The 5 stages of brushing a toddler’s teeth

If you have ever tried to brush a toddler's teeth, you will totally understand, and most likely sympathise, with what I'm talking about. We're currently in the midst of the war with our daughter and twice a day, we go to battle.

Here's a breakdown of what that's like:

Firstly, there's denial - you can't help but feel hopeful that maybe this time is will be better. Maybe, finally, the phase is over? You just have a feeling that this evening, she's going to open her mouth on request and let you have a good old brush of those tiny teeth and the bedtime routine will be harmonious and delightful.

Then comes anger as you quickly realise that's not the case and that your child has once again turned into a squirming, writhing eel with a mouth that seems like it's being wired shut. You try to keep a lid on your frustration and use your calm voice as you attempt to apply some reason to the situation.

And so comes bargaining. You hear your increasingly wheedling voice as you plead with the little darling monster to please just let Mummy brush her teeth a little bit. Or would she like to do it herself like a big girl? How about we do it together and see who can do the best brushing? No, you'd rather laugh at me maniacally and wipe your toothpaste all over the bed instead? Are you sure?

The last of your hope slips away and you welcome the familiar gloom that follows. You're failing as a mother, your child will have rotting teeth, nursery will wonder why their breath smells so bad...Where did it all go wrong?

And finally, you take a deep breath and smile down at your charming offspring who's now looking like butter wouldn't melt as she tries to pull her own pyjama bottoms on while saying milk in that cute questioning way she does when she knows what's coming. There's no point worrying about it, this is not a major disaster in the grand scheme of parenting. Tomorrow's another day, things will be better tomorrow...right?

Sleep. Repeat.

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