Quid Pro Quo
November 10, 2015
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I assume my son inherited his love of manipulative tricks from me; something I rank with the purchasing of a lovely sweater for an obscenely low price. Since we first started the routine, Little Man’s tolerance for having his teeth brushed has ebbed and flowed. We are currently experiencing an ebb that has been moderately excruciating, but maybe that’s because I am pregnant and the prospect of holding an increasingly heavy little man in my arms while I attempt to free his mouth from overnight halitosis is onerous in the best of conditions.
In an effort to prolong the inevitable, Mr. Man cuddles his mommy, burrowing his face into me with a hearty snuggle to avoid any objects thrust in his mouth; not exactly a state secret that Mommy will always accept such initiatives no matter the dubious rationale. At this point I’ve taken to sitting on the toilet and awkwardly hanging my son upside down, forcing his mouth to open so he will reveal his partial set of pearly whites.
A couple of days ago my son started insisting that he brush his own teeth, so I wait as patiently as a woman holding two children simultaneously can be while he chews on the bristles…and every other part of his toothbrush. Mr. Man loves a good joke, which is what his smile indicates whenever I point out that the area his mouth is engulfing is not purposed to complete the task at hand…this would be cute if my belly weren’t becoming cumbersome and son didn’t have the weight equivalence of a baby moose…
This morning Little Man had a novel approach, one of the variety, “We’ll see how much you like it…,” before attempting to force his thoroughly gnawed hygiene tool at my mouth with gusto. I turned my head to each side barely avoiding my son’s excited efforts; I wasn’t about to have that thing shoved in my mouth… But, necessity breeds invention, so I lift the three of us off the toilet and journey to the master bathroom. Grabbing my toothbrush I make myself comfortable on what has been dubbed my throne. Allowing Mr. Man to brush my teeth with my toothbrush, we took turns, and finally, I can set him down.
My son wastes no time scooping Sally, his Dr. Seuss looking stuffed whale that is literally half his size, into his arms for a tight hug before launching her into the shower…He learned from somewhere that whales like water. Consequently, one must always check before running a faucet. While my son has his belief system, I’m of the mind she is less than enthusiastic about such an environment. One thing is for certain, a solid tooth brushing experience doesn’t sour Little Man’s disposition; he is still prioritizing his friend’s comfort in the absence of his own.