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Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Which We Realize That the Middle Child Is a Materialistic Liar

The X-Man has been in the process of losing his first tooth for a while now. We thought he was excited about the maturity implied by the losing of the first tooth. We thought his excitement was pure. In fact, it was not.

There's been much discussion about the tooth in recent weeks. There was another tooth growing in behind it, jockeying for the prime spot. The same thing happened when O's first tooth was loose. Neophytes that we were, we rushed to the dentist and, in an attempt to save him from braces, had the old tooth extracted. It was a lot of fun. O had brought with him a set of nasty looking plastic teeth that he got from the prize basket at Piggly Wiggly. He had saved them for weeks and couldn't wait to put them on right before the dentist looked in his mouth. That kid has always had a great sense of humor; he gets it from his dad me. Even after getting hopped up on nose gas (love that stuff!), he remembered to put them in. You don't know funny until you've seen your six year old, high as a kite, wearing hillbilly teeth and laughing and drooling. I think the dentist liked it. And now I know what kind of behavior to look for when O is a teenager and I'm trying to figure out if he's been drinking.

The X-Man was increasingly impatient. Each of us had chosen a day when we thought the tooth would fall and all of those days had come and gone, tooth intact. Several nights ago, we went upstairs to kiss the boys while they were sleeping (and smell them - they still smell so cute, but I'm guessing this will come to an end soon. I've caught whiffs of the socks and I can smell the future.) We found this note under the X-Man's pillow:

We hadn't realized he lost his tooth! This was such exciting news! We were somewhat disquieted by the rampant materialism, but thrilled that his happy entrée into big kidhood had arrived. We examined the note and decided that requests for a book and a baseball were endearing, in an All American boy kind of way. Since the Firefly Phone seemed to be an afterthought, we chose to overlook it. The picture of himself looking sweet was a nice touch.

In our house, the Tooth Fairy brings five dollars. I am mildly irritated with you parents out there who've raised the bar so high. What happened to a quarter? Or even a dollar. Our Tooth Fairy brings five dollars, even though we've heard tales of her co-fairies leaving as much as twenty. And some of these overeager fairies leave toys, including computer games. Hello? How hard is it to lose a tooth? What's next, a trip to Disney World? Anyhow, we couldn't really fault the X-Man for his high expectations, given the myths he's heard on the playground.

After looking in his mouth to verify that he had actually lost the tooth...oops. Not only is he opportunistic, he's a filthy liar! There was the baby tooth, in all its glory, right in front of the new tooth, who still had its back. The next morning, we mentioned that we had found the note when we came up to kiss him and told him that the Tooth Fairy cannot be fooled. She doesn't show up if there's no space in the mouth. And that was that.

Until the next morning, when I was putting his sheets in the wash and another note fell out.

Although I appreciate the addition of "please" and the absence of lies, I do think the picture of himself looking depressed is a bit manipulative. To be honest, I almost fell for it myself. Something about the striped shirt and his hand reaching out for "the stuff" was poignant. His bleak expression tugged my heartstrings. Alas, I'm not that nice, so I got over it.

The next morning, I told him once more that the Tooth Fairy only arrives when there's a fresh gap where a tooth has been. He was disappointed, but resigned to waiting, just like every other kid in the world.

That night, when the kids were "asleep," I heard an excited, nervous "Wheeeeeee, heeeeheeeeheeeee. Aaaaaaah!" from upstairs. This was followed by a skinny little chicken head stumbling down the stairs, bloody tooth in slobbery hand. I shook his hand (not the drooly one) and congratulated him on his accomplishment. We folded the tooth in a piece of paper and taped it closed. I know you didn't think I was one of those parents who has the fancy tooth box or pillow. I found the piece of paper on the counter; on the front, it had a printed request for food for Harvest Hope Food Bank (which we won't forget, and you should donate, too!) and on the back, someone had written "Go, Cocks!" That's my boy!

The next morning, my husband overheard the following exchange:

O: So, did the Tooth Fairy come?

X-Man, after looking under his bed, in case the goods had arrived, and sighing when he found nothing but junk he had crammed under there himself: Yeah, but she just left a five dollars.

Oh well, at least he's cute. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you...The Gap:

Namasté, y'all!

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