Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So Much For Groovy Grape

My eight year old "typical" son gives me a hard time about not liking the taste of the new toothpaste. It's grape, which is the only flavor he generally tolerates. I'd never dream of getting something as heinous as "mint" for him. Or berry. There'd be hell to pay.

I'm tired and I just want them to go to bed already.

"Seth, you dislike it, and that's fine but you're being kind of a baby about this. It's grape. You like grape. And even if you don't like this one, it's not going to kill you."

My daughter Riley who has been busy brushing her own teeth cringes as if I'd smacked Seth. She has Asperger's and is very sensitive.

"Mom," she squeaks, "Don't you think you're being a little mean to Seth?"

What must it be like to have skin so very thin?

Just then, memories of my own childhood sail through my mind. And I think of all the children in the world who are truly suffering. And what little empathy I had for Seth's toothpaste plight flies out the window. I look her in the eye,  

"No Riley. Actually I don't."

Turning my glance to Seth I say firmly,

"Deal with it." 

They exchange glances, solidarity against Mommy Dearest.

And I marvel how tonight this is their biggest problem. What lucky, lucky kids.


Michelle O'Neil blogs about life at She just joined Twitter this week, and suddenly can't think of a thing to say. @FullSoulAhead. 




  1. It is so hard sometimes to come up against the "suck-it-up-and-get-over-yourself" memories of our own childhoods and have empathy for our own kids, isn't it? I often struggle with knowing what is "mean" and what isn't given my upbringing, and too often I have erred on the side of giving in to my kids.
    I can't tell you how many different tubes of toothpaste we have in our house, thanks to the flavor preferences of kids :(.

  2. I see your point but I don't agree with calling your son a "baby." It's a bit immature to stoop to name calling. Poor kid probably would expect that at school from his peers but not from his own mother.

  3. I love you and everything about you.

  4. They are lucky kids! To have a mom that doesn't back down just because they don't get their way! Good for you mom! I personally like the way you handled yourself. You let your son know how he was acting and let your daughter know that even she couldn't come to his rescue in this instance, and you never lost your wits about yourself! You remained calm which is hard for many of us by the end of the day especially! Teeth have to be brushed, like the groovy grape or not!! Go MOM!!

  5. Floortime Lite MamaJune 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    So very very very true !
    Your post made me smile

  6. Love this post.....and can sooo relate!

  7. When I was a kid during the Pleistocene Era we had one type of toothpaste in the house that was used by all the family members. I don't recall anyone complaining about the taste or texture because there were no other options on offer. It helped that the grocery store didn't have an entire aisle devoted to a panoply of whitening, brightening, fruit-flavored, organic, imported, holistic, vegan, sports star-approved toothpaste. Part of the problem with life today is that there are too many options and a head-spinning variety of products from which to choose. This leads to discontent and the feeling that if you just find the right brand of toothpaste your family's happiness will be assured forever, which is exactly what product marketers are hoping for.