“You know mama, I have to tell you,” he said, and I braced myself to hear how he never wants to brush teeth not ever and least of all right now, because we were at that point in our program and resistance is de rigueur, but instead he continued, “ I lost my job so I need your job, but we can share.”

And we were back on track. Sometimes all it takes is a non sequitur to lighten the mood during teeth brushing, and a lightened mood can make all the difference.

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