rights.  Just once, I'd love to provide the orthodontist with this answer:

No, I didn't monitor every brushing.  Nor did I ensure daily flossing.  However, I did confirm that he was dressed and bathed for this appointment.  He's been fed.  I drove him to your office.  I secured insurance and payment.  I provided him with entertainment for the waiting room.  I encouraged his manners when you asked questions.  I held his hand when he was uncomfortable.

And when I look at it that way, epic mom failure doesn't seem to fit.  


  1. Don't thing of it as an "epic mom failure", Becky! Sometimes kids will be kids and forget to brush, or sometimes they don't even brush correctly at all. While you cannot possibly be there all the time, perhaps giving treats or rewards for an "epic dentist appointment" might do the trick in improving their dental hygiene, and having better trips to your dentist. Take care!

    Randall Higgins @ Vorhies Orthodontics