Tried hardest to get the youngest to brush his teeth last night.
For what seemd like the millionth time he thrashed and wailed, and basically made me feel like Laurence Olivier out of Marathon Man.
Then my wife decided that she would take it upon herself. I had won plaudits from all sources the week before for getting him into a sleep pattern, and presumably she wanted a piece of the Purposeful Parent action.
So she rummaged around in the playroom (which was supposed to be The Family Room, but the boys just laughed) and found a small hand puppet, one of those that sets off small subconcious triggers whenever it stares at me.
Using this puppet, she proceeded to place the toothbrush in it’s paw, and then put on a squeaky voice. Of course I laughed. ‘Isn’t this what they do with trauma survivors?’ I said.
‘Shut up’ squeaked the puppet.
The puppet then began to brush the teeth of the youngest. Did a good job too.
And that is how we now brush his teeth. No gnashing and wailing. No Laurence Olivier. Just straight down the line brushing.
Tooth decay affects half the children under five in the UK. I had read this in a paper the day before the rude puppet arrived. I was alarmed. My boys are beautiful but they wouldn’t be with yellow teeth.
So I took the puppet by the paw, shook it. This got really silly. Now I’m introducing new characters to the scene, the nightly mini-dramas where the boy always gets his teeth cleaned at the end.
I don’t care. There is nothing worse than the low self-esteem that comes with a poor smile, and because little ones don’t know any better, it was time to take charge.
Try it. If your little one(s) don’t like brushing, break out the puppets. If you feel silly, just remember, gaps in the teeth only look good on babies.