Toothpaste


Our way of teaching our girl how to brush her teeth I like to think is imaginative and unique. We teach her by having our daughter brush our teeth, her daddy and I. This is loads of fun and laughter! She is quite enthusiastic about this.

Challenge is helping our girl develop her fine motor skills and continue to enhance her eye-to-hand coordination. We adults take teeth brushing for granted but this is a quite a task for kids to learn; lot of twisting and turning at crazy angles. Having our girl brush our teeth allows her to look into our mouths and see what our toothbrush is doing.

Not a grammar error, I write "our toothbrush" because the three of us share a toothbrush. Before our girl comes along, back when my husband and I are kids, we share a toothbrush. Grandma and grandpa share a toothbrush, we want to be just like our grandparents so we share a toothbrush, and the three of us still do today much like we three share a bedroom and bed all our lives, another grandparents inspired behavior. Our grandparents had my then future husband and I share a bedroom and bed so we would "...work out our differences before we marry." Sure as heck works!

Raising our girl typically we shower together on weekday nights. Saturday night is our Mr. Bubbles bath party! Lots of bubbles, plenty of tub toys and endless grins and laughter. Sunday night is relaxing in oiled hot water under scented candlelight. We enjoy a romantic champagne and strawberries evening, all three of us.

During a shower, her daddy and I kneel and wait for our girl to brush our teeth. Mouth wide open, she gets busy with her brushing and her grinning. All done, she brushes her teeth with mouth way open so we can watch. We compliment her but do not overdo this, just enough approval to bolster her confidence. "Daddy, brush my teeth!" She wants to be just like her parents same as our cowboy and I want to be like our grandparents. They have fun, daddy brushes her nose, "Daddy!" He acts like he is going to brush her ears, "Stop it, daddy! Brush right!" She becomes the teacher and he, the student or misbehaving child!

We spit our toothpaste slobber towards shower drain. Our girl does the same when our cowboy finishes with her teeth. This helps to develop and maintain a relaxed family environment. Inherently, a certainty, a time comes along, "Daddy, I have to pee!" She is not sure what to do. He tells her, "Stand over the drain and pee!" She looks back and forth at us, looks at our drain, grins, "OK!" She views this as fun. Our cowboy helps, "Girl, spread your legs a little." She does and looks at us to be sure we are watching. She does fine, we clap our hands and congratulate her on good aim. Our girl clasps her hands under chin, acts sheepish, she is delighted with herself. She feels accepted, she feels important. This bolsters her self-esteem. A simple act many people mindlessly do and yet becomes so important to our girl.

Traditional Pawnee of the Southern Plains offer impressive excellence in sex education by very hands-on direct experience. When a boy reaches end of puberty, he is taken in by an elder woman, typically a wife of an uncle on his mother's side of family. This young boy and older woman are considered married. She teaches him how to be a good husband, a good father and specifically teaches him how to engage in effective and enjoyable sex. They share a bed, they share their bodies, they enjoy sex.

This teaching can last for a year to several years. This "aunt" teacher decides when a boy is ready to enter the adult world, find a wife and begin a family. In some cases she might marry a boy and his brothers, all become her husbands and learn.

Teaching our girl to brush her teeth, teaching a Pawnee boy how to have sex, those are the same technique; hands-on direct experience.

An "aunt" relationship might not always be available. Another wife and mother will take over this task of teaching. Most often she is middle age and enjoys a lot of children. She is a healer, a shaman, wisdom keeper or simply respected for her knowledge and gentle ways with tribal children. A young naive boy becomes married to this teacher and a year or two later he walks out a man ready to be productive and to start a family.

Should an aunt-teacher become pregnant, all the better. This is another child for all tribal members to love and raise. This baby is a gift from our Indian spirits.

Pawnee girls, all Indian girls, are taught about motherhood and being a wife in a different way for deeply spiritual reasons. Our pubescent girls are taught by their mothers and their aunts and other women of a tribe.

A boy can donate his baby seed to any girl. However, only a girl can make a baby. Virtually all tribes treat girls as highly sacred, we girls are givers of life. A prerogative Indian girls enjoy is choosing a boy with whom to mate, this is her choice. Girls do not learn by having sex with an elder man teacher like boys do with an aunt teacher. Doing so, a girl having sex with a male teacher, denies her this right to choose a boy of her liking. This would violate her spiritual status.

Girls do learn by hands-on experience with a mother, aunt or other woman of family status. This might involve the usual, fondling and kissing, sharing of bodies, mutual masturbation and orgasms. Other words sex but no boys involved.

Almost always an Indian girl waits until after her rite of passage to womanhood before considering sexual relations with a boy, of her personal choosing.

This discussion of mine is generalized, not all tribes teach this way but all tribes do offer excellence in sex education for their children by whatever traditional ways. An important point is within our modern world, Indian girls and boys chase a priority of finishing high school, attending college and starting a career before marriage and family; we Indians are always in touch with realities of life, as disagreeable this may be for us Indians.

As you know, we become what our parents are. Good role modeling, effective role modeling is critically important for children who will become their parents. Our Indian role models date back thousands of years; we are traditional.

A hands-on education can't be bested. This is the most common method used by schools and teachers. Whether brushing teeth or enjoying sex, guided and meaningful hands-on experience makes for the best of learning.