Things I’ve learned from my children today
You can lead a Boy to the bath, but you can’t stop him drinking. Boy three is picking up new skills at an alarming rate. He’s now a proficient clapper, climber and fridge raider. He can also say “Hello”, Tellytubby style. But the skill he’s currently most pleased with is drinking. Out of a cup, especially, but really anything will do – glass, pelican bib pouch and… bath. Fizzy water is a particular favourite, one you get past the shuddering and gurning. But the absolute most irresistible thing to slurp is bath water. Head down, bum up and most indignant if you suggest it’s not a good plan.
The Egyptians cleaned their teeth with mice. Boy One and I were baking. Two-tone shortbread biscuits. He’s toying with a career in catering that kicks off by winning Junior Masterchef. I have tried explaining that a phobia of all sauces except ketchup probably isn’t a good starting point, but he doesn’t believe it’ll hold him back. So there we were baking the biscuits – a sort of battenburg-effect cookie, while we chatted about history.
“Ask me any question about history, ever,” he said.
“Do you know everything?”
“Nearly,” modest to the end.
“Well you tell me some interesting facts then.”
“OK. Medieval people washed their clothes in wee. Romans used it as a mouth wash. And Egyptians cleaned their teeth with mice.”
Content is not always king. Boy Two was looking distraught. He muttered something about homework and having to do it again. He explained that his teacher had told him he had to do some of his spelling again. Oh. Through tears he said: “I have to do it again, for Monday. She told me off and said I had to do my second sentence again.”
“Let’s have a look”…
Primary three spelling homework comprises learning a list of ten or so words, writing them a few times and composing three sentences that contain some of the words.
His sentences were beautifully formed – joined up, capital letter to start and full stop to finish.
The second offering read: “I hope you die.”
There followed a long explanation about backfiring jokes and thinking things through before you say/do/write them.
Mice? Is he sure? How can you clean your teeth with a rodent? I need more details! Brilliant post! Made me laugh so hard I could do the washing!
Ellen Arnison says
He told me they cut them in half lengthways, but I haven't googled to check. Wouldn't like the facts to get in the way of a good story and, besides, he is often right (although his interpretation is often interesting).
I Googled it. He was almost right. It was “only” a cure for toothache rather than a regular mode of cleansing according to the website I found.
All in all, I think I'd opt for the dentists, despite a long-standing phobia.
Ellen Arnison says
Christine, See Deb's comment – apparently mice weren't for cleaning, but for toothache. I'll bet not many Egyptians complained about toothache.
Deb, it'd cure mine!