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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Falling Through The Cracks

The change in my relationship with Big A since the consultants were here is amazing. She really does seem to respect me more and even enjoy my company more. The challenges have not gone away, but they are much easier to manage. For example, she did her usual routine this morning of refusing to put her clothes on, using every excuse in the book and begging me to get her dressed (something the consultants said I have to stop doing altogether). I often have given in because I simply don't want to deal with a tantrum at 6:30am. This morning I told her she had to dress herself. Period. She whimpered and whined and resisted and even yelled at me, but eventually, after about 25 minutes, she was fully dressed. Later, I told her how proud I was of her that she dressed herself and she said, "I'm proud of myself." I guess that says it all.

I took Big A to the dentist for her bi-annual check-up yesterday. Everything looked great when the hygienist and dentist cleaned and checked her teeth, however, x-rays showed 3...yes 3!!! cavities. They are between her teeth, so not visible on observation. I am devastated. I didn't have a cavity until I was 18 years old, and that's the only one I've ever had. I feel so guilty because it's our responsibility - a 4.5 year old can't be expected to take care of her own oral hygiene. We brush 2x a day and almost always floss at night. But I am sure her diet is to blame. No, we rarely allow junk in the house, but even "healthy" foods can be terrible for teeth. I think her breakfasts are particularly bad. She eats her gummy vitamins (candy) and then often cereal (high fibre but also high sugar) and then she likes to have whole grain toast with honey (sugar and complex carbs, which are both bad for teeth). Snacks are often raisins or other dried fruit and/or fresh fruit. Again, nutritious but bad for teeth. The other problem is that I brush her teeth before we leave for school every morning, but then she gets there and has the snack they are serving and then goes until bedtime without any brushing. Arg!

And now I'm super worried about Little A's teeth because she was introduced to teeth-destroying foods far earlier on than Big A because (1) she was super picky, (2) I was too overwhelmed during her first year to care as much, (3) dried fruit snacks are her FAVORITE and have been since she was very little. Little A also won't let us brush her teeth at all. She grabs the toothbrush and sucks off the toothpaste and then flings it on the floor. She rarely will let Adam or I get near her mouth with the brush. And I can't tell you how often she eats dried fruit before bed (she can devour like half a bag of Craisins!!). I feel like the worst, most irresponsible mother ever. Poor Big A has to go back to the dentist on Monday to have her teeth drilled. I am very worried the whole thing will traumatize her and her former willingness to go to the dentist will disappear. What a mess...