Friday, June 5, 2009

Payback is a Not a Bitch -- It's a Fairy

I see the assistant principal through the window. He's standing beside the cafeteria table at which Thing 2 sits.

I open the door and my boy sprints to me, handing me a note.

In my head, I hear my inner voice of reason say, "Crap in a wrap."

(If you recall the last time there was an incident at school involving Thing 2, the assistant principal and a note you'll know exactly why I thought that. If you don't, read that first note and then the explanatory post about it.)

I look at the paper in my hand. It is in Thing 2's print:

"Too many beans at lunch?" I say.

He shakes his head.

"Oh, is this first word 'guess'?"

He does his bobblehead impression.

"Um, is it something bad?"

"No," says the supervisor of the after-school program. I look over at her and notice the assistant principal has left the room. Ah, a red herring.

I think the thinks that only I can think in relation to my first-grader and most of them involve him crying over the slightest of slights and a failure to wash and wipe.

Good things, stupid brain, think good things!

"Did you lose a tooth?"

Here's a pretty close approximation of how he looked when those words fell from my lips.

"Awesome! That's a big one. Did you pull it or did your teacher?" I ask.

"No. It was really loose. And wiggly. And at lunch, I told Brian. And he told me to do this." The boy balls his right fist and gives himself a little tap in the mouth. "Only I did it harder."

"You punched your own tooth out?"

He nods the nod of triumph and pride that I wish he took in matters of greater significance, such as cleaning a plate of green leafy matter or learning to turn a double play, but it's OK. He's got time before all those things really matter.

"Where's the tooth? You didn't swallow it, did you?"

"Uh-uh. Here. The nurse put it in this."

"That is cool," I say and wonder how many of my tax dollars go to supplying these little plastic bastards every year.

* * *

Morning comes. I'm up a little earlier than normal, working on the computer in my office. I hear his 7-year-old ant-stompers thudding down the staircase.

"Hey, Dad. The tooth fairy gave me $2!" The double-l's in "dollars" sound like w's. He's waving the folded bills I had left under his pillow a few hours earlier.

"That's a lot!" I swivel to face him. "But that was a pretty big tooth. Go back upstairs and put it in your bank before it gets lost."

"No. Here." His big-for-his-age hand offers up the bills matter-of-factly.

"What's this for?"

"It's for the money I still owe you for the DS game you bought me when I didn't have enough on my gift card. I only owe you $11.02 now."

"That's right," I say. "$11.02, you do. Thanks, buddy."

"You're welcome."

He races off with a one-tooth-shy smile, probably to see if the Electricity Fairy fully charged his precious game player overnight. Which he did.

Later that morning, when my boy is off learning about insects or adjectives or something that will one day be elementary to his being, I slip a couple of bucks down the slot in the metal container that rests silently on his bedroom bookcase.


  1. Your son has obviously learned some important money lessons from you and will benefit from them in the future. Now that my kids are older I've decided that if I can afford it, I'm just giving them the money and if change comes back, that's great. But I also hope they learn, or, at least sometime in their lives, discover my generous heart.

  2. THis was just about the sweetest thing I have read. Your son sounds like quite a great kid!

  3. I love this post. It's wonderful!

    (But I have to wonder: Are you going all "Lifetime Channel" on us now?)

  4. Mom of 2 - I promise to keep bringing you the innuendos, double entendres and random nudity you know and love me for.

  5. Man I used to get only 50 cents for my teeth. Inflation is nuts.

  6. Super sweet...just think of it as the softer side of Always Home and Uncool.

  7. Awww ... you're as sweet in your posts as you are in person.

    And much nicer to your kids than I am. I would have said, "thanks", slipped the $$ in my pocket and blown it all at DD's. You're a bigger person than I.


  8. How cute! I wish I had recorded more of those sweet moments in my journals for my kids - it would have helped to remember them when they evolved into teens (another species). Hopefully Thing 2 won't engage in self-flagellation beyond this, eh? LOL

  9. Your kid is a total bad-*ss.

    He punched out his own tooth.

    That's AWESOME. That's like...Chuck Norris Awesome.


  10. You are trying to trick me into thinking that having kids is sometimes wonderful.

    It won't work, you know.

  11. a) you're making me misty
    ii) Thing 2 looks startlingly like you in that photo!
    3) the most recent tooth removal at the House of WingDangDoo was similarly violent; the younger kicked the elder in the mouth to help the process along.

  12. This is pure bliss. Truly.

    It also makes me want to be a kid these days. I used to get just a quarter for my lost teeth. Even back then, you could barely do anything with a quarter!

    Last weekend, I threw out two handfuls of those plastic tooth fairy treasure chests, keeping one each for both kids should they decide to go Fight Club on each other over the summer and lose some teeth before August. I had the same thought as you. We don't have a summer school program, but we have plastic trinkets coming out of our ears here!

  13. I love that little treasure chest. I could use that for so many things, like spare buttons, fingernail clippings, tiny samples of lip gloss that I get at Sephora sometimes. You know, the important stuff.

  14. Ahhhh! You're such a good Dad!!! I hope all three of you have a fabulous weekend and that you find the time to videotape your son and his new lisp!!

    If you ever see my blog, it's chock-full of my youngest, and last child. The good, the bad and the ugly....all saved for posterity! Or laughs. Whatever!!

  15. Wow! If I ever, no I won't, but I enjoy the adventures you have with your Children! Awesome!

  16. heh ... the treasure tooth chest, I haven't seen one of those in AGES!!!! I loved those things!

    You're kid is super duper cool. My parents are STILL trying to get me to pay them back. I keep tellin' em ... it ain't gonna happen! HAHA!


  17. Ever Proud Mom of 2June 5, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    AH&U - Phew. I spent the day on a coach bus with a bunch of 4th graders concerned that your next writing would contain the words "daisies," butterfly kisses," and "the light before dawn." Believe me - this disturbed me even more than the contest that was being held at the back of the bus: who could stay in the stinky bus potty the longest. The winner? My daughter of course.

  18. Okay... I hear ya about those plastic things. My kid lost two teeth this year at school--not by punching himself in the face hehe but by eating an apple... both times!

    anyway he came home with cute little plastic looking TOOTH thing to hold it in.

    The last part of the story pulled at my heart... that was so sweet... and what a good kid you have to remember he owes you money, and be responsible enough to follow through.

    AT that rate... he only needs to lose 5 and 1/2 more teeth to be paid in full!!! :)

  19. Awesome job, dad, resisting the urge to just tell him to keep it. Although I wonder . . . if he's that consciencious about his funds, will he know where the additional two bucks in his stash came from?

  20. So you're a sucker for a cute kid too, huh? It's good to know he's honest!

    And, I'm so glad that note didn't have to do with "gas".

  21. First off, kudos to the kid for being so Fight Club about his tooth. Punching yourself in the face isn't as easy as it looks.
    And wow, for paying you back with his tooth fairy money, daaaaamn. I'm impressed. But you know, you could have just told us that you used the money to buy a 40 oz., you didn't have to lie about putting it back in his bank ;)

  22. Awwwww....I think I need a warning on some of your posts "WARNING: Pregnant, hormonal women may consider fetching a tissue before reading."

  23. Ahh, the sweetest little boy post ever!

    But also, what The Holmes said. So badass.

  24. Such vivid writing about a great moment in parenting, priceless

    I am a new avid reader of this blog

  25. I just started reading your blog, and I have a feeling I'll be reading it for awhile!


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