Teaching How to Count to 30 and Brushing Teeth at the Same Time

The Don has been brushing his teeth without my husbands or my help for almost a year now.  Although he can hold a brush to his teeth, he hasn’t properly learned how to brush his teeth.  I realize that at The Don’s age, their dexterity of holding their hands to brush their teeth won’t be as good as an adults, but at the age of almost four years old, he should be able to steadily hold the brush to brush his teeth properly.  However, this is not the case. 

When my husband first started to help show The Don’s how to brush his teeth, he make it in a game of brushing really fast and to try to make it fun for him.  My husband would brush with him and they would make it into a contest of who can brush their teeth the fastest.  Although that must of been fun, when I get him in the mornings to brush his teeth on the weekends, he wasn’t brushing right.  I tried to show him how to brush his teeth: front, right side, left side, inside right bottom, inside left bottom, inside right top, inside right bottom.  I found myself drill sergeant him and over him to brush his teeth right.  I thought to myself, “There’s got to be a better way!”  I was going crazy standing over him, making him brush his teeth and The Don wasn’t feeling it either. 

I noticed that The Don is in playful mood when brushing his teeth instead of focusing on the task of brushing his teeth.  So, I needed a way to help him focus and make it interested to brush his teeth.  COUNTING!  I know The Don likes to count.  The Don can count up to twenty but he starting to count to thirty.  I used this as an opportunity to help him brush his teeth and learn how to count thirty at the same time. 

I started to have him count up to thirty to help him focus to brush his teeth:  30 front teeth, 30 side right, 30 side left, 30 inside bottom right, 30 inside bottom left, 30 inside right upper, 30 inside left upper.  Come to think of it, adding all of this together equals more than the recommended two minutes time to brush your teeth.  BRILLIANT! Well, not brilliant I’m sure other parents figure this out but it’s brilliant for my standards.

I think The Don is getting the hang of brushing his teeth and he’s having fun too.

So, if your child is having trouble focusing on brushing their teeth, have them count to thirty each side.  If they don’t know how to count to thirty, brushing their teeth is a good place to start.


When did he learn to do that?

It just seems like life is passing me by when it comes to Bam Bam.  I remember remembering almost every little thing from The Don when he was Bam Bam’s age but with Bam Bam, everything he does comes as a surprise.  Sometimes it feels like I really don’t know him; well of course I know him the thing is I don’t know about him; like I can’t read him. I seem clueless when it comes to him.

There are certain things I feel that I should have been aware of with that I was caught off guard.  For instance, when I had a hard time putting Bam Bam down for a nap I couldn’t figure out why.  My husband noticed that Bam Bam didn’t want to be left abruptly and he needed someone to linger around while he gets settled to sleep. I was like, “Oh”.  Or the time I was trying to get Bam Bam to take his first steps by letting him take his time and he’ll eventually get it didn’t produce fast results.  My husband pushed Bam Bam over and over again until he got it.  Oh. Or when he learns how to push trash in the trash can or the time he learns to blow his nose. Oh, when did he learn to do that? The recent accomplishment of late is Bam Bam learning to use utensils.  Oh.

Bam Bam’s Fork Skills

Bam Bam uses his fingers to eat pasta but on this day, he was playing with them and tossing them on the floor.  Bam Bam was also looking at how the rest of us were eating our pasta with our forks.  I think I mention to my husband that I don’t think he was ready for the fork.  My husband interjected by saying, “Maybe he is”.  It couldn’t hurt to let him try so I gave him a fork to see what he would do.  Bam Bam took the fork, stabbed the pasta, and put it in his mouth. He got most of the pasta and veggie meat balls with little help from us.  He was pretty good for someone who just learned how to use a fork. I’m impressed, blown away, and wondered why I didn’t take notice of this before.  I swear Bam Bam is passing me by.

It seems like I notice The Don’s moments more than Bam Bam.  With The Don going through the terrifying threes and noticing the physical changes in him, I fail to stop and look at Bam Bam physical and emotional changes that he is going through.  I feel like I’m off my game with Bam Bam.  I guess it’s not expected to know every little thing about my children and I probably won’t catch every accomplishment that they will endure.  I think my ego is bruised  because it feels like I’m slacking with Bam Bam when noticing things about him.  I have to step up my game and see what plays Bam Bam is calling so I don’t drop the ball on something that he is ready to do.  Thank goodness that the hubby seen these things because if not I think Bam Bam would  be still crawling.