I hastily wiped my dripping hands on the red flowered towel hanging askew from the oven door and answered the commanding ring of the phone.
“Hi, this is Jasmine, can I talk to Jaime?” trilled the young voice, obviously experienced in phone-calling.
My kids aren’t phone-talkers yet, and at ten, I’m not ready for my daughter to jump into the world of wireless communication. After a brief hello, Jaime queried, “What did you call for?” because she’s not accustomed to this way, and surely one only calls if one has a question or certain purpose? Jasmine hesitated only a moment, it seemed, and I learned later she had phoned simply out of boredom.
“I just got done making toothpaste,” Jaime offered. I heard the confusion on the other end as one of our many family peculiarities was revealed. Jaime had come to me several days ago complaining that every time she brushed her teeth, her eyes were watery and stinging. “I must be allergic to toothpaste,” she surmised.
Being the independent, thinking person she is, Jaime set out on a quest to discover a perfectly natural toothpaste that would leave her with clean teeth and clear eyes. Tom’s of Maine seemed to give rise to no problems, so I suggested she make a list of every ingredient in the standard Crest versus the Tom’s. What was Tom’s missing that the other had? She couldn’t figure it out. I was sure it was the sodium lauryl sulfate, but was surprised to see that the Tom’s of Maine variety she used actually did have that ingredient.
Coincidentally, The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill was on my bookshelf at this moment, on loan from the library, and by the way, it’s a fantastic children’s book on entrepreneurship and business. Having read bits of it already, Jaime took it up again when I reminded her of a recipe the boy in the book used to make his toothpaste.
There followed the collection of various ingredients–mint and lavender from the garden, vanilla, cinnamon, flour, starch, and of course baking soda. She settled on a mint flavor, but only after much trial and spitting and because she didn’t want to take my advice right off the bat.
Jaime now has a small tupperware tub of sticky toothpaste next to her sink that she uses daily. She’s bugging me to take her to the camping section at the store to buy those reusable tubes. I’m so proud of her. She wants to sell it and make money, but I’ll tackle that problem another day. I do think I’ll let her call Jasmine on the phone so she can tell her all about her plan.