With toddlers, the simplest, most mundane tasks have a way of becoming daily events.
Take a moment to think about how you brush your teeth in the morning. I suspect it involves a simple process of putting some toothpaste on a toothbrush, brushing, rinsing and moving on with your life.
Ryan, on the other hand, has a very lengthy and detailed routine, and we must complete this routine step-by-step or all the bad things possible in life will happen to us:
- Parent says “Come on Ryan, time to brush your teeth!” and Ryan runs to the bathroom. Parent squeezes toothpaste onto toothbrush and hands it to Ryan.
- Ryan sucks all the toothpaste off the brush and then hands it back to parent. Parent brightly says, “No, you still need to brush! Keep brushing!” Ryan replies, “No!”
- Parent tells Ryan he needs to brush his teeth like the dinosaurs do. Can he brush his teeth like a T-Rex?? ROOOAAAARRRRR T-REX BRUSHES TEETH ROOOOAAARR!
- Ryan says “No!” and then pauses to really consider the suggestion for a moment before adding, “Stegosaurus!”
- Parent says “Oh, right, Stegosaurus. Brush like a Stegosaurus, ROAR!”
- Ryan brushes his teeth like a Stegosaurus would.
- Upon completion, Ryan hands the toothbrush to parent, who rinses it off in the sink. Toothbrush must then be promptly handed back to Ryan so he can tap it on the counter to rid the brush of any excess water.
- Parent then hands Ryan the cup that stores his toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Ryan peers in the cup, pulls out the toothpaste and asks “toothbrush?” Parent says “No, that’s toothPASTE.” “Oh, toothpaste,” Ryan says. Ryan caaaaarefully places the toothpaste back into the cup and then caaaaarefully places the toothbrush into the cup before handing the cup back to parent.
- Parent then puts the cup in the bathroom cabinet while Ryan yells “I close the door! I close the door!” Parent reminds Ryan that he can close the cabinet door, but he has to close it gently. Ryan agrees.
- Parent lifts up Ryan, who ever-so-gently eases the cabinet door closed.
- Tooth-brushing is complete.
In case you’re wondering, yes, we do this at night, too.