Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fairy failure

Things get lost a lot around here. My keys. The permission slip for today's field trip. The manual for the dryer. The cat. Most of these things are not supposed to disappear, and in fact are often happily relocated after you have turned the place upside down for an hour or so (the keys), uncrumpled all the paper in the trash (the permission slip), gone online and found a pdf (the manual) or loudly dumped some food in a dish (the cat).

We also seem to have lost an incredible number of teeth. By we, of course, I refer to the children. When they lose their first tooth, it is an occasion of celebration and much hoopla. All the wiggling and jiggling with their tongue, avoidance of corn on the cob and apples, and jovial teasing about strings and door handles and needle nose pliers. And when it falls out, circulating the photos with the adorable gap in the front to all the relatives and singing endless rounds of "All I want for Christmas..." even if it happens in July. It's all so innocent and cute. Until.

Madison got $2 from the tooth fairy
Dillon got a silver dollar from the tooth fairy
Ali got $20 from the tooth fairy

Call in to Ali's house: What the @#*/!? 20 bucks? What planet are you from? Do you understand that these kids are talking?

"Honey, everybody's tooth fairy is different. Let's just see what happens, OK?"

Our tooth fairy is named Lucy. She pays $2 normally, $3 for molars and an extra $1 if your tooth falls out on your birthday or on a major national holiday. She leaves notes written on colored stars (pink for her, orange for him) with silver writing. She dots her i's with hearts and loops her l's, unlike anyone else in our house. She's generous enough to leave a reward even if the lost tooth is on the blacktop at school or in a box of popcorn at the movies, so long as you leave her a note of explanation. She can have a local Michigan tooth fairy (a distant cousin of hers) handle things while you are away from home. She's been great, really, especially since she had no idea that her tour of duty would literally span close to a decade, and counting. She's a hard working fairy, but apparently she's not a psychic.

We had another round of loose teeth this month, with both kids poking around in their mouths and rotating the offending items at the dinner table. Finally, my daughter comes in beaming from school and announces that hers is out. We high five, and she sets about writing a note to Lucy. I look over at my son, and I notice that his is gone, too.

"Hey! Did you lose your tooth?"
He looks at me, a little sad, a little accusing, and a little triumphant, and says, "I lost it a couple of days ago. I put it under my pillow and nothing happened."


He turns 13 tomorrow. That's the official time when I'm supposed to realize he's not a kid anymore, and he's supposed to start being disappointed in me. But I know already that innocence is another thing that's been lost around here.

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