The other morning, Juliana came into my bathroom to inform me that "When David was brushing his teeth, he just stood there with his toothbrush in his mouth like this and didn't move it around AT ALL." But of course, this was tattling. And we don't tattle. But here's the thing. If he's not actually brushing his teeth, that needs to be addressed. Is there a formula wherein I can enter the variables and determine the proper amount of time that must pass before my addressing the toothbrushing is not a direct result of the tattling? (Let's see: Rule Infraction divided by Tattling multiplied by PT where PT equals the passage of time needed to disengage the action from the tattling multiplied by pi...Mmmmm pie.)
Toothbrushing is an ongoing issue at my house. First we have the problem of finding an acceptable toothpaste as David deems nearly every single one "too spicy". (And don't suggest the Tom's of Maine Strawberry because he won't use that either.) Every now and then we'll find a kind he likes and they promptly stop making it. As a result, he uses a microscopic amount. Juliana swings the pendulum in the other direction and uses giant blobs of toothpaste on her brush, on the counter, down her front, and in the sink. She enjoys the rabid dog look.
Both kids think that standing with toothbrushes limply in their mouths asking "Ham Hi Hun Het?" for 2 minutes constitutes brushing. There's nothing I like better than micromanaging toothbrushing. I clench my teeth and use my perkiest voice to remind them to Scrub Your Teeth! and Move That Brush All Around! Have we not been doing this twice a day for as long as they can remember?? (Next I'll be overseeing their breathing: Fill Those Lungs! Blow Out That Carbon Dioxide Now!) And nobody can stay in one place while they brush. They roam the house dripping foam (well, Juliana anyhow) and not actually brushing. The toothbrush becomes a gear shift and mobility must follow. Hell, the only treatment Christopher Reeve ever needed was to come to my house and have a toothbrush stuck in his mouth.