Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Toothbrushing X Tattling

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. 

6 comments:

kagrupe said...

OMG--I thought Carleigh was the only one who roamed around brushing--seems she's in good company!

jbear97 said...

I'm glad to know that roaming while brushing is not only done in my house!!!!

fariedst said...

uhm i roam while brushing my teeth....
oops..

hallcjm said...

MMmmmmm pie is correct. Yet it rots your teeth.

You are not alone is Land of the Toothbrushing Lost.

momdeplume said...

I have learned to brush my teeth whilst almost nekkid, because I also like great gobs of toothpaste, and if I brush while dressed, I go off with large blue bubbly spots on my clothes and on my face.
Wait....did you mention PIE????

mazeway said...

You can be the toothbrush drill sargeant.  Get a timer, set it for however long it is one is supposed to brush one's teeth--a minute?  Two?  twelve?  I'm a bad judge of time.  And you can stand in the door way, shouting "Back, forth, up, down!" like a flouride-enhanced aerobics instructor.  Oh!  Or you can threaten to sing the "Brush, brush, brush your teeth..." song if they don't do it right.

"spicy" toothpaste was the bane of my life for ages.  Finally, they'll use the fargin' Silly Strawberry and shut the hell up.  Have you tried Burt's Bees kids?  It costs more per ounce than crack, but apparently has better cavity prevention.

As for the tattling...I'd give the old "Are you telling me to get him into or out of trouble?"  Maybe she's genuinely concerned about his dental hygiene?  I'll let you catch your breath.  But confront David about it later, when she can't get her delicious, delicious pay off pie.