Attack of the Killer Toothpaste

– Posted in: Cleaning, Losin' It, Mouths of Babes, No Good Deed, Obsessions, Punishments, Stuff I Probably Shouldn't be Thinkin', This is Supposed to be Helpful, Worst Mom Moments

Meet Marian, mother of three who’s just started blogging but clearly has plenty of material to keep her writing over at Just Keep Swimming. This toothpaste thing is such a pet peeve of mine, too. If they made World’s Worst Moms toothpaste, it would be clear and self-destructing after five minutes.

I put Molly in time out this morning for brushing her teeth. That’s right. And it wasn’t even the kind of morning where nobody could do anything right and I was slapping kids in time out left and right just to get them away from me. It was just a normal (kids being no more crazy than usual) morning.

Let me begin by saying, my standards for my house are not high. I live with 3 kids. My life is constantly 1 step forward, 3 steps back. While I am putting away one set of toys, the kids are getting out 3. After we’ve spent 30 minutes cleaning a bedroom I hear all the toys being yanked back out while I am closing the bedroom door and walking away. If I couldn’t tolerate living like this, I would be a miserable human being. I grudgingly traded neatness for happiness.

What does this have to do with me putting Molly in time out for brushing her teeth? That is a fair question. Although my standards have significantly lowered in the neatness department, I do not like living in filth. To me, this is the difference between having a kitchen counter littered with last weeks mail versus having a kitchen counter covered in coffee grounds.

That being said, toothpaste is one of my “crazy” triggers. Although I accept toothpaste is necessary:

1) Why can’t kids get toothpaste out of a tube without smearing toothpaste all over the tube and cap?
2) Why does it have to stick to everything it touches?
3) Why does it have to be bright blue?
4) And why does it have to taste so good that my daughter is constantly brushing her teeth to satisfy her sweet tooth?

My four-year-old toothpaste taster is incapable of getting toothpaste out of the tube without making a mess, usually bright blue, in the bathroom sink or all over the counters. This leads me back to question one and restarts my vicious toothpaste hate cycle.

As much as I hate toothpaste, curbing Molly’s love of toothpaste and therefore tooth brushing is something I try very hard not to do. I go behind her and clean up globs of blue goo (mumbling things she shouldn’t hear under my breath) because I think it’s awesome that I have a kid who brushes her teeth 5 times a day.

That being said, as I was putting Molly’s breakfast plate on the table I heard her announce from the bathroom that she was going to brush her teeth. I calmly called, “Please don’t brush your teeth right now.” (Why must she brush her teeth right before breakfast when she will be brushing them in 15 minutes after breakfast???) Molly said, “I’ll be fast Mom, don’t worry!” (as if speed was at all a factor in my request) To which a more forceful, “Molly, do NOT brush your teeth right now” was delivered. As I walked toward the bathroom she rinsed her toothbrush off, hopped off her stool, and with a huge blue goo smile on her face announced to me that she was all done. And so Molly ended up in time out (mostly because she chose not to listen to me) but also because that huge blue goo smile sent me to my crazy toothpaste hating place and someone needed to be punished.

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12 Comments… add one

Andrea April 19, 2012, 1:05 am

Oh dear! I am just trying to figure out why a 12 and 14 year old can't figure out how to rinse the pink toothpastes spit down the drain! Ugh!
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@TaraBurkholder April 19, 2012, 2:00 pm

Girl, I am RIGHT there with you. My main thing is trying to teach my daughter not to be wasteful. She will use about 3 lbs of toothpaste in one sitting if no one is supervising. I'll come in there and find it smeared all over the sink, counter, faucet & mirror. I don't even want to know what she's doing in there. I thought if I got her toothpaste that tasted bad, she'd be less inclined to use as much, so I got Tom's Natural Toothpaste. It made her vomit so that didn't work. She also overuses shampoo. I swear the way this kid goes through toiletries I should buy stock in Unilever.

Erika April 19, 2012, 9:35 pm

I understand. I clean my two boys' bathroom and the counter has toothpaste globs on it within 24 hours. I've tried telling them it's SO much easier to clean up when it's fresh but they still haven't learned. Ugh!

I was going to suggest Tom's toothpaste also, like Tara above me. Or that gross baking soda toothpaste…but then your daughter may not brush AT ALL. :/

just keep swimming April 20, 2012, 1:07 am

Oh man, if your 12 and 14 year old can't figure that out then I guess I'll be waiting a few years for my 4 year old.
At least you don't have to worry about your husband too!

just keep swimming April 20, 2012, 1:10 am

The waste thing is totally annoying. I have to deal with that with my oldest. I'm always pointing out when she is being wasteful and then I feel old like my grandparents who would say "back in the depression…"

just keep swimming April 20, 2012, 1:12 am

I don't think gross toothpaste would turn my little one off. Today I found her brushing with hand soap. Ah well….
I have started forcing my older one to wipe down her own counters and deal with the messes she leaves behind so she can get an idea of how much extra work she is making. It feels like that lesson might take a few years to sink in.

ludicrousmama April 23, 2012, 7:35 am

I got pump bottles for things like shampoo and hand soap. My rule is "You only need ONE PUMP." (And really, half a pump or less will do ya!) Mentadent makes a pump toothpaste too!

ludicrousmama April 23, 2012, 7:37 am

Oh yeah. I tried to get my daughter to help clean. She ended up flooding the counter! She discovered she could bounce the water off her hand from the faucet directly onto the counter. Gahhhh!
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Melissa August 16, 2012, 1:53 pm

I have to supervise my 4 year old when he brushes his teeth because otherwise he experiments with putting stuff in the sink and making a huge mess as a result. Since I've started supervising him, toothpaste stays on the toothbrush instead of on his clothes.
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Wombat Central August 25, 2012, 12:12 pm

Sing it, sister! We are forever having the conversation about removing errant toothpaste from the sink THE MOMENT IT HITS THE SINK so we don't have to break out the power washer to get off the petrified globs.
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goingonCrazy March 17, 2014, 5:13 pm

I am so glad I’m not the only mom who suddenly turns into a raving lunatic over toothpaste… it is usually the wasting of an entire tube in a day because they just like to do that.. tonight was because they were taking turns spitting at the mirror with toothpaste “foam”. I can’t stand this and have no idea how to stop this!

Tammy April 11, 2014, 10:50 am

Ugh! The funny thing is, I totally remember doing toothpaste foam as a kid and having a fabulous time. But it’s different when you’re on the other side of it.:P
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