This would be funny, if it weren't for the fact that my poor daughter actually had a good scare and was very upset:
The other day, Maryssa decided to put up a big fuss when it was time to go to bed. I tried brushing her teeth, but she wouldn't open her mouth and just pretty much gave me a temper tantrum, so I decided "I'm not putting up with this, she'll just go to bed now and forget about all the bed-time rituals".
So when she decided all of a sudden that she DID want to brush her teeth, (once I put her in bed - or should I say dumped her in bed), I refused. "Teach her a lesson", I thought, "If she's going to put up a big fuss, she won't get a thing". So when she even got out of bed and put toothpaste on her toothbrush herself, I rinsed it off and sent her back to bed, where she cried (herself to sleep?). (She didn't actually cry that long, maybe a couple of minutes, which means she either fell asleep very quickly, which shows - on top of the tantrum - how tired she was... or she "got over it" quickly.)
Anyway, little did I know that the poor child actually thought HER TEETH WERE GOING TO ROT. I often tell the children to brush their teeth before going to bed so their teeth don't rot. Of course, missing one night's brushing isn't going to make you lose your teeth. It takes months of continued neglect to do that. But I didn't realize that my poor daughter didn't understand this. I only found out the next morning when I woke her up for school, and she said, relieved and happy: "I still have all my teeth!"
I felt so bad. If I had known, I would have explained to her that they wouldn't rot overnight. I told her, then, that I would never make her do something that would actually hurt her. I am going to have to watch what I say from now on...