OK, I’ll admit it. When my kids were little I had real trouble with some of the more minor aspects of child-rearing.
It was about all I could do to dress four little children, feed four little children, and keep four little children alive. I could not plant a garden, I could not make my own baby food, I could not clean up every Lego on my floor ( sometimes, when I was really tired, I just vacuumed them up—don’t tell Luke). And I did really badly with helping them brush their teeth. Most of the time, I put a little toothpaste on the brush and told them just to chew on it until it was gone. Then, when I got around to it, I gave them a drink to rinse and all was well. (And no, they don’t have a lot of cavities—with the exception of Cole—c’mon, he was the last kid—we probably ran out of good teeth genes by the time we got to him—at least he’s cute!)
Another thing I never did was cut their fingernails and toenails. I just didn’t. Don’t judge me.
Sometimes I could talk Brent into cutting those little tiny nails. I did do the cutting myself once when Luke was very small—well, relatively—Luke was always pretty big—and I cut his finger. and he wailed. and I felt sooo guilty. So guilty in fact, that I never attempted the task again—even three more kids later.
Luckily, my children learned to be nail-biters—for their hands—and nail rippers—for their feet. Now the problem was solved. Not pretty, but solved. And unluckily for them, they had to unlearn this nasty habit when they were able to groom themselves, i.e. cut their own nails.
Oh, and I rarely cleaned their ears. I figure the ears do a pretty good job of cleaning themselves—-and you know, Q-tips are not to be used inside your ear (what on earth are they for then?). When necessary, though, I rebelled against Johnson and Johnson and used a Q-tip on one of my dirty children’s ears. Apparently my youngest liked it when his dad or I spent time on his personal appearance because one time, when he was just a wee little boy, he came up to me sweetly and said, “Mommy, could you cut my fingernails and toenails and clean my ears?”
And I said yes. How could I resist a dirty little boy with overgrown nails?
So there. I hope that makes all of you overworked, underslept, slobber-covered mothers feel better about yourselves and your daily accomplishments. Remember, “What would Tori do?” and then tell your kids, “If you’re good, I’ll clean your ears!”
Nothing better than personal grooming to get those dirty little, long-nailed urchins to obey! No foolin’!