In Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, what does Dad not keep with the ones that belonged to the rest of the family?There was something in the Watson house that Dad did not keep with the ones that...

In Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, what does Dad not keep with the ones that belonged to the rest of the family?

There was something in the Watson house that Dad did not keep with the ones that belonged to the rest of the family - what is it?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dad does not keep his toothbrush with the ones that belong to the rest of the family.

Dad keeps his toothbrush hidden because he does not want anyone to play any tricks on him by using his toothbrush to clean something unsavory, and then quietly returning it to its place for him to use in his own mouth.  Dad was once a mischievous boy himself, and is familiar with the pranks young people are often tempted to pull.  He tells Kenny,

"...unlike your mother, I was a little boy once myself...not only is this instrument perfect for brushing teeth, it has other wonderful uses too...I know that in a little boy's eyes there isn't anything in the world that is better for general cleaning than a toothbrush, and the greatest thing about it is that with a good rinse afterward no one can tell what it was used for...I also know that the best toothbrush for cleaning stuff is always someone else's, so, rather than wondering what my toothbrush last cleaned, I think it's better that it only goes places that I know about".

Kenny understands exactly what Dad is talking about.  He remembers one time when he caught Byron using his toothbrush "to shine up some quarters and another time to brush Blackie's (their dog's) teeth".  Kenny knows from first-hand experience that Dad is wise to be cautious (Chapter 8).

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

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