Brusha brusha brusha
This picture really has nothing to do with the story.
“Mom, can I have a mint?”
“Oh, me, too!”
“Yeah, and me.”
I handed the little jeweled tin back to the boy who asked me first. They all managed to help themselves without arguing or spilling the mints.
One of my sons, who will remain anonymous, told me, “I have four mints in my mouth.”
“Wow!” I said, trying to sound enthusiastic, yet wondering what was the big deal for someone who regularly has twice that many pieces of gum in his mouth at any given time. “Is that some sorta record?”
“No. I just forgot to brush.”
“You forgot? How do you forget to brush!?”
“Well, I got up late…” I recalled what time he got up and the things I witnessed him doing in the 45 minutes between then and when we left for camp, which included watching a T.V. show, and admiring his silly band collection.
I asked one of his brothers, also unidentified, “Did you brush?”
“I brushed, Mom!” The last unnamed brother announced proudly.
“Yes, I’m glad to know that, honey.” He and I had a conversation about brushing the night before, when I had quoted a phrase from my former dentist’s wall, “God gave you teeth; you best take care – you’ll have to buy the second pair.” (The “pair” part always bothered me but I like the gist of it.) He’d told me he was “too tired” to get back up and brush, and promised to do it in the morning, which he did – I saw him.
To the other two, I asked, “When was the last time you brushed?”
“Do you even remember?”
“Well, maybe two days ago?”
“Gross! What about you?”
“Yeah. It was two days ago,” he confirmed, but I wondered if that was an under-estimate akin to the answers we give when the pediatrician asks how many hours a day the T.V. is on, or when the treadmill at the gym asks “body weight.”
What? We were busy!
“Yeah, we’ll brush tonight. We promise.”
“No matter how busy I might be, I still make time to brush.”
“But you get to stay home all day, Mommy!”
Do they assume I am sitting at home in my pajamas watching Nickelodeon and eating toaster pastries (which is what they would be doing if they could)?