The day finally came. I wasn’t ready but the kids were. We’ve been in the midst of a lost tooth bonanza, and my 8-year old lost her 4th tooth in as many months at summer camp on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, after finding $5 (I’ll explain later), she looked me in the eyes, with her brother next to her, and called me out on the tooth fairy.
Every parent knows those moments of childhood will come. The moment they ask about sex, the moment they realize Santa isn’t real, the moment they bring home math homework you just can’t help with. But no parent is really ready for the day to come. You don’t have a speech planned. You don’t realize the emotional sadness that comes with seeing them grow up so fast that you can’t stop them, or the guilt that you are also excited you don’t have to fake it any more.
Essentially, I was a deer in headlights, with a 10-year old and 8-year old teaming up against me – alone. It went down like this:
As with every other lost-tooth situation, with the tooth under the pillow. Bedtime and sweet dreams and guesses of what the tooth fairy would bring. Except this time, the “tooth fairy” may have forgotten to visit. Gem woke up early and didn’t find anything. Then she fell back asleep.
Mom wakes her up for summer camp and is caught “fixing her pillow.” Then, magically, $5 shows up under her pillow but the tooth remains. Hmmm….
The first conversation of the day on Thursday, which should have cued me in to what was coming:
Gemma: “Mom, why would the tooth fairy leave me $5? That’s only for first tooth. Also, she was late. I checked this morning, and there was no money, but then I checked when YOU woke me up and there was money, BUT she forgot the tooth.”
Mom: “I don’t know Gem. Maybe, she couldn’t find the tooth. And maybe, she felt it was a special summer tooth, and was proud of your report cards, or just ran out change.”
Payton: “But Mom, the tooth fairy seems to forget a lot for us.”
Mom: “No honey, that’s not true. The tooth fairy has only missed you guys four times, and she always came the next night.”
Gemma: “Mom! Are you the tooth fairy. I don’t think a real tooth fairy would forget four times, but you would…”
Payton: “I don’t know. I don’t think the tooth fairy is real.”
Mom: “Crap! Where’s your dad.”
Gemma: “Yeah. I knew the tooth fairy wasn’t real. In that movie Grown Ups, the mom (Salma Hayek) gets mad and says she’ll put money under the pillow when the little girl loses her tooth. Remember…”
Mom: “WHAT?!?!? You haven’t believed in the tooth fairy since watching that movie two years ago.”
Gemma: “Not really, but if I asked you about, then I wouldn’t get money…plus Payton didn’t know until now. Don’t worry, we won’t tell Dom.”
So, sadly, for my oldest two, it is time to say goodbye to the tooth fairy, though I’m not sure that I’m really ready.
Also, apparently, my 8-year old daughter is a con artist!!!!