Unfortunately, my first thought was “CCCCCCOOOOOLLLLL! NUNCHUCKS!!!!” Then I realize that this request was coming from a 6 year old. “Um…Justin? Why do you need nunchucks?”
He looked at me quizzically and then clarified, “No, daddy. Not nunchucks. GumChucks!” I looked up at GWE and in our “I-don’t-need-to-speak-with-you-to-communicate-because-you-can-read-my-thoughts-clearly” mental conversation, I asked “What the hell is a GumChuck????”
GWE explained that while at the mall, Justin found a dental flossing kit aimed at children. It’s called “GumChucks.” According to the pamphlet, it’s:
1) Easier and faster to use than dental floss. (I doubt that.)
2) Handles are better than wrapping floss around fingers. (Uh, no! I prefer to lose circulation in the tip of my fingers like my father and my father’s father, etc.)
3) Removes plaque from gum tissue. (So do doggy treats, but I’m not giving those to my kid either!)
4) And, they are portable and convenient. (But, not as portable and convenient as actual dental floss!!)
The only way GWE could get out of the store with Justin was to explain that she would email “Doctor Papa and Grandma” in Atlanta to see if they would buy it for him. Doctor Papa is a Dentist and Grandma is a Dental Hygienist (among other things.) GWE put together a very sweet email and sent it to my parents asking them for the item. She included me on the email. I saw it and laughed because I knew exactly how this was going to play out.
After 18 years of living with my parents (and another 18 years of comparing notes with my sister about her 18 years of living with our parents), it was time for my wife to witness the “Mixed Message” style of parenting my sister and I were exposed to. (Mom and Dad – I love you very much, but Shayna and I have spent years laughing about things like this.)
My father responded first: “I never saw the gumchucks ad you sent to me. I would let mommy show you how to use regular “grown-up” dental floss. I think it is just as good if not better.” That was code for “No.” (But, in all fairness, my father has become much more diplomatic with his responses over the years.)
My mother responded next: “Done – !!!! Nothing is too good for my grandson!!!!!”
That was two weeks ago. Have we gotten “GumChucks” yet?
Justin has inquired about his Gumchucks a few times and as I’ve explained to him, it’s possible that they were intercepted in the mail by “Ninja Vitis” and/or “Count Plaqula!” He’s been perfectly content with that explanation.