He crawled into bed with me this morning because he had only seen me for five minutes here and there all weekend.
K: Good morning, Ethan. I missed you. How was your weekend?
Ethan: Great, Mom. Dad bought us crackers with sugar on them.
K: Technically that is high fructose sugar but I saw them. Did you like them?
Ethan: (sighing) It was so great, Mom.
K: I know. What else did you do?
Ethan: Mom. We did what you said when you called. We didn't burn the house or even have to get stitches.
K: That was great, Buddy. Thanks so much for doing that for me. Did you brush your teeth yesterday before you went to bed since you had those crackers?
Ethan: NO, Mom. I don't like to brush my teeth.
Derek does the bath/books/bed every night but the teeth brushing seems to elude him and I don't know why. I mean, every single night as the kids are playing in the bath, he flosses and brushes his teeth while he is in the bathroom with them. How complicated is it to lean over into the tub and scrub, scrub, scrub the teeth that they have? If you are brushing your own teeth, why not the teeth of the three children less than three feet away from you? I don't even expect you to use a different tooth brush.
I was fascinated when I saw Kate Gosselin in her kitchen with the 8 tooth brushes lined up on the counter (and don't try to tell me you never watched the show). She made some remark about how she knew people were going to mock her for brushing her children's teeth but at least she knew her kids had clean teeth. Personally I chose to mock her for using 8 different tooth brushes (you could probably get away with 3 or 4 and just throw them out every 6 weeks) and for brushing the teeth in the kitchen. There are a lot of things I will do in my kitchen but brushing my teeth or the teeth of the ones I love is not on that list.
Fast forward to the Highly Public Dental Checkup and Cleaning Episode and hygienist after hygienist "oooh"-ing and "aaah"-ing over the excellent condition of every child's mouth. Looks like you had the last laugh, Kate. Well played.
So now, I too brush my children's teeth. At night I trudge up the stairs and load up tooth brush after tooth brush with toothpaste. I lean past my husband and brush, brush, brush. But what about the spitting, you ask? Let's be honest. Two out of three children swallow the toothpaste so there are no worries there. Third? Here's my hand. Nasty, yes. Effective, yes. No toothpaste on the pajamas after, YES!!! When I am away? Crusty teeth. But back to the conversation.
K: Ethan, if you don't brush your teeth, you will get cavities.
Ethan: I know, Mom. But it's okay. I have TWO sets of teeth. These ones with cavities will just fall out and then I can get new ones. And if you get cavities, you just go to the dentist and get them fixed anyway.
I blame DORA, who in her infinite childish wisdom in attempting to keep kids from fearing the dentist in her going to the dentist book, successfully convinced children everywhere that getting cavities is FUN and when you get one fixed, you get a sticker. It's not the first time Dora has annoyed me and it won't be the last.
K: Ethan, if you don't learn to take care of your teeth now, your second set of teeth might fall out too and there are no more teeth after that.
Ethan: How about fake teeth? Wait. If my teeth fall out, then I can get FAKE TEETH??? I can get fake teeth. I CAN'T BELIEVE I CAN GET FAKE TEETH!!!
Along the way, something just got lost in the conversation and there was no way to get it back. I guess brushing your teeth is just something you have to do because the consequences angle is clearly missed by some kids. Or maybe it's just mine?