I’m going to admit right here, that right now, I’m failing as a parent. I didn’t realise this until the the other day when Miss Gremlin walked through the door from school.
Her hair was super scruffy and in her eyes, in desperate need of a wash and trim. Her shoes were falling apart, the hem of her pants were ripped and torn like those pants that are too long but nobody bothers to hem… Her white shirt, although still white was stained like New York snow.
Upon closer inspection, she was a bit stinky and the fuzz on her teeth was like a furry peach.
Ok, I know, at this point you’re judging me so hard I can feel it. Don’t worry I’m judging myself too and I had to give myself a serious talking to. I was trying out the independent parenting track.
She wanted to wash her hair unsupervised, kicking me out of the bathroom these days so I can’t help. And I figured at this age she was getting to know what she was doing. Her teeth brushing was another area she wanted to be a big girl. I’ll admit I was happy to not be involved with the ablutions… I’m not a fan but turning a blind eye to the truth of the situation must stop ….. and right now.
Don’t even get me started with the disgusting feet, with the whole family gagging every afternoon, she would be sent to the bathroom to wash her feet. I discovered that she wasn’t changing her socks everyday. I don’t even want to know about the underwear situation…….denial is the best option there.
I’ve been near the stinky kids, and although you try so hard not to let it affect you , you can’t help but judge. Why does this kid smell? What’s wrong with their parents? How can they not know?
So now I’m that parent. I have the stinky kid. The horror of this realisation is an eye opener, what else am I slacking on, how could I have dropped this ball so badly?
She wanted, no insisted, on this independence but she’s not ready for it. I have to take the monkey back……
I have lovely white teeth, I’m always tidy and reasonably well kempt. It’s how I was brought up…. and now I’m failing and failing in epic proportions to pass these skills on, well to Miss Gremlin at least.
First thing I did was have a meaningful discussion with her about the importance of person hygiene. I didn’t hold back with the truth of the stink or how people will avoid her…. Embarrassment is a tool I’m not afraid to use. Clean socks and underwear are non negotiable, EVERY day, and I’m gonna check.
The next thing was get that hair washed properly, a big mum wash ….. and complete rinse and comb through. The screaming wasn’t too bad thanks to the detangle spray. After the wash and comb through, we trimmed the fringe so she could actually see… she’s been complaining of sore eyes……. I’m going with the hair in them as a cause.
I’m not frightened to send her back 2 or 3 times to get her teeth right and some mornings I will go in and do it myself….it seems the only thing that works.
I’m gonna be checking on her, every day and making sure she’s not the stinky kid and that in the process she learns how to have pride in her appearance, no matter the style.
I hadn’t really thought that I’d dropped the ball, I just thought this was independence….It’ll come but it’s not here yet and so she will just have to let me in the bathroom for a little longer.