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The tooth fairy has been called to our house twice in one week. For the same child, as you can see.
The tooth fairy is normally very predictable in our house. She leaves a dollar, sometimes two for really important teeth, and shows up without fail when a tooth is to be collected. However, she was definitely not at the top of her game this week. Perhaps she is pregnant, too, and has a very bad case of baby brain. Who knows.
For her first visit of the week, imagine how great her surprise must have been when she arrived to find that she did not have any small bills. None. To further complicate the scenario, the tooth pillow that Lindsey uses does not accommodate coin of any kind. What is a fairy to do? After flying madly all over the house at an indecent hour, searching laundry, junk drawers and even the floor of the car in desperation (as I'm sure she must have done), she located a $5 bill.
So great must have been the fairy's relief that she found something smaller than a $20, that she did not fully consider the ramifications of "upping the ante" on the value of teeth in the Di Silvestri household. Foolishly, she replaced the tooth with the $5 and flew off into the night. Good thing she wasn't around to see the reaction of the children the next morning, especially the reaction of an older child who had lost plenty of teeth and never discovered such a booty under his own pillow. This same child, who has saved the last several of his teeth rather than leaving them for the fairy, is suddenly reconsidering the wisdom of this, and may leave 4 or 5 at once, hoping for a tidy profit. Hmmm, troublesome indeed.
The fairy's second call was far worse, nothing short of disastrous. For the first time, perhaps in the whole of tooth history, she did not show up. Can you believe it? How can the tooth fairy not show up at all?! I was awakened by a heartbroken, sobbing daughter whose tooth remained right where she had left it the night before. I can assure you, I felt worse than she did. What kind of world are we living in when the tooth fairy does not show up to a legitimate call?
I began to deal with this terrible situation by swiftly kicking my husband under the covers. I had been out late at choir practice the night before and was not properly informed upon my return home that a tooth had been placed under a pillow. Even as I gave him a death glare, I was aware that at least half of the responsibility was mine. I knew she had lost the tooth earlier in the day; I was just not present at bedtime to be reminded that it went under the pillow. At any rate, while I can't be certain of the nature of the connection, it does seem clear that if a mother is not aware of the status of a tooth under a pillow, the fairy does not come. So, regardless of whose fault it was that mom did not know, she simply did not. And this did not bode well for Lindsey.
I quickly explained to my devastated daughter that the tooth fairy must have been VERY BUSY and simply could not get to her tooth. Since other children had not already lost a tooth earlier in the week as Lindsey had, she had to get theirs first and she simply ran out of nighttime hours to complete her travels. I encouraged Lindsey to leave the tooth again. This pacified her greatly, and that night the fairy returned. With single bills this time. Disaster averted.
The responsibilities of parenthood weigh heavily, do they not? It is not just the big things (like development of character, education and faith formation) that we must concern ourselves with. It is also the little things, the things that make childhood the wonderful, imaginative journey that it should be.
Parenting. It's not for wimps.