I recently purchased an electric toothbrush, yes my first ever. ‘Big deal!’ I hear you say.
You see, I’ve always been a bit of a traditionalist in the toothbrush stakes, happy to pay $3 for one every 3 months or so. But on the advice of my persistent dentist, I splashed out and purchased the device that has since brought me more pain than pleasure on many fronts.
Firstly, who knew these gadgets cost so much! I was only ever going to shell out for the standard shop brand (which turned out to be on SALE, (score!) for a total of $11, but holy cow….the leading brand was going for a whopping $54! But, who’s to say we should put a price on our health right, so we’ll move on.
Secondly, the thing physically makes my brain hurt. Is it supposed to do that? The whole vibrating and whirling sound on top of that makes me feel like an idiot. A mute idiot that usually draws a crowd of my two mesmerised toddlers followed by a swift jibe from my husband. And, at 6:30 am and 9pm at night, I’m pretty sure the whole neighbourhood can clock my hygiene habits. It just ain’t pleasant or discreet.
Finally and most importantly, it tests my patience. Yup! I thought this THING was meant to make the whole arduous task of cleaning ones teeth, just a little faster. Instead, I find myself willing the damn thing to speed up even more as I impatiently stand in front of the bathroom mirror with a vibrating vision of myself staring back, thinking of all the things I have to do.
I usually end up jamming the vibrating brush about my mouth, the same way I might with a regular toothbrush in the belief that I’m double timing the whole process, thus getting a better clean. Instead I end up frustrated, irritated and a little disorientated by the whole experience.
But, it has forced me to ponder just how impatient I can be at times (ok, most of the time). A simple morning and evening ritual has been my undoing. I can’t just stand there and let that THING do its job, I have to prompt it, poke it, push it on its way. I’ve got things to do, places to go, people to see.
If I’m honest, this is me a whole lot of the time; the need to be in control, the one doing the steering, the person making the plans and being organised and on time. And you know what, it’s tiring and not at all good for me (or my gums so I’ve recently discovered).
Patience is a virtue (as they say) because of the very fact that it is so hard to accept. It means letting go, giving in and slowing down. All the things I don’t inherently like doing. Some circumstances however, provide us with opportunities to learn to accept this virtue patience, and beat that heavy-weight Frustration, into submission.
Since having kids, I’ve been forced to let go as a matter of self-preservation really. You may as well leave your angry face on full time, if attempting to plan anything with kids. Twin toddlers especially are a sure fire recipe to test even that most patient of mothers.
I love my boys for so many reasons, one of which is the many (daily) ways they coax me (sometime literally kicking and screaming) into becoming a more easy-going, less anxious Mum. After all, they don’t give two hoots about what other people think.
They’ll happily strut around butt naked, shouting out some unintelligible command, waving a banana peel about the place, while I’m madly trying to get them into the car, on time, for what was meant to be a pleasant outing to go goodness knows where, to see goodness knows who.
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it. If I wasn’t so worried about other things to do, other people to meet, other places to be, then maybe I could just let these moments of frustration go and ride the wave of patience. If not for my own good, then for the good of those around me.
So on that note, I’m going to persevere with my electric toothbrush. I’ll accept that I don’t enjoy it, but maybe allow myself to become immersed in the intricate process so much, that all thoughts of people, places and things melt into thin air….or vibrate themselves out of my brain. Either way, I’m counting on having damn clean teeth.