I used to think that perpetuating my kid’s belief in the bizarre concept that a tireless being with wings and an insatiable desire to rid children’s pillows of spare body parts would be one of the best things about being a parent. ‘Cause being a parent is so full of tough love, hard decisions, sucky moments, “an unacceptable percentage of my body is covered in my kid’s tears/poop/vomit” moments, pressure from other parents, and “there’s not enough money to buy my kid a pony” years that it’s pretty cool to be the Good Guy every once in a while.
That’s how I used to feel, anyway. Since becoming a parent I found out that I’m really good at the tough love and the hard decisions, and I excel at being partially covered in my children’s bodily fluids and letting pressure from others affect me, and so far have easily resisted any urge to purchase a farm animal for the whimsical enjoyment of my spawn.
You know which awesomely fun parenthood task I really suck at? Channeling the Tooth Fairy. I forget. Every single time. And this weekend I really knocked one out of the park: I forgot about the Tooth Fairy two nights in a row.
After the first night of forgetting, the kid came tearing out of her bedroom holding her (gross and revolting) tooth wailing, “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come! I can’t believe this!” The second morning after I forgot about my obligation to perform the coolest job ever conceived, she stomped out of her bedroom declaring, “I am livid. Again! The Tooth Fairy forgot to come. Again!”
Let’s suspend our disbelief, for the moment, that someone for whom the term “livid” is a part of her vocabulary is young enough to still believe in the Tooth Fairy.
My husband and I locked eyes and recognized that we were both struggling with the “fight or flight” stress response while we independently searched to come up with an explanation. In the end it was determined that because she sleeps on her lower bunk, the Tooth Fairy’s senses were obstructed and maybe if we left a note this time (third time’s the charm?) it would improve her chances of finally making some money off of this grotesque and disgusting display of her slow journey into adulthood. (I’m sorry, I just hate wiggly teeth or teeth otherwise not firmly in place within the jaw bone. That kind of thing completely skeeves me out. “Solidly anchored in the mandible” is my comfort zone.)
So on the third night I finally remembered. Finally remembered to pick up the gross tooth that wasn’t even good enough for her mouth to keep solidly in there. As I tip toed into her room, I nearly shrieked as I stepped on the shell necklace that my parents brought back for her from that one time they went to Hawaii. Then I almost tripped on a maraca. A MARACA. This is no coincidence, folks. She has booby-trapped the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy barely made it in and out of her bedroom, carefully slipping a ten dollar bill beneath her pillow (I usually give one dollar but I was desperate, and lucky to even have a ten on me). I couldn’t even find her tooth.
Well, she got her money. She ultimately never noticed that I didn’t take her tooth. She also didn’t notice that I never took her letter. I found it later the next morning. Turns out it was all for naught. There’s no competition–the kid wins.
“Dear Tooth Fairy,
I would like it if you took this tooth and left me a hampster with everything he/she needs. Her needs are the following: A ball to roll in, water bottle with her cage, food, a cage door with a lock, and the hampster!
Thank you, your friend Jenna”