Thursday, August 12, 2010

A life lesson found in a tube of toothpaste

I've had a {cheap} tube of toothpaste stashed in my pantry for several weeks, just waiting for an opportunity to make an appearance.  What?  You don't keep toothpaste in your pantry?  ;)

{As you can see from my dish towels, I'm not sleeping with the enemy.  Ha!}

Before you get to thinkin' I've lost my marbles, servin' toothpaste for dinner, lemme splain...

One day, a fellow twitter mom tweeted an idea, and so I filed it away in my mommy brain for such an occasion.  I wish I could remember who it was, to give credit where credit is due.  Crazy mommy brain.  Oi.

And if you're not tweeting occasionally, you're missing out.  Many of my 'twisters' could sideline as stand-up comedians... and they do it all within 140 characters or less.  Good stuff.  Better stuff than me.  I know.  You're shocked.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, toothpaste... or words.  Yes... words.  That's where I was headed.

It's so easy to speak our thoughts... or even write them; however, it's difficult to take them back, especially if the intent was to hurt.  Intentional or not, those bruises are not quick to diminish, even accompanied with an apology.

No matter how much you wish you could take it back.

Thankfully, it doesn't happen often in our home, but it does happen.

Words are spoken... or written.  Hearts are hurt.  Apologies are made, but the healing takes time.

One cannot put toothpaste back in the tube take words back, even if there is a $10.00 motivation.

I think the lesson here is...

Speak words to others that you would want spoken to yourself....
or something like that.

And if you want money, do your chores, because toothpaste doesn't go back into the tube.

It worked.  Within minutes of this demonstration, our girls were playing happily together once more.  Nator shouted downstairs, "Hey, Mom, your experiment worked!  We are getting along great!"

It was the best 67 cent investment we've ever made.


  1. Great idea. Fabulous lesson. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

  2. I used this demonstration on my husband over a year ago to show him that no matter how upset he is, his words can never be taken back. Thankfully he got the message the first time.Glad it worked with the kids, too! :)

  3. I am totally doing this next time I hear unkind words!!! Thanks for the idea.

  4. Oh now, those sweet things never argue with one another do they??? Ha : ) know I have my own two as a reference point.

  5. I used this one my kids too when they were young...very vivid analogy.

    I also used the brownie one in talking about what they want to watch on TV or in make a batch of brownies. Call the kids in and say "surprise! I made you some brownies!!! I know you love them and I made them extra special by adding a new secret ingredient!" of course they want to know what that ingredient is...and you finally say "I added a small pinch of dog poop!!!" after all the ewwwes and grosses, you say "it's just a won't ruin the whole batch..try one" of course they won't and you can then go on to explain to them how one bad word or quick inappropriate scene can ruin a show or a movie just like a small pinch of poop ruins the whole batch of brownies.

  6. wonderful demonstration!

    now i just need to find a cheap tube!

    thankful i don't "sleep w/the enemy" either....loved the book (and the movie) though!


  7. I love this object lesson! SO vivid, real and easy to understand!
    We're gonna be squeezin' the tube here's sorta needed with the three sweets!!!

  8. Oh, wow. I love this - I am going to remember this and use it when my little ones are just a bit older. I love that your girls have such tender and teachable hearts.

  9. We've done the same object lesson at our house. I posted about it and also created a printable to go along w/ it for younger kids:

  10. LOVE IT! Filing that away for future use -- I'll try to remember to give you credit when I do :)

  11. My sister in law did this experiment with her kids a couple years ago!! thankfully my kids have not 'needed' it yet! =) yet.

  12. Great idea! I'll have to remember this one. I am enjoying your blog.


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