“Did the ancient Egyptians have anything to brush their teeth with?”

Scene: The Five-Year-Old sails through the dining room on her scooter and stops abruptly at the sight of Mommyo slumped over her computer.

The Five-Year-Old, curiously: “What’s wrong, Mommyo?”

Mommyo, disconsolately: “I’m having trouble getting back to writing after so many wonderful days on vacation.”

The Five-Year-Old, encouragingly: “It’s ok, Mommyo. Why don’t you just ask Caterpickles to do it for you?”

Mommyo, desperately: “Hey, little multi-colored Caterpickle with the funny-looking glasses, say something funny.”


Mommyo: “I don’t know. What?”


Mommyo, sadly: “Maybe we should just go back to answering The Five-Year-Old’s questions.”

Ancient Egyptians

Mommyo, resignedly: “Yeah. Just like that.”


Mommyo, furtively checking her iPhone: “Well, what do you know? According to Wikipedia, the ancient Egyptians, like the Greeks, Romans, and Indians used twigs and leaves to brush their teeth.”

The Five-Year-Old, enthusiastically: “That worked great, Caterpickles! Can you answer all my questions about old-timey Egypt? Mommyo doesn’t know anything about it.”

(Note: I found the stick joke on Owen’s World. There are lots more there, if you are looking for some silly jokes to share with your kids.)

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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