As the father of all girls, I obviously will not be consulted by our children on as many things as Sarah will. Sure, the girls may get an interest in a sport which I may be able to coach them on – the proper way to throw a softball or how to do a lay-up in basketball, for example. I will not be the “go to guy” for most tasks, however.
Sure, I can put the girls’ hair in ponytails. When Anna says “Daddy, I want a barrette in my hair”, I can handle that. The ponytail may come undone or the barrette may need to be adjusted, but I can get those jobs done. If the girls’ hair needs to be washed, sure I can do that. I am however, fully aware that as Allie, Anna and Emily move into adolescence, they will be going to mommy about all things girlie.
Keeping this in mind, I try to be a dad whenever the opportunity presents itself, even if it is just teaching my girls how to spit! That is correct; my role as mentor the last week or so has been teaching my girls the correct way to spit! Well, technically it is rinsing, but telling them that I am teaching them how to spit after brushing their teeth just sounds like so much more fun!
The decision to start conducting spitting clinics was made after the girls’ recent visit with the dentist. Because swallowing fluoride toothpaste could cause them to have an upset stomach, they need to get used to rinsing and spitting before we move them to fluoride toothpaste (they have been brushing with Orajel non-fluoride training toothpaste). So…last Saturday as the girls and I were getting prepared to do some errands, they asked what we needed at the store. I said “we need little cups so you guys can start learning how to spit after you brush”. That was all they needed to hear! At the grocery store, I pulled some Dixie brand bathroom cups off the shelf and Emily said “are these so we can spit, Daddy?” Yes, Emily.
That night, and every night since, they get all excited about standing in front of the bathroom mirror (on a stool, of course) to practice “spitting” with me. This is a job for Daddy, not Mommy. As Sarah told the girls last night “…no, I don’t know how to spit, daddy has to show you…” They get so proud of themselves too. After they spit, they go directly to Sarah and say “Mommy, I did it, I spit!”
The little pleasures of being a father take me a long way. Who would have thought spitting could be such a joyous thing!