The Scientist leads a glamorous life. Last week he jetted off West; this week East. Well, OK, the West was Minnesota (be sure to pronounce like a toothless hockey player)–not so glamorous. The East, however, is Portugal–not too shabby. He jets off here, he jets off there, and poor Poor Princess–I jet off nowhere. I stay home playing mommy–chef and chauffeur, judge and jury, teacher and trainer. And tooth fairy. Twice.
The first time LL lost a tooth during the Scientist’s trip to Minnesota, all went smoothly. LL wrote the tooth fairy a note kindly asking for $2, put his tooth under his pillow, and I swapped his note and tooth for 2 dollar bills. Fait accomplit. Good Tooth Fairy. Good mommy.
But the second time–the second time The Scientist was also gone a second time–a second time in the span of a week. And this time he wasn’t only gone for 3 days across the country, but 7 across the ocean. And even though it was only a couple of days into those 7, back-to-back full-time mommying was making me tired. Damn tired.
That evening, the kids kept getting out of bed with one excuse or another. “Mama, I’m thirsty.” “Mama, I need to poo.” “Mama, can you come cuddle with me again?” “Mama, can you give me a math problem?” “No fair–I want a math problem!” “Me too!” And then finally, “Mama–come see all the blood!”
“I lost another tooth!”
I debate getting up. “Come downstairs,” I finally say. “Let me see.”
“OK,” I say, too tired to even rise from the sofa. “Stick it under your pillow, and I’m sure the tooth fairy will come.”
She fell asleep on the sofa, and then woke herself up long enough to brush her teeth before collapsing in bed.
The next morning, I’m awoken to a wail. “Maaaammmaaaa! The tooth fairy didn’t come! My tooth is STILL here!”
Cool J sits up in bed. “Did you write her a note? Did you ask for anything? How would she know she had to come and give you something?”
Ah, Cool J. My savior.
That night, LL sat down at the table and wrote the Tooth Fairy a note: “Dear Tooth Fairy, Can I please have $2? Thank you.” He turned the two o’s in Tooth into eyeballs with long eyelashes, and signed his name, first and last.
“I’m sure she’ll come this time,” I say. I write my own notes–at least five, though they’re virtual, not physical–and I plant them in different places in my brain. Don’t forget, don’t forget, don’t forget. “I’m sure she’ll come this time,” I say again.
Repeat of the previous night. I was watching Kristen Stewart (I’m committed to trashy TV during the Scientist’s absence: the night before it was stuttering Stewart in New Moon, this time in Eclipse) trying to be oh-so-cool in her Northwest grunge (seriously? Is that still in style there?) and wondering how Robert Pattinson is not getting that awful red lipstick all over her, and just feeling generally uncomfortable by their permanently-pained facial expressions (are they constipated??) (Thank goodness for Jacob–Ooooooh, Jacob . . .!). And then my brain went dead.
When the alarm went off the next morning, I hit snooze. But when I started dreaming of teeth falling from the sky, I bolted awake. Shit!!!! I dashed down the stairs, grabbed my wallet, took out 3 one-dollar bills–the kid deserves interest at this point–and ran upstairs to arrive precisely at the moment that LL is sitting up, hands on his pillow, about to lift it. I slide my hand under the pillow just as it rises from the bed. I swap the tooth for the cash. Success! I am unable to grab the note–LL has already noticed its presence and is asking me why the Tooth Fairy didn’t either a) take his note, or b) write him back–but who cares. My mission was a success. A last minute, under-the-wire success.
I am relieved.
LL, however, is not. “Why did she give me $3?”
“I guess she felt bad that she didn’t come the first night, so she gave you extra. Well, that was nice of her, wasn’t it?”
“No, it wasn’t right. I asked for $2.” A child’s justice is highly inflexible.
“Oh, that’s OK. Just be happy you got more.”
“No, I’m not supposed to get more. That’s not right.”
“The Tooth Fairy didn’t do good?”
The whole day LL sat there with the three dollar bills in his hands, wondering aloud what was wrong with the tooth fairy–can’t she read???
That Tooth Fairy needs an early retirement–or at least a vacation!
Dear Scientist, come on home, won’t you?