Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toothbrushing battles

Sophia starts school in January and there is one thing that I dread when it comes to sending her to school.

Can I send her to school without brushing her teeth?

I will promise on a lot of things that I will make sure that her teeth are brushed when she gets home.

I need to battle with Sophia for half an hour every morning to brush her teeth

A typical conversation goes like this

Me: Sophia, after you brush your teeth, you can feed the snails
Sophia makes a beeline to the snails and tags husband
Sophia: Daddy, I want to feed the snails
Me: Sophia, I said after you brush your teeth
Sophia: Daddy, can you open the door, I must get leaves from the gayden to feed the snails.

My choices are as follows: a. Stop the snail feeding and get her to brush her teeth or b. Let her brush her teeth after she feeds the snails.

Wimpy confront avoiding mother that i am, I choose the second option.

The snail feeding goes on for fifteen minutes.

Then the kid follows me to the bathroom

Sophia: Mummy, can I take a bath with you?
Me: You havent brushed your teeth yet
Sophia: Mummy, can you take off my dyess?
Me: Are you going to brush your teeth after taking a bath?
Sophia: Mummy, dont wash my hair okay? Wash onuly my body okay?

I have heard of selective attention, but I have never seen it manifest at this level

Another fifteen minutes

I lose patience.

Me: Sophia. Brush your teeth.
I settle on the bed and settle her with me
Sophia: I am climbing on you

Selective attention again

Me: Right, now about that teeth, if you dont brush, you cant have milo
Sophia: But I want milo now!
Me: Then brush your teeth now!
Sophia: But I am very very hungy!
Me: Well, if you had brushed your teeth five minutes ago, then you would have had Milo before you were vei vei hungy!

I get her brush. Sophia does a very elaborate circus of wanting to brush for herself and then getting toothpaste all over the mattress and my hair and everywhere else besides her teeth.

Then she grabs the toothbrush (sans toothpaste) and shoves it into her mouth for ten minutes.

"DONE!" she says

"Can I see your teeth?"


"There is a brown spot over there!"


"This corner"

She pushes her toothbrush into the corner and scrubs it a couple of times.

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