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According to my son, I’m alternately the meanest mom ever or an awesome mom. Yesterday and today I was mean, mean, mean. P has a sweet tooth. Twenty of them to be specific. He fights me on brushing and flossing nearly every day. Without going into detail, he has a mouth prone to cavities. His Dentist has talked with him and I have talked with him about how important it is to take good care of those teeth and what the consequences could be…because it’s a candy jungle out there. Every holiday comes loaded with treats now, every class birthday treat, every reward, any “special” day, and don’t forget well-meaning relatives. I can’t be the voice of reason every time because I can’t always be there. So the rule is if we have to make any more non-preventative dental appointments he’s responsible for paying for it. See? Mean Mom.
A few days ago he was eating chewy, sticky candy and a crown came off. We had a serious talk. He went to the Dentist where they ultimately pulled the tooth because it was also cracked. He came home all bubbly because he was going to get twice the money from the Tooth Fairy- he had a crown and a tooth! I squashed that immediately. The Tooth Fairy, I explained, doesn’t bring money for teeth that come out because you didn’t take care of them. P didn’t believe me, I could tell.
The next morning a devastated P came into the kitchen, “Thetoothfairydidn’tcome!” Sob! I explained again that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t bring money for teeth that come out because you didn’t take care of them. A few of the sad, sad comments he came up with included “You let me down”, “The Tooth Fairy let me down”, ” I’m disappointed in everyone”, and my favorite, “I’m disappointed in the world.”
For three mornings now he’s come out of the bedroom grumpier than grumpy because the Tooth Fairy didn’t come. Every morning we talk about why the Tooth Fairy didn’t come and how much it cost to have the dentist pull his tooth (He will be doing some chores to “pay” for some of the cost). I’m still the mean mom, but if it means that he’ll take better care of his teeth in the long run and have a better understanding of consequences, I can live with that.