Friday, 12 October 2018

# Perfect Parenting

It’s been a week of shining-star parenting moments for me.

Kiddo hasn't gone around with a soother during the day for a while now. About a month ago my husband and I decided it was time for Kiddo to stop using soothers at night. We totally bribed him with toys to accomplish this.

He had four soothers and traded each one for a toy. It worked well as far as Kiddo agreeing to the trade. Mainly because he really wanted these Rescue Bots. However, since he has used a soother (wubbanubs: pricey but amazing) pretty much since birth (three years of good sleep = no regrets), falling asleep without one proved difficult.

In short, I felt bad for taking away his nighttime comfort object. As a result, Kiddo got extra attention at bedtime for a few nights…and then a few more nights. Fast forward one month and we (Ok I) have created a monster. You know the kind:

-  “I need a drink of water!”

-  “I need to sit on the potty again!”

-  “Fix my blanket!”

And on and on and on. It was time to put a stop to this.

On Tuesday night, after an extra potty break and a blanket fix or two, I decided I would ignore Kiddo’s pleas for a drink of water. After all, the water cup was sitting on his dresser where he can reach it. He doesn’t need me for that. I figured he would cry and call me for a few minutes, then realise he could get the water himself and go to sleep.

That was at 8:30 pm. Two hours of crying, screaming, door pounding, and calling for Mommy later…

Thankfully my mother was visiting and able to provide moral support while I sat on the couch drinking a bottle two bottles of beer. I totally would have caved without her there to remind me that doing so would only ensure another, longer, battle of wills in the future.

At 10:45, after fifteen minutes of silence, we went in to find Kiddo asleep with his water cup balanced precariously on his pillow.

Phew.

On Wednesday morning Kiddo had a 9:00 am dentist appointment. For the first time he voluntarily opened his mouth and allowed the hygienist, and then the dentist, to get a good look at his teeth. This cooperation was, in part, due to my promise we would get doughnuts on the way home. (Don’t tell the dentist.)

At least I was able to truthfully say we’re done with the pacifiers when the dentist asked. I was totally planning to lie, had the soothers still been in use. At our last dentist appointment we got some mild flack of the ‘your kid will need braces and it will be all your fault’ variety to compliment the grave ‘it could impact his speech development’ warning from our GP.

The dentist also told us we should start flossing Kiddo’s teeth once a day as there is some crowding of his teeth (thanks to the evil soothers, naturally) that will leave him prone to cavities over the next couple of years. (Isn’t this set of teeth going to fall out anyway?) We left with some sample flossing tools—those sticks with a bit of floss attached—in a variety of bright colours.

This brings us to Thursday morning at 9 am…when I realised I’ve not only lost the sample pack of flossers, but I just sent Kiddo off to daycare without brushing his teeth.

Yeah, I’ll take that shining-star parent award now.

Other highlights of my week included the discovery that two years into owning this house, we still don’t own a garden hose. And congratulating our next-door neighbours on their two-day-old baby—all the while thinking about the fact our last interaction with them (probably a year ago) was when we complained about their dog’s 5-am barking. It occurs to me they might be avoiding us (and thinking we're dog haters).

Not only am I a perfect parent, I’m a conscientious home owner and an awesome neighbour.

Maybe now that the neighbours have a baby they’ll understand why we were so desperate for neighbourhood quiet at five in the morning…Or maybe I should bake them some cookies.

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