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.
This is so funny. I applaud you for giving her the chance to do it on her own AND for having the mommy courage to revoke her rights when necessary 😉
This reminds me of my friend when I was a kid. She would run the shower, but sit on the toilet and read a book so her parents thought she was showering. I thought she was a genius! Kids are gross creatures…haha!
it’s funny because my son was never gross and now he almost chokes us with the AXE and body cologne he got for Christmas 🙂
Is your daughter 11? My son is going through this phase and it’s painful. I insist that he wash his hair when it smells like cheese. the teeth-brushing, well, all of it, is essential. We learned he has a fear of the bathroom at night so now we have music playing in there when he’s in the shower and he sings when he’s brushing his teeth. They still have sweaters on them, but they’re more like cashmere than shetland wool now.
no she’s only 8…. it gets worse? OH Lord help me 🙂
When my oldest son started kicking me out during the beginnings of his independent streak, I just told him to “wash well.” I didn’t specifically say, “WASH YOUR PEN*S.” So, uh, he didn’t. For awhile. Until, well, now I say, EVERY TIME, “WASH YOUR PEN*S” from outside the bathroom. (Word edited so you don’t get spam, not because I don’t say the real word, LOUDLY, in the hallway. heh.)
Ha that’s funny! Penis, penis, penis….such a silly word.
I was totally Miss Gremlin. My mom hated it. I was a tom boy who needed to play in mud not soap! For a busy girl there is not enough time in the day for all that cleaning business!
Good luck… ; )
Love that you’re letting her…be herself! I’m not there yet with my daughter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she evolved into a Gremlin over time.
Ha ha ha! Coming from someone who’d still be brushing her 31yrold son’s teeth if she could cos she would be more thorough, I admire your approach! I wasn’t the helicopter or hover mom, I was the (s)mother mom according to my kid and yeah, I TM’d that phrase! I wish I could have been a bit freer but maybe that’s why he moved to the east coast so I couldn’t. hmm, i’ll have to think about that.