Sunday, September 30, 2012

How we brush Alice's teeth.

As much as I try to be on top of things for Alice's care and well-being sometimes things slip through the cracks. Luckily for us, some of those slightly neglected areas develop quite naturally and with no planning or foresight whatsoever. For example, Alice has teeth now. Three full ones and bits of four others, all of which should be brushed seeing as though she is eating food and they are, you know, teeth. For whatever reason it didn't really occur to me to brush them until I read an article about how dentists are having to preform root canals on 4 year olds and then BANG! I thought, "Well crap. Why didn't I realize that I should be brushing Alice's teeth?" It's not like Alice had a mouthful of never-before-brushed teeth or anything, at the time she just had one peaking through, but when I began researching toothbrushes for babies it turns out that all along I should have been brushing her gums with my finger or a washcloth to get her used to the process. Now, to me, this sounds like a horrifying idea. Alice never accepted anything to suck on but my pinkie and until very recently Alice's mouth and my pinkie were fused together by some sort of comfort-lock bonding system, so the idea of the rest of my fingers logging in mouth time is just too much. Even now when she rarely wants my pinkie, it is still withered and cracked from months of abuse and overuse, shaking at the very idea of being called back in for active duty of any kind. Here is what saved us: I put Alice in the sink sometimes. She loves to watch me get ready in the mornings and gets frustrated being on the floor, so I pick her up and sit her in the sink while I stand behind her and put my make up on. She watches me in the mirror and plays with some make up brushes and other things on the bathroom counter including, but not limited to my tooth brush. We have been doing this sink-sitting routine long enough for Alice to develop quite a fascination with my tooth brush, which is electric and makes a fantastic buzzing sound in addition to spinning wildly left and right in one brush and then up and down in another brush. Alice has been watching me brush my own teeth with it (not from her sink seat) and I tell her what I am doing all the time (think, 'Alice this is a toothbrush, I use it to clean my teeth-like this: ahhHHHHHHHH *brush* See?'). And then one day Alice grabbed my tooth brush off the counter and put it in her mouth. And then I turned it on. And she laughed because it tickled (this kid is soooo my daughter). Pretty soon she was brushing her own teeth for the entirety of my getting ready routine, so I decided to get her her own electric toothbrush, which came with stickers to put on, one of which was a lion-perfect. The best part of Alice getting into dental hygiene is that she makes the 'ahhhHHHH' sound each and every time she handles her tooth brush. It is so funny to be putting on eyeliner and look down at those big blue eyes begging me to switch on her brush and then hear this 'ahhhHHH' as she brushes her ever expanding collection of teeth. The only problem with the whole process is getting her to stop. If I switch off her brush she pulls it out of her mouth and looks at it for a second before scrunching up her face and whimpering in complete sadness. Buy stock in batteries, people. I think we'll be going through a lot around here... 

Post bath Alice and her new best friend, joined at the mouth. 

 Alice has also begun getting into dress-up. This is Tim's 'hair-styling' hat (don't ask). Just like Adam on Northern Exposure. 

Here is an apron my mom made me. Alice pulled it down from it's spot one day and handed it to me. So it put it on her and she walked around, clearly delighted for nearly an hour. Now if she sees it she takes it down, brings it over and waits patiently while I style it on her. 

 She also enjoys whisks. 

Oh my god, so grown up, right? She starts walking and suddenly I have a kid on my hands. 

 You may be wondering about the bow. I took it off the back of her winter coat (see the video below) and strung it on some fabric, not thinking she would wear it. But she did. Serves me right. Pablo did the same thing one time with a pink bow tie.

More dress up. She laughed herself silly over this hood when she looked in the mirror. These beads are her very favorite though.  My grandmother gave them to me when Alice was born, so they are special to both of us now, apparently. My grandparents were traveling and camping through the Redwood Forrest when I had her and they bought me the necklace (made from redwood) to commemorate the moment. I made the mistake of wearing them one day (count 15 days ago) and I can't get them back from her. I have had to take them off her sleeping body even because she wont let me take them off her while she is awake. They are the first thing she looks for every morning when she wakes up and thinks they look lovely with her Pajamas. 

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