Getting the kids ready for bed is a challenge for any parent, no matter the age of the child. In our little household, getting the kids to go to bed, and wash their faces and brush their teeth, can be a struggle. They don’t want to go to bed and they will find any excuse to avoid putting on their pyjamas or jump into bed.
Coming from Denmark, brushing teeth has been forced upon us through school education. Obsessive school nurses shoved a fluoride tablet in our mouth to see where we had cavities or made us drink fluoride liquid to clean our teeth – gurgling this vile drink for 60 seconds. My parents made me brush my teeth every evening and morning, to avoid me getting too many cavities. However, this strategy failed completely, as I have more fillings than Irish roads.
So, last night was no different, as my wife and I worked hard to get the kids to co-operate. I normally attempt to entertain them. So, I started to tickle my daughter a tiny bit. Playing a bit before bedtime happens to be a nightly ritual, partly to persuade them to brush their teeth.
Brushing teeth is always something that is a major challenge for us parents, not brushing our own teeth of course, but getting our kids to brush their teeth. I’ve lost count of the amount of times my daughter has claimed to have brushed her teeth, only to find her toothbrush still in its packaging or it is dry as if it has been lying in the desert for weeks.
Through my connections at work, I’ve managed to secure a forensics kit that will tell whether my daughter has brushed her teeth or not, but somehow my daughter doesn’t really care. I can conduct these types of tests in the comfort of our own home. However the only problem is that the results take 7-10 working days and samples collected from home are not normally admissible in a court of law. Yes, my daughter knows this and pleads the 5th every time she’s challenged.
After tickling her for a while, my daughter got more and more frustrated. She suddenly stopped all movements and stared at me intensely. She barely moved her lips and uttered “I will challenge you to a sword fight! Pick your sword wisely mere mortal infidel”. For a second, I thought we were re-enacting scenes from Highlander, a movie she has never seen of course, and smiled. But, she repeated the line and moved a step closer.
Now, this was getting freaky. It reminded me of the scene from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” (me being the ugly of course), and I started to whistle the theme song in my head.
Suddenly, she jumped forward and ran into her room, getting her weapons – a giant book and the biggest hair brush she could find. I panicked and grabbed the nearest weapon, the vacuum cleaner tube, and took Aragon’s fighting stance. My daughter moved around me using deadly ballet steps, and sliced the air with the brush, and charged at me with the Irish Fairy Tale book.
The next few minutes was a battle for life or sleep. My daughter made all the sounds (some gun sounds too) and we fought bravely. My wife and son had to seek shelter on the bed, and they were both cheering on our daughter.
I felt a pain in my side and collapsed on the floor. Slowly, I looked down towards my belly and side, and discovered that I had received a deep paper-cut on the third belly tire, and slipped into the sleep state. I had lost the battle and my daughter was standing both feet on my stomach smiling down at her victim. The screams of victory and defeat deafened the room, and I made a few last jerks before finally falling asleep.
Goodnight my dearest, see you in the morning.