Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Morning West Coast Re-Post

I got nothing. I clicked on one of those LinkWithin thingees at the bottom of my posts yesterday, though, and pulled this up. It made me laugh, and lord knows, I need those.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Extreme Parenting and Teeth Brushing

After my shower this morning, and while I brushed my teeth, I started thinking about parenting. My father sent me and my sisters the article about how French parents are better parents, and I read it with a sigh and then deleted it. I saw it pop up on Facebook and then on blogs and now it's a book or something and everyone is talking about it and it's making a million dollars while legions of American parents, mainly mothers, are debating again whether they're doing it right or doing it wrong. I'm going out on a limb this morning to say that these debates bore me to no end, in the same way that I'm bored by the agonizing over breast-feeding or Tiger mother parenting or working mothers versus non-working mothers and all the rest of it. I'll admit to possessing one of the ultimate trump cards (parenting a disabled child which makes nearly every other kind of parenting sort of a walk in the park, as they say), but I'll also admit that my parenting Sophie is a walk in the parkcompared to the parenting of the Sophies of Bangladesh, perhaps, or the myriad children all over this country and the world that are far sicker or more involved, and while I know it's all relevant, in some ways it's not. There's perspective for one, and my belief that it's my responsibility to have some. Do I begrudge the writing of another blockbuster book about the parenting tribulations of the upper classes? Am I jealous? These are the things I thought about as I paid special attention to my back molars, dreading the visit to the dentist on Monday and the tut-tutting of the hygienist when she asks whether I've flossed since my last visit. I started thinking about the self-esteem wars -- important for our children to have it or not important? -- and that led to the giving out of trophies for nearly everything and how that sends some parents into a parenting tizzy. What are the repercussions of a child receiving a trophy when he's an abysmal athlete?  That thought segued into my own son Oliver's collection of trophies, half of which are not his, but which he acquired at a yard sale down the street when an unfortunate married couple went through a terrible divorce and divested themselves of nearly everything they owned. You can read about that here. I have one of those electric toothbrushes that buzzes and changes subtly every thirty seconds and while I usually only brush for 23 or so seconds, today with all this heavy thought, I got to the two minute mark and was awarded with an extended vibration and a smiley face on the panel. I thought about that, too, and how here in America, the U, S of A, we're given pats on the back for brushing our teeth for two minutes.


  1. You know what? I remember reading this and now I think about you every time I brush my teeth with the electric toothbrush. Which is every night almost.
    Funny what the mind retains. And not-so-funny what my mind does NOT retain any more.

  2. I often think of how parents manage in third world countries manage with disabled children. I imagine a lot of the children die. I imagine Katie would be dead by now and she doesn't even have any medical problems. She was really sick twice when she was younger. Katie is a champion vomiter when she's sick and she would have died of dehydration without medical intervention. Same as these past three months of cellulitis. A lack of antibiotics and I imagine she would have died or have become even more disabled.

    Good job on brushing your teeth Elizabeth:) Snort.

  3. I had not heard about the French and their parenting skills. And I don't want to. Wasn't there a book about French women not getting fat? They sound just about fucking perfect.

    Fuck the French and their books that make the rest of us feel less than.

    Sometimes I just wet my toothbrush so my husband thinks I have brushed my teeth. (I get tired!) I know this a ploy done by a 5 year old.

    Fuck brushing your teeth and the little smiley face. Next time just leave it running while you go pee. That will show that smiley face!



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