My six-(and a half)-year-old was in one of his moods. He wanted to brush his teeth all by himself, without my coming anywhere close, let alone help. There was no point in arguing, so I observed him discreetly while making the bed.
The routine ‘eeeeees’ and ‘aaaaaahs’ were heard as the brushing progressed with generous wastage of water from the tap. I kept my words in check.
He ran his finger through the front of his teeth, as he did every time, washed his brush and, before my surprised eyes, began to squeeze the paste out into it again.
“Hello, hello?” I said, rushing to him, and placed a restraining hand on his arm. “Why do you want to squeeze the paste again? Aren’t you done?”
“I am going to brush again,” he said, picking each word with care whilst I waited impatiently, “because my Doctor Uncle said I should brush my teeth twice every day.”