EVENT 1 – GIRL
Last month I noticed that my daughter had straight up bad breath. I don’t know if she had eaten something on that day or thrown up or was curdling limburger cheese in her cheeks but it was foul. Rank. Rancid. She’d come and sit on my lap and start to laugh and I’d have to turn my head, dry heave a little and then hold my breath to smile at her. Thankfully, this problem went away… probably in part to us initializing Project: Brush Your Teeth.
We weren’t sure how it was going to go over, handing our children toothbrushes laced with strong toothpaste tasting toothpaste. We braced ourselves for the worse; they were going to hate it. That was the bottom line… but children have a funny way of surprising you.
After watching us brush our teeth their whole lives, both kids were excited to dig in and start the process. Every morning before I go to work, I say, “C’mon! Let’s brush our teeth!” and both children chase me into the bathroom shouting, “Teef! Teef! Brush! Teef!” I run my daughter’s brush under the faucet and I put on just a squirt of toothpaste on before handing it to her… and then watch as she jams the whole thing in her mouth and begins sucking the flavor out of it. There is no brushing. There is no scrubbing. There is no cleaning. There is only eating toothpaste off of a toothbrush like Fun Dip
I try to teach her the technique but she doesn’t care to learn. As they say, you can lead a pony to the bathroom sink, but you can’t make it brush. She just nibbles on the bristles and drools down the front of her shirt. I say, “All done. Let’s rinse our mouth out” and I watch as she climbs onto a step stool their mother has purchased, which allows the both of them to lean into the sink for just such an occasion.
She turns on the sink by herself, sticks the tooth brush under and then, when I try to take it from her, she squeals and screams and I have to wrestle it out of her slippery grip, vowing that I must find a better way to end this routine. I cup my hand under the running water and hold it up to Quinn’s mouth. She bends down and drinks it all. I take the leftover water and rub it in her hair, messing it up and inflaming the curls.
I notice she has more hair than me.
EVENT 2 – BOY
I like my coffee like I like my women, which is to say, ground up and kept in the freezer.
No, I’m just kidding. I keep my coffee in a dry cabinet under the sink. I try to mix up the brands, buying a different bag every time we head out to the store. This month’s soup de jour is Trader Joe’s brand. It’s simple, cheap, tasty, and I can buy it in a bulky silo shaped container that seems to never go dry.
Coffee drinkers are creatures of habit. Every morning, beans, grinder, hot water, coffee. Next day, rinse and repeat. Children, likewise, are also creatures of habit, whether that be for the better or worse. My son knows that every morning before I go to work, I make a cup of coffee. I kneel down next to the cabinet where I keep the endless supply of The Brown Goodness and shout out, “Roar! Hey Roar! Buddy! You want to help dad make some coffee?” and no matter where he is or what he’s doing, he will drop it, just like Lassie, and come running to help.
He screams something which does not sound like coffee but which I am sure probably means it. I pull out the silo, pop the green plastic lid and he crinkles his nose up, showing me that he wants to smell it; a trick I’ve taught him. I lift up the container to his face and he buries his whole head inside and inhales deeply a few times like Frank Booth in Blue Velvet.
I walk him through every step as I’m doing it, every day. The plan is that he’ll be making the coffee in the next year and a half. See, I’m thinking end game here, folks. I tell him, “Pour the beans into the grinder”. I do so.
“We gotta plug it in now”. At this point, I bend down and I say, “Help Daddy push the button. He can’t do it alone”. He reaches out and the moment he touches the button, I crank on it and the grinder goes off, wwhhhrrrrrrr, and the beans turn to dust just like that. He gets excited and lets go and then presses it again, trying to rev it up like someone might do with a motorcycle.
My daughter runs and hides behind my wife’s legs and comes out after a small amount of coaxing. I say, “Share, Rory. Share”, and he does. Soon all three of us are grinding beans together and then I’m out the door.