Here it is, the Wednesday, Oct. 15/08 edition of "Past Deadline," published in The Perth Courier. I had that old Chiffon margarine commercial from the 1970s in mind with the title: "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
It’s not nice to fool the Tooth Fairy
Grade 1 is probably the only time one is truly applauded for having one’s teeth fall out. A possible exception may be when one is a professional hockey player.
It’s a badge of honour, really. One day Groom-boy jokingly asked Boychild’s teacher if she could teach him to grow some teeth. “Oh, no,” she laughed. “That’s how we know they’re in Grade 1!”
Indeed, most of Boychild’s chums have big holes in their faces. This can make eating apples and corn on the cob very difficult. That said, all the hardship comes with a cash bonus. The Tooth Fairy is certainly paying much better these days than when I was kid. Inflation helps. In addition to his earnings from the Tooth Fairy, a good chunk of the coin in Boychild’s wallet is courtesy of all the grandparents slipping him loonies for his gummy smile.
I betcha Groom-boy wishes someone would pay him when he loses a tooth.
We almost had an International Incident here a few weeks ago when Boychild lost another one.
As is becoming customary, when ye olde tooth comes out Mama prepares the body by rinsing off any gore as necessary (moms get all the glamorous jobs) and wrapping the bedraggled thing in a tiny makeshift envelope fashioned from a folded square of paper and sealed with tape. I then label the paper with the child’s name, the date of the loss and the particulars of the tooth (e.g. top left front) in case the Tooth Fairy has a penchant for filing the teeth in some sort of, ahem, tooth repository or jewellery box for later review and nostalgia. Yeah. I’ve heard the Tooth Fairy is cute that way.
Anyway, whilst Boychild was in the bathtub, I was in my spacious office (read: tiny dormer window) in the upstairs hallway preparing the latest specimen for deposit under his pillow. In a random fit of idiocy, I tipped my teeny envelope too far to one side before I had sealed the end and the tooth fell out onto the carpet.
Plop. A tiny white thing was lost in a speckled beigy-white, medium-pile carpet. Fantastic.
So there I was, down on my hands and knees, running my fingers through the carpet. The tooth had, of course, fallen near a bag filled with files and loose papers, and I couldn’t be sure whether it had fallen into the bag or not. For several minutes I kneaded every inch of carpet in the vicinity, but the only tooth-like objects I turned up were (and this is the part that’ll make you wish you lived here) bits of kitty litter. The litter pan is located several feet away but, clearly, the fur children manage to track bits of grit from one end of the carpeted hall to the other. Sigh. Note to self: Either replace the carpet with hardwood (yes!) or vacuum more carefully.
After fruitlessly searching the carpet and the contents of the bag, and with Boychild’s departure from the bathtub imminent, I did what any other Mother of the Year would do. My fingers had been fooled several times by the kitty litter, so I snagged a tooth-sized piece, put it in my homemade envelope, sealed it with tape and labelled it.
When it was presented to Boychild to place beneath his pillow, he felt the package and said, “Is this my tooth?” I averted my eyes, broke out into a tiny sweat and fidgeted slightly, but the fraud was successful and the item was appropriately placed.
We didn’t have to find out what would happen when the Tooth Fairy discovered our deception because not long after Boychild went to bed Groom-boy stepped on the tooth on the stairs. We figure it must have flown out of some of the papers I pulled from the bag while I was frantically searching. We made a switcheroo before the Tooth Fairy arrived.
I shudder to think of what might have occurred – there’s nothing worse than an angry pixie, I hear. Would she have smashed up Boychild’s room? Awakened him and called him names? Deposited something unpleasant under his pillow? Spread kitty litter throughout the house as some sort of revenge?
Disaster averted. Phew!