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Mouths - Open Wide!

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Mouths - Open Wide!
“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings comes forth wisdom.”
Or sometimes surprise, but nearly always truth, as they see it, and they always say it. I was mindful of this when out with my three year old son, many years ago. We were walking along a street in town when we saw a rather large gentleman taking time to get into the driving seat of his car. The car was a Metro and I was thinking he could do with a bigger vehicle when my son piped up, ‘He’s a very fat man, isn’t he Mummy?’ We were right next to the car by now and of course, he heard my son. I remember offering what I hoped was an apologetic smile to the man as we passed. My son was just saying what he saw. The innocence of his young age had not yet grasped the feelings of others. That would be a chat for later.
It was a privilege to spend a few years working with young children. They are amazing at sharing details of their lives in and out of school. I was good at keeping a straight face. ‘Mummy was being sick because she had wine.’ There was lots of ‘My Nanna/Daddy/Mummy said…’ followed by a serious sounding statement from them. I would be sympathetic hearing about fall-outs and possible consequences, who was shouting and who was crying. I shared in their joy of holidays, parties, friendships and special family occasions. I loved to feel included in their lives. Parents would have been horrified at some of the things their children said, whether truth or fiction. I’ve missed being part of that school. I should have stayed longer.
Dentistry has been a major part of my working life. I trained as a dental nurse before moving into other things, then coming full circle to work on reception in a large NHS practice. I’ve done my best to help people and I hope I’ve been successful in that but I’ve had enough of mouths and teeth now. I’m planning a slightly early retirement, soon.
And where will I be? Back to the ‘mouths of babes and sucklings’ with everything my grandchildren tell me.
Try this to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  ‘Got my toothpaste, got my brush,    I won’t hurry, I won’t rush.
   Making sure my teeth are clean
   Front and back and in-between.
   When I brush for quite a while,
   I will have a happy smile.’
Here’s Pam Ayres,   
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth   Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.
      Thanks for reading, Pam x
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