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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

From the dysfunctional family journals:monsters and fairies

Ok so I never thought of the tooth fairy as a monster before.
But my husband long ago created this exceedingly wealthy mythical creature that pays $1 for the first tooth, $2 for the second, $3 for the third and so on. By the time the kid is 10, a lost tooth can wipe out my lunch budget for a week. So one awful week this winter, when the overdraft notices are in a stack, the debt collectors on the phone, and I am stealing milk money out of piggy banks, my 9 year old who has not lost a tooth since last summer has 3 pop out. Total damages: $39.
We dont have it.
Between copays for doctors for a recent spate of strep and me getting of all things some huge lung/heart inflammation dealie, we dont have even quarters for parking meters. So the damn fairy doesnt come.
And doesnt come.
Now in some households, 9 is a little old for believing in fictional characters that bring you things, but at our house, fantasy lives. Magical realism is our school bus we ride into the world, and we really do trust in creatures with wings and magic dust. So my son waits and faithfully waits and becomes gradually more and more despondent as nothing happens. My ADHD husband has spaced before so a late tooth fairy or one who puts it under the wrong pillow is not so unusual (I dont do fairies—I am Santa Claus, and the Easter bunny and sometimes play a pirate or a serving wench as a paying JOB and thats about the most I can handle in terms of fictional roles). My eldest got so disgusted with our substandard fairy performance that once the baby lost her first tooth we ended up with her getting TWO fairies because sister became The new fairy on the block. It was a war, and I stayed out of it. But given our financial straits this fairy dude may never get here.
Finally, this week, I had to do something, because instead of giving up on the fairy, my son was getting despondent. He had, in his mind, spent this bonanza, this win-the-lottery amount. I got a little freelance check, and after a huge show of firing his fairy, I went to the bank. My husband said get those new silver dollars. My neighborhood bank had NO coin dollars at all so I ended up with rolls of half dollars. No wonder it took that idiot fairy so long, nothing could fly with that much weight, the creature had to WALK from tooth fairy land weighted down with 5 pounds of coins. And walk he did, putting those half dollars under the pillow about 1 am. That #$%^%!! Fairy that I could just kill, throttle and maim and pin his little wings to the bulletin board, little pissy monster thing making my life so exceedingly complicated. And with several more teeth on one kid and whole head full on the littlest I aint getting this genie back in the bottle for a while.

And so I woke up a little before everyone and waited for the screams of joy and the motor mouth rundown on the list of acquisitions to come from the nine year old dreamer. I forgot about the fact that I could have bought breakfast cereal and dinner with that money. I waited for the happy moment when I know I am not a screw up as a parent. As the commercial says: Priceless.

POST SCRIPT. Everyone overslept, my teen woke up with a sore throat AGAIN and I had to drag her in for another strep culture, and I will probably miss my happy moment because we were so rushed he never checked under the pillow. It will happen after school when I am buried at the office. But it will happen, and I will know that peace will reign in our little kingdom for about 10 minutes…….and spring IS coming. Right?

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posted by A-Lady @ 9:23 AM  


At 8:23 AM, Kim said...

Oh, that is hilarious. Our resident fairy pays 5 bucks a tooth (generous whore that she is), and if we were to have a mass tooth-drop from all three kids at once as you did, I'm afraid we'd just have to kill off that winged intruder - think teeny tiny ransom note here, with one wing enclosed for drama. ;)



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