I have to say straight up that I don’t have the answer to this, I was sort of hoping you might provide it. I just wanted to have a moan.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about the sheer relentlessness and futility of parenting. It came about from a discussion about teeth cleaning. I was complaining that I couldn’t get Belle to clean her teeth properly, and confessed that I had got to the point where in all honesty, I just don’t care any more.
I have been nagging one child or another to clean their teeth/tidy their room/wash their hands/turn lights off for SIXTEEN YEARS now and I am bored of it. I am absolutely sick of it. I never want to do it again.
“Pop and clean your teeth before you go then,” I’ll say to Belle before she leaves for school.
“ARRRGGGHHH!” she’ll wail back at me, stomping off to the bathroom. “I’ll just be LATE then shall I? Is THAT what you want?”
*forced deep breath on my part*
“I’ve done them,” she says, reappearing ten seconds later.
No! No you haven’t! You clearly haven’t!
Why don’t they just listen??
Why, when I have told them 27,394 times, do they still just ‘forget’ to do such simple things or think I’m so stupid I have no concept of the passing of time?
It makes me want to punch myself in the face out of pure frustration.
I know that if I were a Proper Parent I would willingly nag for as long as it took, caring only for their dental health, but sod that, they’re not my teeth are they? Both of my children are old enough now to understand why they need to clean their teeth, and what will happen if they don’t, so why should I waste the precious handfuls of sanity and patience I have on reminding them to do the same thing every single bloody day?
What I don’t understand either, is that the lengths she goes to to convince me she really has cleaned them – like switching the toothbrush on so I hear the buzz, running it under the water in case I check to see if it’s wet – are surely just as much effort as cleaning the damn things in the first place.
*takes long, soothing breath*
OK, I think I feel better now.
Is this just me being selfish and impatient? Should I be ashamed of myself for wishing that Belle would need a filling, just to prove my point, or is this just a natural symptom of 16 years of parenting?
Photo credit – Flag75*