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The Bug Returns


My daughter didn’t want to leave the house. She didn’t want to get dressed, and she was ‘not ready’ to have breakfast.

When she point blank refused to brush her teeth, I felt the approach of a dead-end. I had already given her time-out for making a mess of my bedroom. So I suggested that we give her teeth time-out. But we were unable to ‘remove’ them from her mouth, and she found the whole endeavor way too funny for a weekday morning.

So I sighed, and headed for the bathroom to brush my own pearly whites. My daughter followed close behind, re-stating her refusal to brush hers. As I stood there, toothpaste foaming in my mouth, a ray of hope entered my mind. I realized that I could use the Bug Trick.

There was a risk that my daughter would recognize a re-use of an old ruse, but I decided to take the chance. I took my brush out of my mouth, looked up at the ceiling, and said, mustering up as much surprise and interest as can be mustered at 7:15 in the morning, “Oh! Look! A bug!”

My daughter was instantly engaged. She spun into action, looking all over the bathroom ceiling for the (phantom) bug. While she did this, I quietly took out her brush and added toothpaste. Then I gently turned her face to mine talking all the while about the possibility that the bug had flown into the kitchen. As I brushed her top teeth, I wondered out loud if perhaps the bug was hiding. Then I moved swiftly to her bottom teeth while outlining a plan of search. I handed her the cup of water which she deftly rinsed, spat out, and ran into the kitchen.

She looked for the bug a while longer in the kitchen and living room, and we concluded that it must be hiding. As we headed out the door, we decided to search for it again this evening when we got home….

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Tom | July 1, 2006 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Redirection. The cure for everything.