By: Cheryl Maguire
Before you become a parent, I recommend enrolling in an acting improv class. If your children are still young, it’s not too late. Trust me, it will be a lifesaver, especially when you are under intense interrogations regarding important issues such as Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and my personal favorite, The Tooth Fairy. You don’t want to be the reason your child stops believing. You can leave that to the know-it-all child in their class.
I am convinced the person who invented the Tooth Fairy was a dentist (obviously not a parent) who, in the throws of pulling out a child’s tooth, promised a treat at night knowing full well it would not be a burden they would have to bare. Any sane parent would never promise a nighttime surprise. A rational parent realizes at night they are exhausted to the point they can’t remember their own name never mind putting a dollar under the pillow.
The first few tooth losses went well, but then the teeth started falling out like raindrops in the sky and I lost track. I am not making excuses (well maybe I am), but the fact I have twins means double the tooth losses.
The First Time the ‘Tooth Fairy’ Forgot
The first time the tooth fairy missed our house I was trying to accomplish a myriad of tasks which never seem to get done. And then I drifted off into a deep coma like sleep.
I awoke to sobbing sounds and a jarring stab to my arm. My daughter, in between sniffles said, “Mama, mama, the tooth fairy didn’t come.”
She held the Ziploc bag containing her tooth in front of my glazed over, half asleep eyes.
The panic jolted me out of my slumber and instilled a bewildered expression on my face.
My daughter asked, “Mama what is wrong with you? And why didn’t the tooth fairy come? Why aren’t you talking?”
I never was good at “winging it” Here’s where the acting improv class would’ve helped.
“Um, Let me check my phone to see if I got any messages from her.”
My fingers ferociously typed in the Google search box, “Tooth Fairy Forgot.” The first result read, “The Tardy Tooth Fairy.” Before I could read it, my daughter wiped away a tear from her eye and asked with a hopeful tone, “So did you get any messages from her?”
“Um, I am still trying to pull up the messages. Uh, ah, um, it is taking longer than usual. Maybe something is wrong with my phone.”
Scanning the article, the first suggestion required the help of an older sibling which was non-existent. The next idea involved a sleight of hand trick implying the child missed the dollar under the pillow. Despite being a cleaver idea, my money was downstairs so this one was also not going to work. The third plan I ended up using.
“It looks like the Tooth Fairy did leave a message. She was extremely busy last night and is sorry, but she will definitely make it soon.”
“Really? She left a message? Let me see,” my daughter said as she attempted to grab the phone out of my hand.
“Oh, sorry. I just deleted the message’”
The tooth fairy ended up arriving while she was at school (and I was wide awake) and she seemed satisfied. You would think that this experience would prevent me from ever forgetting again, but it didn’t. The next time was worse.
The Second Time She Forgot Was Worse
Again, awoken by a sharp jab, but this time it was my son. He stood next to me with his head bent forward, with a forlorn expression, he mumbled, “She forgot about me.”
It was the saddest site I’d ever witnessed. I felt a stab again, but this one was caused by self-induced guilt. The lack of tears and drama somehow made the situation worse. But this time I was prepared to handle it with dollar bills stashed in my nightstand.
“Are you sure she forgot? Let’s go have a look together.”
He headed down the hall, and I palmed the dollar. While he looked under his sheets, I threw the dollar under the pillow.
“Are you sure you checked under the pillow?”
He tossed the pillow on the floor, and he had the grin of someone who just won the lottery as he held the dollar.
“She did come. She didn’t forget about me.”
What Did We Learn?
What can you learn from these tragic tales? While you are enrolling in the above-mentioned acting improv class, add a memory improvement class to your list so you can avoid this whole sorry situation entirely.