Last week the girls went to the dentist, and came home with goodie bags (yes, Colgate-sponsored goody bags — something that didn’t exist when I was a kid. Great idea, actually, marketing team) that contained a couple of little junky toys (hooray! More clutter!), a new toothbrush, floss and little mini tubes of SpongeBob toothpaste.
My girls don’t even watch SpongeBob, but because children seem to have an innate knowledge of popular trademarked characters, they know who he is — and think he’s awesome. They also think it’s awesome that they each get their own little kid-sized toothpaste. (Getting your own little kid-sized anything is always pretty fun. Remember how exciting it was when your mom let you get a Happy Meal?)
Anyway, the ladies were so SO excited to show me their loot when I got home in the afternoon, jumping up and down, talking a mile a minute. And bedtime has never gone so smoothly: “Girls,” I said, “if you can get into your PJs quick, all by yourselves, we can use your New Toothbrushes! And SpongeBob Toothpaste!!”
In fourteen seconds flat, they were their PJs — an operation which normally takes 10-15 minutes and includes cajoling, incentivizing, threatening, sighing, and scolding (Me) and, from them, whining, silliness, running around, crying and insisting that they just can’t do it all by themselves! (Lie, lie, lie.)
And so, that magical night, teeth were brushed with glee. Even flossing — floss from their own little flossing containers! — was cheerfully endured. The thrill of all this new dental hygiene equipment, as well as the goody bag
crap toys, lasted a good two days. Not too shabby.
Other things they never fail to get extremely excited about: dessert, going to their favorite playground, visits to and from grandparents, having tortellini with pesto for dinner (their absolute fave and easily the most sophisticated food they eat), playdates, dessert, stickers (what did parents do before stickers were available as a go-to reward?) and dessert. Did I mention dessert?
There are other more everyday sources of enthusiasm, too, which are also a delight to behold. Elsa, for example, really, really digs wearing her dragon costume (from last Halloween), and will put it on at various random times, e.g. the night we went to see our town’s fourth of July fireworks and Alastair’s birthday (see birthday hat with pipe cleaner flower in it, in the picture). I asked her recently if maybe she wanted to wear it again this Halloween and she said, “Of course I do!”
Oh how I would love to feel so excited about such little things.
Then again, I do get a little thrill from a nice, big cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee in the morning (don’t laugh; I live in Boston. This is our lifeblood). A good, cold, crisp glass of white wine (which I have very rarely these days, so it’s doubly special). Wearing a new item of clothing for the first time (that new clothes smell!) or seeing a package on the doorstep.
I even get a micro-thrill — I swear — when I see that someone has commented here. (Is that pathetic? Yes. Probably.) I mean, it’s no SpongeBob toothpaste. But it’s something.
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