Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unnecessary translations

Will you adopt me?

Mostly I don't like thinking about the lowest point you can reach as a parent. It's a dark place that doesn't often take kindly to humor. It can also be like poking an injured creature with a stick.

It is neither nice nor necessary.

Although this parent's more respectable cousin (also known as Mother Of The Year) has witnessed her lowest points at dental practices all across America. It is here that we find out how much damage we've done with our permissive ways.

"Oh. What? ... How many cavities? Does she even have that many teeth?"

The dentists always tell you not to take it personally. It's not an indictment of your parenting abilities. It could be genetics. But we know by their wide-eyed smiles that THEIR kids have perfect choppers.

But that initial defeated feeling isn't the lowest point you can reach.

You shrug, accept and then you resolve to do better. You've tried to get them to brush properly. You've employed timers and flossers and toothpastes of all flavors, but it's not enough. You've tried to be diligent, but you fall just short of trying your best. You know there's always room for improvement. At least that's what you've been telling the kids.

Disappointment fades to forgotten.

No, you hit the low when your kid ... happily sitting in the examining chair watching a movie ... asks the dentist the most important question of all:

"Will you adopt me?"

And as you fail to translate what he really meant by the word "adopt" you succeed in feeling the sharpest truth of what was said: If she did adopt him, at least he'd have better teeth.

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Blogger Just One Foot said...

THANK YOU! I thought I was the only parent who felt this way. Every cavity feels like another notch in my bad parenting belt. We DO try, I promise!
Thanks for this post! It made my day, since I just got back from the dentist with my ten year old, who has a lot more silver in his mouth than any child with good parents should. :)

May 20, 2011 at 7:51 AM 

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