“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

thomas toothbrush

If “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is a true saying, consider my son anything but spiritually sound. See, Daniel cares nothing for hygiene. I know he is a kid and appearances are not high on his radar, but he basically opposes any such activity that could quite possibly groom or cleanse. He will, however, let me wipe his nose, and that remains the ONLY thing I can do without major protest. He use to brush his teeth kindly, but recently even that has fallen by the wayside. This little purchase above, however, has turned out to be a bit of a lifesaver recently.When I saw this Thomas the Train music playing toothbrush on sale at Target last week for 2 dollars and 9 cents, I snagged it quickly, for I imagined that it just might provoke my little man to clean his teeth;  so far, so good. He will brush (often including some sucking of the ‘toothpaste’) for the length of the song, which is 2 entire minutes. Although he does not have the best technique, at least he is putting a toothbrush in his mouth without wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Since day one, bath time has basically equaled disaster at our house. He has never liked them. As of now, he will get in the tub to play with his toys and bubbles, but when the true purpose of the bath, the cleaning, comes around, he adamantly opposes. Tears, snot, and shouts usually persist from the first touch of the washcloth until we pull him out and wrap him in his towel, at which point he is happy again.

Today, I was firmly reminded of how much the kid hates getting his haircut. I would, in complete honesty, just forgo any haircuts and let his hair get shaggy, but he does NOT have cute beach boy hair. Instead, my son has several cow-licks and crowns in the back, compliments of his daddy, that simply require trims. Fortunately, I have been going to a lady from church that has a business at her house. She also has 5 kids to call her own, so I know she is use the the kicking and clawing that commences from Daniel at the first sight of the clippers. He had progressively been getting more relaxed with each visit, and I had high hopes for today, thinking he would finally be over the chaos. Instead, it was our worst visit yet, and I had to hold him in my non-existent lap, try to breathe as he hugged my neck ever so tightly, whisper in his ear that it was okay, get covered in hair, get kicked in the shins as he squirmed and squalled, and watch him gag as the hair stuck to his snot, open mouth,  and tear covered cheeks. At least the hairdresser did not injure herself, which has happened before at another store. Nothing helps to make a situation like that better than an added dose of blood from the professional. After it was all over, he ate the Cheerios she gave him and watched a cartoon on her TV like nothing had happened.

Fingernails are clipped only when he is asleep, for he will not allow it to happen when he is awake. Cleaning out his ears only means screams of “OUCH!” expelling from his mouth, even before you get the q-tip in a general proximity of his ear. Attempts to tame the wild aforementioned cow-licks are met with full speed sprints away from the comb and gel while cries of “Hurts! Hurts!”  echo through the house. Visiting the doctor……well, I will not even go there, just know it is not fun in any way shape or form.

If you think I am exaggerating for effect, I assure you these are not hyperboles. This is my son, all boy, in contempt of all hygiene. Often we laugh as we continue with the cleaning;  other times we stop and try again later, not pushing our luck too far. Sometimes we, mainly I, will throw hands up in utter frustration.

Daniel, despite all the avoidance of cleanliness, does sleep quite amazingly each and every night. He naps like a pro. He pees in the potty like a big boy.  He eats like a champ. He listens well (most days/times). He plays hard and loves harder. He is generally a very good child…….just don’t ask him to let you scrub behind his ears!


5 thoughts on ““Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

  1. Oh, so funny, but I can only imagine your life as a mommy of two boys. I bet you can’t wait to see if Wesley will have the same aversion to hygiene! Good times!

  2. This reminds me of a commercial from years ago, when two brothers are sent to take a bath. Mission Impossible music begins playing, as they artfully pull out small bags of dirt to dump in the tub to make the water dirty and fool their mom into thinking they are clean.

    Good luck moving forward. Hope your spy skills are up to snuff!

  3. Ok, Summer, it’s warm enough to pull the trick my dad played on all 4 of us (much to my mom’s dismay) – Mr. Bubble in the wading pool!!! We thought it was a blast to swim and splash in bubbles, Dad hosed us down afterwards. Mom only guessed it because the wet swimsuits hanging over the edge of the tub reeked of Mr. Bubble. But Dad had 4 clean kids all tucked into bed by that time!!!
    Maybe Daniel will go for it if it’s “swimming” not “bathtime”?

  4. Awe! A bathtub full of toys, lulled into a sweet sense of security – then poof – someones pouring a bucket of water over your head! He’ll love it in about a year! Wait till baby brother gets in there with him. Grab a chair, a good book, kick your feet up on the tub and enjoy! There’s nothing like the sound of laughter echoing in a bathroom!

  5. Don’t worry. My boys are the same. I have to hold Luke down to cut any of his nails and Josh looks like a little bald man thanks to the fit he threw while getting his hair cut. It can be a hit or miss on the brushing of the teeth. Boys will be boys! They live in filth and don’t care. I hope Lucy will be a little bit better.

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