I try so hard to not feel "guilt" in my life. For the most part, I do a good job of letting things go. Yet, like Mike said last week, "It's funny the things you let get to you, and the people you allow to make you feel guilty."
He was referring to the dental hygienist at Joshua's most recent check-up.
Joshua had 9 cavities.
Yes. You read that right.
Out of 20 teeth in his little five year old mouth, almost 50% of them have a cavity.
I'm sure I've mentioned before that I feel like a crummy mother every time I take my children to the dentist and I'm reminded that we don't floss our teeth everyday. This last visit took the cake though. The hygienist, who I know is much further behind me in mothering years, proceeded to tell me that children shouldn't snack. And if they do, they should brush and floss after each one.
Yes! I let her make me feel guilty over the fact that if my 5 year old eats some scrambled eggs at 7:30am, I let him have a snack before his peanut butter sandwich lunch at 12:15pm!!!!!!
And gasp! We don't brush our teeth after that peanut butter sandwich. And maybe not even after the snack he'll then have 4 hours later when he comes home from school before dinner 2 hours later.
And some nights, we don't even get our teeth brushed before bed! Some nights it is just too much between getting pajamas on, attempting to have a family prayer, making sure children do required reading minutes, and making sure the frequent bedwetter has gone potty more than once.
Incidentally, I felt much better when sharing my guilt and my ashamedness over a 9 cavity child to a few of my friends. One of which is a dental hygienist and one, the wife of a dentist. And guess what??? The dentist's wife said their children never floss their teeth. Even my dental hygienist friend with her perfectly straight and white teeth says she doesn't floss that often.
After that, I tried to let go of the guilt and instead focused on the positive.
The time alone in a waiting room for three visits of an hour plus each that I sat and read a book or magazine of my choice uninterrupted.
The fact when the dentist brought Joshua out to me, Joshua wobbled and tripped over his own legs like a drunk man from the effects of being under laughing gas for a while.
The laughter I heard from all of the children, especially Joshua when he tried so hard to do his trademark ear-to-ear smile, with a numb mouth.
I didn't even think about asking him to brush (or floss) his teeth.
And I don't feel guilty about it either.