Monday, February 16, 2009
Fire The Tooth Fairy!
The problem with those mystical, mythical figures of childhood is that their reliability depends so much on the ability of parents to remember that a visit from them is due.
Although Santa was very meticulous this year in fulfilling all of The Boy's requests, I cannot speak very highly of the performance of the Tooth Fairy.
The Boy informed me one evening that he had a loose tooth. He was rather anxious to dispense with this wiggling remnant of babyhood but despite his best efforts to wrest it free, the tooth stubbornly hung on. He went to sleep with visions of monetary gain slipping from his grasp.
Much to his delight, the tooth picked its moment the next day and neatly fell out into his hand. He quickly transferred the tiny bit of enamel to a zip-loc baggie for safekeeping and to keep it safe under the pillow. Sleep came bringing dreams of piles of cash, but the morning brought only disappointment. The Tooth Fairy had not been to collect her prize.
Well, it was the weekend, I explained, perhaps she takes the weekends off. This seemed reasonable to him, after all, he takes weekends off from school.
Two nights went by and still the Tooth Fairy had not arrived. By this time The Boy had become rather suspicious and weighing several alternate stories as to why the Tooth Fairy was so unreliable, decided that he had probably stayed up too late over the weekend, rather than that she had been out partying and forgot him. So he determined to go to bed early and give the Tooth Fairy a wider envelope of time in which to do her work.
This apparently did the trick, because the Tooth Fairy did indeed show up and manage to deposit a nice sum in exchange for the tooth. He was very happy and proud of himself for having determined the cause of her seeming dereliction of duty.
However, there was still one oversight. The baggie containing the tooth had never made it under the pillow and the forgetful Tooth Fairy had gone off without it. I had also forgotten to go find it and hide it, but I wasn't sure The Boy had noticed that it was still there, until The Boy appeared and asked this question:
"Mom, if the Tooth Fairy left me money but forgot to take my tooth and I put it back under my pillow, would she come and leave money again"?
"She didn't take the tooth?" I exclaimed in mock horror. "That Tooth Fairy ought to be fired and a replacement hired. First she forgets to come for two nights running and then she forgets to take your tooth?"
"I didn't say she didn't take it", The Boy quickly backtracked. "I was asking hypothetically, IF she didn't take it".
Hypothetically. While my mother's heart swelled with pride over each and every syllable of this new vocabulary word, used with such comprehension, one thing became clear. This kid is just what these mystical mythical characters need to keep them in line.