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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Toothbrush ablutions





Settling into life with two young girls has been little trouble.  Bed time happens with fair regularity.  Chores have been divvied out and get done.  Mothers of the regular age may be stunned to learn these two take care of the kitchen after supper AND sweep the floor.  Just get up and do it.  Janice is in charge of her kitchen and I don’t intend to look into her methods.

Laura’s room is so tidy and organized that some familial OCD genes may be popping out.  Emily’s room bears testament to teen age occupation, however, so there’s hope for Laura. 

When they changed last July from house guests to house kids we scrambled a little to get them up to snuff.  They can recite the number of past due vaccinations they were stuck with, I know, and we made sure there was enough underwear in the drawers, clean socks, new sneakers, stuff like that.

I did play office tag with their dentist before I was able to nail down an appointment earlier this month.  I met Dr. Bob, and he came right to the point.  Dental hygiene was in short supply in those two little mouths.  We knew our final evening admonition, “Brush your teeth,” probably was not well followed, and we were too right.

All teeth got a good cleaning, and Dr. Bob called in grandma and explained his findings.  A far better job must be done on both accounts.  Proper tooth brushing had been demonstrated and was required morning and night.  Dr. Bob told them their attention would become a good habit in less than a week.

Ah, good intentions.  They can leave like the morning dew.  Over the last couple weeks the old people in the house prodded and prompted, but young people evaded us as effectively as they evaded tooth brushing where they used to live.  As grandma parted with three hundred dollars to spring them from Dr. Bob’s office, and that was only for annual x-rays and semi-annual cleaning, grandma was not pleased.

After we all were seated and ready to eat recently, I opened the discussion again.

“There is a shortage of tooth brushing happening, as we all know.  We also know it’s a good habit waiting to be developed.  So, here’s how we’re going to do it.  You two will brush morning and night.  Before you go to school you will breathe toothpaste breath and dental rinse breath on the adult of the morning.  Before you go to bed you will breathe toothpaste breath and dental rinse breath on me. If you fail to do this one morning or evening between now and October 31st, there will be no trick or treating.”

Emily grinned, and Laura’s eyes grew round.  But now they both smell like tooth paste at bed time, and I’m sure they will sail on through and past Halloween.  Going for the habit.  And the candy.  Both of them laugh so hard about breathing on grandma, who tells them they smell better than Dewars on the rocks, that I told them I would write a blog about them and toothpaste.  And I have.  Emily will read it, as she is one of my fans.

Two housekeeping notes:  Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting.  I enjoy your thoughts more than you will ever know.  I am going to Wisconsin for a week and probably will have dogs and cats and friends to talk about when I come back.


23 comments:

  1. You are doing one heck of a job with those girls.

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  2. Well done! You are lucky Hallowe'en is around the corner ;-) Have a safe journey.

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  3. Ah how I miss the smell of Dewers in the evening!

    I hope they keep up the brushing, because missing Hilloween would be horrible.

    I'm guessing they will.

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  4. I'll be waiting to read about your grand adventures in Wisconsin.

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  5. You are truly amazing. Have a wonderful trip - we will all be anxious to hear of your adventures.

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  6. You are the perfect grandma and in years to come the girls will thank you for the insistence on tooth brushing.
    I only wish my parents had taught us better. (So many Aussies have poor teeth). We never even saw a dentist unless we had toothache that aspirin couldn't fix.

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  7. When will they get curious about the taste of Dewars, I wonder....

    I felt hard done by as a child because though I brushed night and morning I always seemed to need something doing on the six monthly dentist's appointment....until we moved house and changed dentist who wanted to know why I had all those unnecessary fillings....

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  8. I can see I will be looking to you for words of wisdom as I try to cope with just one grandchild! Congratulations on a job well done!

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  9. Emily- you have a good grandma, now brush your teeth :)

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  10. Listen up girls! The best way to avoid the prodding and poking of the dentist is to keep your chompers lovely. I had a hygenist visit on Monday, my hygenist sighed and said,"Jane I never have anything to do because you keep your teeth so clean"... I have my teeth polished to make them shiny and I'm in and out of that office so fast!
    Brushing is great but try flossing..it's fun.. I have a mini brush called a proxa brush which has a little brush like a Christmas tree..I poke in between my teeth with it after I've brushed and before floss. I'm my own dental hygenist!
    Jane x

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  11. Using Halloween as a motivator is genius!

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  12. Nothing like a good reward at the end of the road to make the travel easier. Best wishes to the kids and their new habit and you and your trip. I'm looking forward to the next post about dogs and cats and friends.

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  13. You two are doing so beautifully with these girls. They will thank you for good teeth later on I am sure. When I married Joe he was much the same(due to his frugality). I had him at the dentist in a jiffy where it cost thousands of dollars. He thanks me now and is aware in this instance his being frugal was stupid.

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  14. I just came from the dentist, two hours in the chair, needles and enough tools in my mouth to fill a garden shed for a bit of decay starting under a crowned tooth ($1500 to clean it up and replace the crown). And I've been doing a good job on the hygiene. May their lovely breath breathe new life into Grandma! Hooray!

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  15. I was surprised and sad to hear that my grandchildren don't brush their teeth every day. They told me when the slept the other weekend. I got them into brushing but you can only do so much and once they go home...

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  16. Good habits make life easier - they allow you to do what you need to do, automatically, so you can use your brain power for more interesting things :) Good going, grandma and girls!

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  17. If they slip, you can always institute group brushing, everybody brushing at the same time, adults included.

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  18. What a good grandma you are! Found your blog from Susan Kane.

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  19. My methods in the kitchen...how hilarious. You don't do your share, you don't EAT. No really, it's still your method, people RISE to your expectations just as easily as they can sink to them. I prefer rising.

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  20. What an excellent idea, regarding the candy. :-) And what a wonderful grandma you are. Those children are lucky to have you. I find that children respond well to boundaries, and regularity in a house only does them good.

    Pearl

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  21. good for you!!!!! i think this post is inspiring ..because the girls will feel good about themselves by helping with chores and better about themselves by taking care of themselves...and you are teaching them that.
    have fun in Wisconsin!

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  22. Enjoy the trip and the scenery Ms Joanne :)

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  23. That's too funny. I'm surprised no one has eaten garlic right before they breath on you. Or now I may have given Emily an idea?

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