My daughter has had a loose tooth for awhile now. Months, in fact. It started out just barely moving when manhandled, but in the last week or so, it’s been barely hanging in there. My husband, in fact, kept saying to me, “Let’s just YANK it!” He was worried she’d accidentally swallow it while eating her lunch at school. I thought he was being a bit paranoid, but our son did end up swallowing HIS tooth while we were eating at a restaurant on my birthday 2 years ago, so stranger things have happened.
So, tonight after dinner, Gracie is talking to me, and I notice it looks like her tooth is gone. I motioned her over, and sure enough, that thing was literally hanging by a thread, so I yanked it. Yanked, really, I just barely pulled it, it was so ready to come out. Aside from her freaking out because “there’s blood!” and “it’s all salty in my mouth,” everyone was very excited. Until, that is, I realized that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t prepared. In her defense, she has been houseboundwith2sickgirlsandworkingveryhardonotherprojects and, well, really there’s no excuse.
Now, what’s the big deal, right? It’s the tooth fairy. When I was a kid, I got a quarter! Maybe 50 cents. When I had 4 teeth pulled before getting braces, I did get a bigger gift – a necklace actually – but I digress. In our house, the first tooth warrants something kind of big. Not new bicycle big, but little toy big. Sean got, if my memory serves me correctly, a Star Wars Transformer. After the first tooth, you get a gold coin. Now, if it were up to the husband, we’d just do the gold coin. I know my kids, though. They don’t forget. They don’t forget that Mommy is older than Daddy. They don’t forget lines from Star Wars, or that I promised they’d get dessert if they ate their dinner, or that the toy they told Grammy it was okay to take and give away was the very toy they decided they needed now, 3 months later. They’re elephants. They wouldn’t forget that Sean got one thing if Gracie got something much smaller.
So, after getting the kids in bed (well, 2 of the kids… the one child we needed to get something for was still awake), I trekked out into rain to get something. (I almost said pouring, but who’s kidding who? It was sprinkling.) I got to Target and quickly learned that running shoes are not a good choice for rainy weather. For while it wasn’t raining very hard, there were big puddles, and walking only a few steps in mesh sneakers got my socks soaking wet very quickly, which made for a fun trip to the store.
45 minutes, a tooth fairy gift, a giant pack of toilet paper and paper towels, trinkets for the kids’ Halloween parties, lotion, tissues, soap, and a workout video later, I was home, and Gracie was still awake, so we watched a little “Dancing With the Stars” while we waited for her to sleep.
Finally, it was showtime. Time to sneak into the dark of her room, take the tooth, and replace it with a toy. I took half the work out of the job by convincing her to put the tooth in a box under the pillow she sleeps NEXT TO, rather than the pillow under her head. As long as she and her sister stay asleep, we’ll be fine. Slip in, make the switch, slip out.
As if it were that simple. If you know me, you know that it can’t possibly that easy.
We sneak in, trying very hard to be perfectly silent. The husband hands me the toy. I set it gingerly on top of the pillow next to her (as it’s just a little too big fto fit under her pillow) and I reach under the pillow and pull out the box. I open it up, and the box tips and we hear the tip tap the tooth makes as it falls out of the box onto the floor. In the dark. In between two sleeping girls who are starting to stir.
“Just leave it!” the husband says, “Make a run for it!”
“I can’t! What if she sees it in the morning! Get a little flashlight!”
So, he disappears and comes back with a giant, 16 inch maglite. Not exactly what I had in mind. So, to keep from waking the girls, he flashes it on and then shuts it off. He does this several times before I start to get frustrated since I can’t see enough when he does that. So he turns it on, trying to keep it down so the girls won’t wake, and we just start giggling. Our 3-year-old starts to make noise, and he whisper shouts “Maddie’s going to Rat us out!”
There we are, in the dark, between the two beds of our sleeping girls, holding a giant flashlight, feeling around in the dark for a tiny tooth, and trying desperately not to laugh so hard that they’ll wake. After a minute or two of this, the husband bolts, leaving me there. I decide to fetch a smaller flashlight and resume the search. 10 minutes later, after searching the house and trying to get the husband to help me start this very odd flashlight that runs on some sort of crazy battery that charges when you shake it, he opens his hand and in the center of his palm is the tiny tooth. That he’s had in his hand the entire time I’ve been searching the house and acting like an idiot, shaking a flashlight to make it work.
But, we have the tooth.
And the fairy did her job.
And everyone’s asleep. (Except me, of course, because I didn’t want to forget Gracie’s first lost tooth.)