Careful What You Wish For

I almost shot myself in the foot today. Well, my parenting anyways.
My girls are GREAT about putting their toothbrushes away when they’re done brushing their teeth in the morning. My son; not so much.

Since my son turned 6 last June and started brushing his teeth himself, he’s been having trouble remembering to put his toothbrush away when he’s done. We have a routine every morning. He brushes his teeth, I come in to take my shower & see that he left his toothbrush out on the counter, I call him in to put it away and then he comes in to put it away just before I hop in the shower. We he comes in to put it away, I always remind him that he wouldn’t have had to make the extra trip to put it away had he put it away in the first place. I had always hoped that one day he would actually remember to put it away himself.

This morning, that routine was broken. I came in to take my shower and noticed that his toothbrush wasn’t out. I asked my husband to call him in to brush his teeth because he had obviously forgotten. Here’s how it went from there:

· Me: Sweetie hurry & brush your teeth, please. I need to jump in the shower.

· Son: I DID brush my teeth.

· Me: But your toothbrush wasn’t out on the counter.

· Son: That’s because I remembered to put it away right after brushing my teeth.

· Me: Oh wow! I didn’t see it out & thought you hadn’t brushed your teeth.

· Son: Would you like me to leave it out tomorrow so you know I brushed my teeth?

· Me: (Thrown by my obviously BAD choice of words not seconds before.) NO! No
sweetie! That’s okay. Mommy was just surprised that you had remembered to put it
away by yourself. I’m VERY proud of you. Good job! I’m excited that you
remembered. I hope you’ll remember again tomorrow! Now I won’t expect to see
your toothbrush out on the counter every morning.

(Note to self to check toothbrush in drawer for wetness every morning to ensure teeth-brushing actually happened, though.) This IS the same child who doesn’t think a 6yr old boy needs a bath…EVER.

We’ll see if he remembers again tomorrow...


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