Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Delinquent Tooth Fairy

You know your kids are growing up when they begin to dispense with make-believe characters like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Now Santa Claus is a little more difficult to let go of, but the Tooth Fairy – let’s just say my son has no problem throwing her under the bus.

My oldest son is nine and reason is beginning to settle in his mind leaving less room for childish notions. Recently he lost a tooth, and like most children his age, he assumes this means money in his pocket via his pillow. We have yet to address this sense of entitlement.

After the initial excitement of the lost tooth began to fade my son approached me with a look of diplomacy. “Mom, since we both know who the Tooth Fairy really is, I just want to remind you that I’m putting my tooth under my pillow tonight. I don’t want you to forget because last time I got really frustrated when the Tooth Fairy didn’t come – for a LONG time.” After this tender reprimand, he walked off to examine his toothless grin.

I had been dressed down by my nine-year-old son. He was right of course. The tardy Fairy was derelict in her duty by about two weeks (please don’t judge the Fairy). Poor boy kept looking under his pillow every morning to find nothing but his little baby tooth. I kept telling him the Tooth Fairy probably couldn’t get into his room because all the windows were closed. He wasn’t buying it.

Eventually the tooth disappeared, but nothing took its place. We would discover later that it had slipped down into the abyss under my son’s bed. I determined this time I would not forget about the tooth. The Fairy had been put on notice.

Throughout the rest of the day I continued to receive little notes from my son delivered on scraps of paper and napkins. The first note was delivered via airmail. It spiraled down from the loft and landed at my feet. I picked it up and read, “De-spare tooth...under pillow.” My son explained that it was an adaptation of a joke about a very sad car tire, De-spare tire. Ha!

After a long day I crawled into my bed ready for a good night’s sleep. I leaned over to my nightstand to grab a book and found scrawled on a napkin, “Don’t forget about my tooth.” A smile caught my lips; I shook my head in disbelief and proceeded to read my book.

After all of that, there is no justifying the inaction that followed. Despite many reminders the Tooth Fairy remained true to form. Attribute it to ADD or pure exhaustion, but the Fairy did not visit the pillow of the toothless boy that evening or the next. Lazy Fairy! The Poor little tooth was bound to lie in despair under my son’s pillow a little while longer. And due to the Fairy’s gross negligence, taxes, and tooth inflation, I suppose my son is now “entitled” to a larger payday.

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