Time to Brush Your Teeth
Amor has heard me tell Mica time and time again that it’s time to brush her teeth. Apparently, being from Mexico (where dental hygiene education is not stressed in the schools or by the government like it is in the USA) and from a family with nine children of a single mom, this was not something he heard a lot while growing up. Also, Mica’s cousin, Hope (whose mommy is also from Mexico and from the same family) has had serious dental issues. For this reason, I’ve always stressed the importance of oral hygiene to Mica (out loud) and explained why she needed to brush, floss and rinse and what would happen if she didn’t. I even wrote an English/Spanish song about it to sing to Mica and Hope each morning and night! I have found that educating my children out loud is a very good method of educating the adults around me without offending anyone or sounding preachy. (Uh oh – I’m giving up trade secrets here).
Mica and Amor know where bad breath comes from. They’ve heard me talk about good germs / bad germs enough to make them sick! So naturally, after the babies were born, rule number one was: wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before handling the babies. But people don’t just handle babies, especially people in my family. Their little baby heads, cheeks, hands, neck and feet get kissed all over. It wasn’t long before we noticed some visitors and family members whose breath was less than desirable. Theorizing that bad breath equals bad germs, Amor announced that anyone handling babies not only needed hand sanitizer, but also must brush his or her teeth first.
This turned out to be quite an impractical demand. I would be alone with the babies and get stressed out. By the time I would ask for help, I usually needed it immediately. Grandma or Mica would say, “Okay, but I gotta brush my teeth first!” Then I’d be there with babies both needing something and me being unable to help them for another two minutes. Two minutes may sound trivial but it is an eternity in “double baby crying” time. Finally, I told Amor we had to get some gum with Xylitol. We put a little bowl in each room and by the front door (replacing the value pack toothbrushes purchased for visitors) and began to simply offer people gum.
I even had to resort to chewing gum instead of brushing a time or two. There have been days that I literally did not have time or available hands for brushing. Other days I’ve brushed multiple times because I couldn’t remember if I’d brushed them earlier or not. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “Time to brush your teeth.”
Double Talk Quote: Baby Brooks was choking, and Amor was going to use an aspirator called the “Snot Sucker” (sounds gross but it does have a filter!). Amor had just woken up and was obviously not thinking clearly. Before he started to use the aspirator, he said “Wait – should I brush my teeth first?” “Don’t you think we should get him breathing again first!?!” I snapped. It was such a serious situation but at least we can look back on it now and find some humor in it.
Relatable Lyrics: “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP4cfU28vM
Verse: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:10
Word that has lost its meaning: Free Moment
(written at 6 weeks)