Well If It Was Your Favorite Shirt, Maybe You Shouldn’t Have Eaten It

The temperature in the room drops as the air is sucked right out of it. Evil Dictator Daddy has just arrived, ready to hand down another despicable and unfair proclamation that will ruin countless lives forever. His face a twisted mask of hatred, he speaks the words that you have dreaded hearing, but knew, deep down, would someday come. “I’m throwing this shirt away.”


“Well look at it! There’s hardly any shirt left anymore! The collar is mangled, there are huge holes in it, and I’m not letting you wear this thing to school anymore. This is why we tell you not to chew on your clothes!”


“Well if it was your favorite shirt, maybe you shouldn’t have eaten it.”

Does anyone else have this problem? Because it is maddening. We cut her hair shorter so she would stop chewing on it. We bought her a chewing necklace so she could chew that instead. It lasted about a week until she ate that as well. We offer gum, or other items approved for chewing, and yet every day we get her home with a masticated collar. And not just collars! Sleeves! Coats! Pretty much anything she can get mouth on will be chomped on before long! And so there have to be consequences. I am not letting her wear swiss cheese clothing out of the house.

I’m not totally unsympathetic. I used to chew things. I don’t think I ever had a pencil as a child that made it all the way down to the eraser. Those things were chewed up and spit out faster than I could use them. And speaking of erasers? Forget it. None of my pencils has erasers left after the first day or two. I have even, and this is embarrassing now but not as embarrassing as it was at the time, on two separate occasions chewed through the ends of pens and would up with a mouth dripping with ink. Not fun. So I get it. This is probably somehow my fault.

I threw away three shirts this weekend. She only knows about one of them so far. I’m hoping she won’t notice the other two are gone until long after the trash has been taken out so I can plead ignorance, or else say I got rid of them ages ago and she never noticed. She’s pretty smart though. She notices things. In fact, I think the only thing she can’t do is stop chewing! So she chews, we nag, and then the scraps of leftover shirt that she insists on wearing are thrown away. If I had an unlimited shirt budget, this would be fine, but sadly this is not a sustainable practice.

My wife recently got her a new chewy necklace, with many chewable balls all over it. The previous necklace had only once chewable item. I hope this one works better, or at least lasts longer. And of course I hope she eventually stops chomping everything to death. I stopped, so she can stop too. And if she is anything like her father, it should happen by the time she’s around 25. Awesome. Looking forward to it.

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Posted in Clothes, Parenting, Ruby, Teeth.

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