I have blogged a grand total of 7 times this year. It’s April, this is unheard of. I’ve made every excuse under the sun. I’ve been busy, scribbling ditties elsewhere, doing stuff, being other places; but the hard truth is I’ve been blog blocked. I’ve had something to write about that has been burning me up inside but I couldn’t. I’ve felt guilty, I’ve felt failure and I’ve felt shame. Time has passed and slowly, the stress has ebbed away and I’ve been able to talk to specialists and other people about it. I’ve discovered it wasn’t my fault, I’m not to blame, I did nothing wrong that hundreds of parents aren’t doing right now but the guilt and shame burn.
Someone new told me they were reading my blog this week and I wondered why they were bothering, I mean, I haven’t been here for months! So I came and looked at my stats and the posts people are reading. I was astounded. People still come to this little corner of the internets and read my shit every day! My stats are nothing to write home about in the scheme of things and as I don’t interact with the ‘Mummy blogging’ world very often, I don’t suppose my readership is ever the same person twice but someone comes…
I was touched, really… and I thought to myself, why are you not blogging? My answer again was, I’m blog blocked, unless I get this shame off my chest and out there I may never blog again. So I’m going to do it. Don’t judge me too harshly, I never saw this one coming and I honestly wonder if you have either…
My daughter is an angel, yes, so she has her moments but as a parent I really ‘don’t know she’s born’ as they say. People point out this is to my credit, I’ve worked reasonably hard (without getting all stage Mum) at this parent malarkey for 5 & half years and she is a darling (I’m biased I know). I love her unreservedly as any mother should and I always try to do what is best for them, I guess this is why this whole teeth thing bites so hard.
Last September we visited the dentist, just as school was starting, the dentist advised me that my girl had a tiny cavity in one of her back molars and to take care of it. Anyone who knows my personal hygiene routine will know that I’m obsessive about teeth brushing. After enduring two sets of orthodontics and having to still wear a retainer at night (attractive fact about me not many people know ) I am almost OCD about caring for my teeth, I brush, floss and mouthwash at least twice a day, I only have one filling (last month) and still have 2 baby teeth. Installing a good dental hygiene routine in my smalls has been very high on the agenda. So I was horrified she had a cavity! They rarely have sweets, fizzy drinks are far and few in between and never coke. No added sugar anything really.
At the same time as this School were hammering her with healthy eating, no chocolate (rightly so) in the lunch box, I even wrote a post about it, so thinking I was doing the right thing I started buying those rather cool fruit smoothie drinks, you know, the ones everyone loves (and me, it has to be said) with the rather brilliant fridge magnets, you know, the ‘really good for them’ ones with the ‘part of your 5′ a day tag. Healthy stuff that. I’m a good Mum I am *hangs head in shame* It’s not just those, she has always been a fruit magnet and would still prefer a bowl of grapes to jelly and ice cream and good on her!
Most children would have been fine, my son got the same, he’s fine. I drink it all the time, I’m fine.
Not so my little Angel, she has very weak teeth enamel and her teeth disintegrated. Well two of them did, her top ‘D’s. Ironically not the tooth we had been warned about. Food started getting trapped in the cavities and she started feeling pain. Pain that I helped create. It took 4 months for this to become a very painful problem.
I know you are probably sitting there thinking I’m being melodramatic about this. I can’t stress to you enough how guilty I feel about my baby feeling this pain, having to go through having the remains of the teeth removed under anesthetic. If I was to explain to you graphically what it feels like to hold your child’s hand as they go under anesthetic, to hand them over to other people to put right something you helped go wrong. I’d never be able to capture the feeling in words. I can’t explain with enough forcefulness how terrible this made me feel, I’m supposed to keep her safe and look after her. Yes, I’m whipping myself. I think I deserve it, though I am coming to terms with it.
Every single dentistry professional has shaken their head and said, fruit is a real danger to enamel. As we parents are encouraged to make our kids eat their 5 a day to be ‘healthy’. My daughters reception class gets free fruit for snack, I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has over looked the acidity issue, the possible damage it can cause. Yes, of course they have to eat fruit! I’m not saying stop but did you know that a simple swish around the mouth with water can significantly reduce the acid, thus reducing the risk? I didn’t know that. Perhaps I’m naive.
My little girl is a trouper, she has come through this amazingly, she screamed for 30 minutes after she came around, mostly because she was scared and then she wanted to go to the park.
Slowly, I’ve been pulling back the pieces of my smashed up stress head. I know I’ve been intolerable to be around and I’ve lost a few friends in the process due to being at the end of my tolerance. I’ve opened up to a few people and I’ve been astounded by how many of them have said they have been through this with their children, or been through it themselves. People who I know look after their children extremely well. I’m believing again that perhaps I do okay at this Mum thing and getting this out into the blog is a major step forward in being able to take ownership of my feelings. I don’t suppose it will ever go away… Not completely, but then I’m a mother and this comes with the territory.
If just one person reads this and thinks, I need to be aware that fruit, whilst an excellent healthy choice, needs consideration, I will be thrilled.
This was a hard post to write, the fact that I have written it is a leap forward for me. I hope to be here more often.