On Toddlers’ Acting Abilities

My toddler, the apple of my eye, is quite an actor. I suspect he may already be in the running for an Academy Award.

The little bugger.

He used to be so good at letting us brush his teeth. Yet, in the past few months, his constant gagging and choking would inevitably lead my wife to frown and look at me pointedly as I dutifully tried to polish his pearly whites. “Be careful! You’re being too rough.” The admonishment soon became a refrain. I even began to feel guilty about my horrendous attempts at maintaining the little one’s oral hygiene.

“Gack! Hack! Cough! Cough! COUGHCOUGHCOUGH!” The wheezing, teary-eyed child squirmed and wriggled furiously.

“Just a little bit more, my boy, and then we’re done. Sit still! Come back here. Turn around. Look up. Look down. Not that far down!”

“Raaarh! Ahak! Blehbptptpttppppth! Waaaaaaah!” The screams resonated painfully in our small bathroom.

I must have earned the torturer of the month merit badge a few times over simply by holding up a tiny yellow and red toothbrush with a pixie-sized dollop of paste adorning its transparent bristles.

Then it happened. I moved the toothbrush to his mouth, but for some strange vagary of fate hesitated.

“Gahaheeek! Cough! Cough! Cou…” Teary eyes slowly widened, and his mouth widened into a beaming smile that shouted “you caught me, papa!”


We both broke out laughing.

I am certain this isn’t the first time I’ve been outsmarted by my boy. It certainly won’t be the last. Maybe I’ll put his skill to good use and toss him into acting school. Or maybe he’ll go for political studies. Such raw talent would make him a brilliant politician.


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