Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Off With Their Heads

Ever had one of those days where you wanted to wield you Mother power and banish every last one of your monkeys to Siberia?

That was yesterday around here.

One none-too-satisfactory progress report.

Five dentist appointments--seven cavities.  Not a bad ratio, but when you consider that those seven cavities are in only two mouths (two are Micah's) . . . And four of those cavities are in Hyrum's four permanent six-year molars. Remember Hyrum and the dentist? Now five more cavities and no sealants on his permanent teeth. Not a happy mom.

Add in Evie's experience. Eve had forgotten everything she'd learned six months ago about the dentist. She refused to even get into the exam chair, crying and carrying on. After a lot of coaxing and encouragement (and a few firm reminders from her mom), she eventually let them clean her teeth a teeny bit. By this point, she was a mess. I dropped her off at school with her little goody bag from the dentist in her hand. It was 9:30 am.

At 12:30 pm, I received a call from the school.

"Evie's teacher called and said that she's been teary and unhappy ever since she came back from the dentist, and Teacher thinks she needs to come home for the rest of the day."

In all of my years parenting, this call was a first. She was too . . . unhappy? . . . to stay at school? I was on my way back to the school with the little boys (because everyone knows that dentist offices can't possibly schedule all of the kids at the same time), so after signing them in, I walked into the nurse's office. The nurse happens to be a friend of mine (a handy asset on more than one occasion), and she smiled and nodded towards a chair under the window. There sat my little kindergartner (the same kindergartner that I was lamenting just two weeks ago that I wish could stay home with me), with a hesitant, questioning smile on her face, backpack and lunchbox in hand, ready for me to take her home. I knew that nothing had happened at the dentist that morning that warranted her coming home from school, but I also knew that I didn't want to set a precedent of her being allowed to pitch a fit and come home whenever she didn't want to be there.

What did I do?

Well, I sternly walked her to the Suburban while telling her that girls who can't stay in school for the day must need a nap. That was a low blow for my big girl who is a self-proclaimed big girl who doesn't take naps any more. Tears were shed and feet were stomped, but I never relented.

Twenty minutes later:
Ninety minutes after that, she was awake and a new girl.

This whole shy/change-averse stuff is new for me. How do other parents handle it?

To top it off, we had invited friends over to our house for dinner and Family Home Evening (for info on FHE, click here). I was not as prepared as I had hoped (meeting with the builder about the cabin took longer than I anticipated), and dinner wasn't quite ready when they arrived. After eating, we all sat together in the family room to look at pictures and listen as Steve told us all about his mission--to the Peru Lima South mission. All five of my kids were wild and distracting and crazy--even more than usual--and I was ready to bean each of them with a pea shooter.

Do you ever get embarrassed as the mom? That describes my day yesterday pretty well. I was embarrassed that I couldn't get Eve to calm down enough for a two-minute teeth cleaning. I was embarrassed that my kids are wild and noisy and not always kind to each other.

By the time our friends left, the two oldest were sent to the kitchen to clean, while all three of the littles got on pjs and were tucked into bed (after some strict teeth-brushing instructions and supervision).

As for mom?

I was in bed and asleep before nine.

The miracle?

Just like Eve after her nap yesterday, a miracle occurred while I slept.

I loved my kids again this morning. I helped the boys practice and made lunches. I commented on my cute daughter's outfit and told her I couldn't wait to hear if she'd gotten a solo in choir. I hugged by man/son as he headed out the door to the temple.

It was a miracle. The beauty of motherhood is that kids forgive and there's always a new day in the morning, one unsoiled by poor decisions, bad behavior, and rotten teeth.

But they will be home at 2:15. Wonder how long this can last?


  1. Love this post!!!!! That is exactly how I feel!


  2. Oh my, how I remember days like that! Now I listen to Katie while she has them. And you. I, too, am continually amazed at what a good night's sleep (or even a nap) can do for your attitude and view of life. It's almost always life changing. Luckily, we DO love them again the next day!

  3. Hi. I've been reading your blog for awhile - found it through another one - and I never comment, sorry! BUT after reading this one I had to. THANK YOU for being honest about your day. THANK YOU for what you wrote because I feel "embarrassed" most of the time! LOL Always feel a little better after I've read what you've written. THANKS!!

  4. Love the way you reacted to Evie with the nap. You are a good mom.

    And isn't that what children are for? Equal parts pride and embarrassment?


  5. i have ventured into the beginning phases of school life and it is definitely different. always love your perspective on life and motherhood:)