Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TheTooth Fairy

We were eating dinner last night and my wife noticed something.

"Max, look at me," she said to our 8-year old son. "Smile."

He gave her a tight lipped grin.

"Open your mouth," she commanded. He did, opening wide and trying to keep his lips over his teeth. We could still see it. Or rather, we couldn't see it.

"Did your tooth fall out today?" she asked. He's had a very loose top front tooth for a couple weeks.

"You little bugger!" I said. "I asked you if that was a tooth in your backpack and you said no."

Earlier that day...

When my son got home from school I emptied his backpack. After I pulled out his folders and library book I noticed an oddly shaped white object at the bottom of his book bag (along with several important rocks).

Upon closer inspection I discovered that the white thing was shaped like a tooth and it rattled when I shook it. Tape held the lid shut.

"Did you lose a tooth today at school?" I asked.

"No," he said and went right about his homework. Forget the plastic tooth, him going right into homework should have clued me in that something was amiss. But alas, I am a father and am therefore subject to severe lapses in reason and judgment.

"Okay," I said and went back to work.

We now return to the story already in progress...

"You lied to me!" I said, putting my fork down. "What's up with that?"

"I was going to trick you because I think you're really the tooth fairy," he said. My wife and I exchanged meaningful glances and started laughing. He was laughing, too, the gap from his missing front tooth now on full display.

"Dude, I'm not the tooth fairy," I said. "The tooth fairy has hair, and she does not have a goatee."

"And she doesn't like it if you try to trick her," my wife added. "Where's the tooth?"

He surrendered the tooth and we went through several more adamant rounds of denial. We couldn't believe the nerve of that kid! Too funny...

Later that evening...

"The kids are asleep, it's time," my wife said. "How much should we give him?"

"A buck is the going rate. That's what he got last time." I opened my wallet. A ten, a lottery ticket (estimated value $65 million), and several receipts. "Shit. How much do you have?"

"A five. We're losers," she said.

Wait, it gets better...

I didn't have a dollar. She didn't have a dollar. But we knew who did have a dollar. The little fiend who tried to trick us. My wife snuck into his room and got his money box and brought it back to our bedroom.

"Do you think he knows how much is in here?" she asked me as she pulled out the cash and selected a one-dollar bill.

"I'm sure he does. But if we give this to him and he puts it in there and then counts it it will be the right amount," I reasoned.

She put the dollar under his pillow and came back with the plastic tooth. We fished out the real tooth and admired it for a moment.

"Damn. Now we have to put this back," I said, fingering the plastic tooth case.

"Your turn."

I crept into his room, cringing as the springs in the doorknob moaned and the hinges creaked. Both kids stirred briefly, but were clearly sound asleep. I tiptoed to the bed and slipped the tooth case under his pillow and then got the hell out of dodge.

The next day...

He still believes in the tooth fairy. But I'm wondering what kind of post Santa Clause is going to inspire this year...

16 comments:

Donna Hole said...

Well, Santa best not show up bald with a gotee! Dude, you're postponing the inevitable. Its tough when the kids outgrow all the cutsey stuff.

Maybe you're right in keeping the fantasy going though. When my kids finally learned it was me playing all those rolls, their wish list increased. They don't expect the tooth fairy or Santa to have very deep pockets, but they see their parents checkbook being whipped out constantly and expect more.

Uh, you don't have any daughters, right? Cause when the daughter finds out the money pot is accessible, that bottom lip quiver takes on whole new demensions.

.........dhole

L. T. Host said...

He's achieved sentience. You may as well give in now!

Michelle said...

That rocks!

I had to dodge a tooth fairy question once when I was teaching. A little girl asked me, "Do you know who the tooth fairy is?"

Which of course, not wanting to be the spoiler, I avoided answering. "No. Do you?"

"I know who the real tooth fairy is," she said. She leaned in and whispered, "It's my grandpa. He's a dentist. I was at his house and I opened a drawer in his desk and found a box full of teeth. Anyone who has that many teeth has got to be the tooth fairy."

So ever since then, I imagine the tooth fairy is an African-American grandfather.

Frau said...

OMG too funny the poor kid had to pay for his own tooth unknowingly.

WeaselMomma said...

Nice. It's not nice to trick the tooth fairy, but it's okay for the tooth fairy to trick you into thinking she gave you a buck. That is too funny.

Rick Daley said...

Donna- I'm going to hold on to the fantasy as long as I can. Watch in early December for my story about the elves. Teetering on the edge like this is hilarious, I still can't believe he tried to pull that off. He has a younger brother (no sisters) is is too young to doubt.

LT- He's a smart kid, but we know it so we're on the defensive.

Michelle- That's one more reason why I don't fit the tooth fairy profile. Reminds me of the old SNL skit where Eddie Murphy played the tooth fairy and complained about kids tricking him with Tic Tac's (he almost got fired because God thought he was saying He had bad breath)

Frau- I think we got away with it, too!

Weasel- He started it.

Sharon said...

I know Max, you better put a dollar in his box--before he adds his new dollar! He will blame Vic, or his friends for stealing...
That is one smart kiddo though for attempting to unveil the real tooth fairy!!!

kdrausin said...

Too funny! At least you remembered your Tooth Fairy duties. My husband and I were the worst TF's ever. We would always go to bed and forget. We had to make excuses like: "The Tooth Fairy has weekends off." or "She must have had a busy night. I'm sure she'll come get your tooth tonight." Bad bad parents!

Stacy McKitrick said...

When I forgot to put the money under my daughter's pillow after losing a tooth, I told her I forgot to put the sign out for the Tooth Fairy to come. She bought it and I made sure not to forget again!

As for Santa, when she asked me if he was real, I asked her back, "Why, don't you want there to be a Santa Claus?" She shut up after that!

Bane of Anubis said...

You should have given him a note: "b/c you do not believe in me any longer, from here on out, you will not receive remuneration for your corporeal decay." Let the bugger stew over that for awhile ;)

Rick Daley said...

Sharon- Max stashed the buck without counting. That's the advantage of the weekday morning, no time for riff raff when the school bus is a-comin'.

KD- We've had some near misses. I don't want to think about the morning conversation had he successfully tricked us...

Stacy- I may use that Santa line this Christmas!

Bane- I'll sit him down with THE POLAR EXPRESS and lay out the "if you don't believe in me, I don't believe in you" logic. Good call.

Scott said...

Great story. Too funny.

As for Santa, I can't remember how old he was, but my nephew asked my sister (his aunt) and I if Santa was real. We quickly responded, almost in unison: ask your mother. Boy, my older sister was ready to string us up, but, hey, we weren't about to get involved in explaining about Santa. No. Way.

S

Vodka Logic said...

Kids are so way smarter than we think they are. I'd have left him the fiver for his inginuity.

Phillipia said...

Too funny. I used to forget...a lot...and then after they were all crying like the next morning I would make the exchange when they were busy with something else and then tell them to check again 'cuz the tooth fairy has a lot of rounds to make and maybe she was just a lil late....
And then there was the time I caught my oldest sneaking into the house with a dead animal (huge dog size) skull he found in our woods. It was there a while - it was perfectly clean with nearly all the teeth in tact. He was going to cash in on the tooth fairy - one night at a time...

lifeissweet16 said...

My daughter woke up once when I was sneaking in to put the money under her pillow. She caught me coming IN, money in hand.

She was mad at me for weeks for "stealing" her money.

Now she insists that was the moment she figured out I was the tooth fairy.

distresseddamsel said...

Too bad for your kid, the tooth fairy is way smarter and trickier than he imagined lol. Well-written and a real thigh-slapper. I doubled over from laughing too much after reading it.