Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pearly, Pearly Whites

Do you remember the old 70's commercials for Pearl Drops Tooth Polish? It was basically a head shot of a seductive young woman who slowly massaged her upper teeth with her tongue while moaning, "Nnnnnnnnnnn". Actually, I was only about ten years old and knew absolutely nothing about the ways of seduction; I just thought she was really into her teeth. I found an 80's version of the commercial, but it's nowhere as good as the 70's version I remember:

Diane tells a story of how she actually badgered her mom into buying Pearl Drops just so she could do the tongue thing. Whatever works, I guess, as long as you can get your kids to brush their teeth.

Anyway, lately I've felt like a very lame 21st century version of the Pearl Drops commercial. No, I'm not a seductive temptress hawking tooth polish. But I am trying to get the girls to brush their teeth appropriately. And in order to help that along, I've been brushing my teeth an average of four times daily, basically because Kyra asks me to.

It all started innocently enough. Diane or I would tell the girls to brush their teeth, they'd brush for appoximately 10 seconds, spit, rinse, wipe the remainder of the toothpaste off on MY TOWEL, and move on to the next event, usually school or bed. Since they have practically no concept of time, I decided to show them how long two minutes was (get your minds out of the gutter RIGHT NOW...besides I'm AT LEAST a three-minute man). I decided to BRUSH MY TEETH WITH THEM. So we loaded up our toothbrushes and went after the plaque. It was fun to see them mimic everything I did: I'd start high and right, and they'd follow. I'd slide over to the top front with a circular motion, and so would they. I'd spit, and they gladly obliged, usually all over the mirror. After a few times, they became pretty good brushers in their own right.

Recently, though, Kyra's become soft; a backslidden brusher. Her excuse: "I foagot how to bwush." She can be a little dramatic sometimes.

"But you used to be such a good brusher," we'd say. "What happened?"

"I don't know." Standard kid answer.

So for awhile I did the standard dad thing: threaten her, which rarely ever works, but it's our default setting, so we start there. Fortunately for me, I've slowly been learning (sloooooooowly) to take a step back and look at the situation to decide how best to handle it. That usually takes place after I blow my top and am utterly ashamed of my behavior. So I asked her what she wanted.

"Daddy, could you bwush with me?"

What can I say? She's still my baby. How could I say no. So I've been brushing my standard two times a day along with her two times a day. Hopefully as a result, my aging, slightly coffee-stained cuspids will be on their way to becoming blinding, pearly whites. Does anyone know where I can get some Pearl Drops?

No comments: