August 21, 2007

The Tooth Fairy

My 7 year old son is now in prime tooth fairy territory. He has lost 6 teeth this summer and is going gang-busters towards breaking the bank. But as the third son, I am always worried that he will end his belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy before his time. He has that sparkle in his eye that leads me to believe that he is mature beyond his years. So I am on my guard to protect his innocence.

Adam lost his 6th tooth on Monday of this week, the first day of school. He proudly brought it home from class ready to stow it for the tooth fairy to collect. But he appeared to have been the subject of some teasing at school, most likely the type of laughter that wiser children share when they have crossed-over to non-believer status. At bedtime last night, he would not say where he placed his tooth. After much prodding he merely shook his head in agreement when asked if it were placed under his pillow.

Later that night, the tooth fairy stealthily crept into his room. With two dollar bill in hand (I am the twooth fairy, afterall) I probed under the pillow.....nothing there. I carefully checked under his other pillow, still coming up empty. There, on the back wall, a foot out of reach was the tooth pillow (twooth pillow?) that Grandma made a few years back. Did I mention that Adam sleeps on the top bunk? His older brother prefers the quick escape that a lower berth offers so the little guy has cheerfully accepted the high ground.

Mrs. Tooth Fairy suggest getting a stool. The pillow was still out of reach. I secured a wire hanger (not an easy task as they all seem to be quickly returned to the dry-cleaner in favor of the plastic variety) and straightened it out in order to hook the small pillow. I finally had it, but to no avail, there was no tooth to be found.

It was coming up on 1AM at this point and I was ready to surrender the loot without finding the booty. But the Mrs. said no way, this was not allowed. The conspiracy theorist in me started to think, "Wait a minute, he didn't want to tell us where he put the tooth. He's testing to see if there really is a tooth fairy. I'll bet he hid it some place out of the ordinary." Back to the room I crept, with blue filtered flashlight in hand. Nothing on the dressers, nothing in the drawers....I looked down under toys and then I saw it! Under the dresser was a small plastic box. Upon opening it I found the treasure. Ah-Ha!! No 7 year old is going to outsmart me!!

I removed the tooth and folded up the bill until if fit in the box. I carefully replaced it where it was discovered and off to bed I went as proud as a middle-aged father of three could be.

In the morning the Mrs. asked Adam if the tooth fairy visited. He said that there was nothing under his pillow, no tooth, no money. He was a bit puzzled....Of course then it dawned on me that there was no conspiracy, he was still a firm believer - or at least not foolish enough to give up on something that guaranteed him a couple of bucks for each loose tooth.

We convinced him to look around, behind the bed, and on the floor, "Maybe you knocked it on the floor during the night," Said the Mrs., looking at me like only a wife can. "Or maybe the tooth fairy is a crazy conspiracy nut," I thought to myself.

After a bit of prodding, we steered him to look under the dresser. Sure enough, this was the first time his little hand had ventured under there. But he happily collected his prize, armed for another day at school with another wondrous tale.

So once again, I succeeded in outsmarting myself. When will I learn.....?

I wonder if I will be able to outsmart him when he is actually trying to outsmart me???