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Tooth Fairy Keeps It’s Own Schedule

March 29, 2010 Family Travel No Comments

Whew! Spring break around here doesn’t mean spring cleaning. Spring break means it is time to gear up for the next wave of family events. Birthdays. Check. Anniversary. Check. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Double check.

Only I forgot about the Tooth Fairy.

Tonight at 8:52 PST we had an incident. No emergency crew was needed though I’d rate the gore, blood, and gaping socket PG-13. My youngest was enthralled.

That is why I am writing this at 11 p.m. while I wait for the Tooth Fairy to arrive. I have it on good authority that she often blows off our town for the more lucrative gold-filled baby teeth in the richer city next door.

I’m afraid if I FALL ASLEEP before she gets here, I MAY NOT WAKE UP to let her in. (My “caps lock” button is not stuck, I am speaking in code.) So here we are together, you and I, waiting for the big event. Yawn. Personally, I’d like to yank the teeth out of the idiot who came up with the tooth fairy gig. What an evil means of torturing people whose only mistake was procreating with abandon.

I have enough trouble remembering everyday tasks such as, say, taking vitamins; much less these sporadic and always inconvenient middle-of-the-night exchanges of teeth for cash. If it were up to me, I’d set it up so the kids saved up their teeth until a night when I’m up late anyway, and then trade them in all at once. Let’s make it Dec. 31 st. That’s the only night I can guarantee to drink enough caffeine to make it to midnight.

Even better, forget the cash business. Who carries actual money anyway? How about a gift card for a mani/pedi for the child’s hardworking mother? After all, isn’t a brand spanking new permanent tooth gift enough?

It wouldn’t be like what happened two nights ago, when the tooth fairy stood up my gappy-mouthed, grinning 7-year-old daughter. She had been working that tooth for days. I found blood on the white towels, her white pillowcase, and the sleeve of my white shirt. I don’t know how she managed to dangle it by the root for so long, flinging blood hither and yon. But finally it was out, set free like a small white bird in a big sky. Go forth in the world little tooth and conquer! Somehow it ended up down the drain. I’d explain how that happened except I didn’t quite get all the pertinent details through the sobs. I briefly considered the old bait-and-switch routine. I’ve got an assortment of baby teeth in a very high drawer stuffed with nail polish and crayoned love letters.

I figured I might just be able to pull off the switch. Something like, “Look sweetie! A daddy-long-legs in the bathtub!” As her head swivels I drop the replacement next to the faucet. It probably would have worked if this hadn’t been my middle child, the naturally suspicious one. You know the kid. She’d say, “This can’t be my tooth. It’s not big enough. Why are my teeth always the smallest? It’s not fairrr…” So I had her write a letter of explanation to the tooth fairy – sort of like what the insurance company does when it refuses to pay for the care and maintenance of same said teeth.

She wrote her letter and I felt gratified that I was making her practice her printing and thought how that might please her teacher. She tucked the note under her pillow and promptly fell asleep at 8:55 p.m. I fell into bed and was asleep at 8: 57 p.m., on a Friday night no less. Wouldn’t you know, that stinkin’ Tooth Fairy never bothered to give me a kick in the bum or any other warning that I still had one more to-do on my to-do list. I woke up to sunshine and a 7-year-old face grinning at me, one large hole in her smile. My heart sunk as I remembered what I’d forgotten. But she was smiling? I didn’t get it.

“Did the tooth fairy come?” I asked.

“Nope.” She was laughing, not crying. “I was hoping she wouldn’t come last night.”

Really? I felt relief wash through me.

“Yeah, mama. That means tonight I’ll get double the money.”

So that’s why I’m staying up late tonight. I can’t afford not  to.

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