Post #119: How To Avoid Brushing Your Teeth, by Leo (Age 3)

It’s like this.

The first and most important thing if you’re trying to get out of brushing your teeth is avoidance behavior. Master this art and you might never have to brush your teeth again. Parents play tough, but they all have a breaking point, and it’s all about knowing how to find it. You might run away laughing, for instance, and then turn that into a game which will prove aggravating and distracting since it’s the opposite of what you’re being asked to do. This might even result in a time-out, which will totally prolong or maybe even negate having to brush. Milk this set-up by crying a lot and pretending the time out makes you really sad and upset, all the while thriving in the glory of having abated the dreaded brushing. Another thing to do is simply pout and yell “no” when they tell you to brush. They hate that and might get caught up in the logic of your tone or responsibility or disappointing the dentist or some shit. All I’m saying is there’s lots of ways to play it. Be creative. Try some different stuff out. And if you ever find yourself really stumped and desperate, just shit your pants. Chances are you’re fresh out of the bath and have clean jammies and diaper on. This will immediately draw their ire and distract them away from you brushing your teeth.

But let’s say you can’t avoid it and your parents are feeling stubborn. In that case, just play dumb, man. That’s my policy. The more you make it look like you don’t know how to brush your teeth, or stand still, or stop babbling, the better. Just go deep into that pose like Daniel Day Lewis or something. What I like to do is just chew on my toothbrush like it’s Bubble Yum. Sometimes I don’t even hold the handle. I’ll just chew on it like a country bumpkin on a piece of wheat. Don’t move it around or anything. And whatever you do, don’t make any kind of a swishing, back and forth motion or they’ll just back right off and make you do it yourself. The more inept you make yourself seem, the more likely that one of them will just swoop in, say “here, let me.”

Whatever it takes, really. I don’t sweat the judgment or how it might make me look, either. I’ll save that shit for when I’m older.

Send any suggestions.

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