Well, I still haven't remembered what I forgot, but I do have two little nuggets of wisdom-gained-through-experience for you tonight....
Miss M doesn't like to have her hair washed, and I can't (for whatever reason) get her to look up at the ceiling when I rinse her hair. So I tried this trick a while back when we were visiting my Mom, and Miss M thought it was pretty fun. I washed her hair "beauty shop" style! I knelt by the side of the tub, held her "football-style" cradling her head in one hand (over the tub, of course), and used the other to wash her hair. I used a plastic cup to pour the water over her head, and it stayed out of her ears and eyes. I've refined it a bit since then, sitting on the kids' stepstool or side of the tub and letting Miss M lay across my lap - she's quite a bit to long for the football hold, but when you are improvising.... Either way - it's much better than pouring water over the head of a screaming 2-year-old who is flailing about and trying to climb out of the tub because she hates having her hair washed!
We've all heard how kids are supposed to use fluoride-free toothpaste until they learn to spit it back out, but how do you teach a kid to spit out that sugary-sweet toddler gel? To a kid, it must be like liquid candy, because I have found my kids sucking it from the tube when I thought they were napping (we now store it out of reach in another room....). Did you ever notice that those baby and toddler gels don't make any bubbles? Besides the sugary taste, those gels also contain simethicone. You remember simethicone - it's the main ingredient in the drops you give babies when they are gassy. Well, the simethicone keeps the toddler gel from making bubbles, so what's there to spit out, really? Quite a while back, I found a children's fluoride-free toothpaste without simethicone made by Tom's of Maine. Once we switched to this toothpaste, I explained to J that he needed to spit the bubbles out - viola! The next time we went shopping for toothpaste, we picked out one containing fluoride. That was about the easiest transition ever - J thought it was cool to have bubbly toothpaste like Mom and Dad! The kids both like the flavor of this toothpaste - also a plus - and for some reason they don't actually try to suck this kind from the tube (yet another plus!). I've tried it a couple of times with Miss M, but she's not quite ready to spit the bubbles. No worries, though, since it's safe for her to swallow. I also like it because I'm using an all-natural product. Best of all - the dentist was glad to find out that J was using a fluoride toothpaste earlier than most kids his age - I must admit I was quite proud of that!