Monday, October 13, 2008

hygiene and other things that matter

I think I have rounded the corner on expecting perfection from my children.
I think.
They are just kids after all. And as I am so imperfect myself,
I try to keep that in mind while spending my life trying to shape and mold
(heavenly daystars, can you please obey me, just this once) these 3 small boys.
I think I've gotten pretty easy about picking my battles.
Because not everything I would like them to do truly matters.
Like tucking in their shirts to their school dress uniforms.
I prefer tucked in...they prefer askew, half tucked in, half pulled out
with a smudge of peanut butter located directly to the left of the clip on tie.
But this is not going to make or break them. This is what I tell myself.
So I sponge off the peanut butter, smooth down a few cowlicks
and off we go to school.
See? We're easy.
But there are a few things that we seem to have to work on on a very frequent basis,
things that matter and will get them somewhere in life later on...
things like clean underwear and teeth brushing.
These are non-negotiables as far as I'm concerned.
Several times I have come to realize that if I don't say to my sons,
"Put on clean underwear....EVERY DAY." That they are willing to let this slide.
They would be perfectly happy with wearing the same pair of underwear for a year.
I am convinced of this. And so everyday I still say,
"I don't care if you want to wear the same underwear everyday.
Out of consideration for those around you, change your underwear."
And they look at me with surprise
like this is something that has never occurred to them before.
The novelty of clean undies.
And with the teeth brushing, they seem to think that putting a small portion of
toothpaste on the tongue and flicking it around the general vicinity of the teeth counts as actual teeth brushing.
They come blow their half minty half pepperoni pizza breath on me as if to say,
"See, I am orally hygenic!"
But I have had to remind them, that no,
"You must actually use a tooth brush for more that 2.7 seconds and
you must apply pressure to your teeth with toothpaste ON THE toothbrush.
You know, that is why they call it "brushing your teeth"."
These are the battles that I fight here in my home.
And we are gaining ground. I am hopeful.
Just yesterday, the boys changed their underwear of their own accord.
Who knows by next year I may even have them clipping their own toenails.
Life is getting good.

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Leslie said...

I hate to be the one to bring this up.... but...

With boys, it gets worse. Around age 11 they decide they don't need to bathe or change clothes or wash their hands or anything else of a hygenic nature. My son would wear the same clothes everyday for a week if I let him. It's disgusting. Hopefully the girl phase will bring him to his senses, when he realizes girls don't like stinky boys.


Char said...

yeah...they do get worse until about 16 when they start taking girls out and the girls won't go if they're stinky. LOL

my nephew has to be reminded sometimes about actually using the soap in the shower instead of staring at it.

Leslie said...

Dr. Dobson says that sometimes you just dont need to fight with your kids over issues that don't affect their morality (and I argue that maybe the stinkiness will affect the boys' morality in a good way! Keep them pure for a while longer!)

As such, and being exhausted from fighting other battles with my 5 year old daughter, she went to school today in a yellow sundress with cherries on it, black yoga pants underneath, navy blue socks and her rain coat (it's not raining). She told me it is the cool thing. Works for me.

Les P

Kara said...

This post cracked me up! You have given me a real anxiousness to watch my baby boy grow up into a fine stinky citizen! Ha!

P.S. I bought the Trader Joe's pumpkin muffin mix and oh! girl! them are good!!!