She forgot the tooth.
Big mistake. Colossal, in fact. Ground for termination, some might say. And if they said that, the Tooth Fairy might say back, "Best news yet. Fire my ass. I am begging you to. I never applied for this job in the first place."
In her defense, let me say this: the Tooth Fairy is exhausted, and overburdened, and juggling too much. She bites off more than she can chew, that one, works herself to the damn bone and for God's sake, she's ONLY HUMAN AFTER ALL.
Did I say human? I meant "superhuman," obviously. The point is, even the Tooth Fairy makes mistakes sometimes.
This is what I had to tell my daughter when she woke up and found her tooth still under the pillow and no money there, either.
"Mommy!" gasped Seconda, "The Tooth Fairy didn't come last night!"
The fact that I managed to utter "Oh, for fuck's sake!" only in my mind is a testament to my pretty spectacular self control.
I shot a look at David.
I thought you were on top of that shit, his eyes said.
My eyes replied: Me? What about you? You're not capable of swapping a tooth for cash for once?
His eyes got loud: Oh don't even. Don't you even start with that shit.
OK fine, forget it, its no one's fault, my eyes backed off, Except for yours.
Because we've been married roughly sixty years, we can have this non-verbal argument in approximately two milliseconds, we've nailed it down that well.
So, within a second, while Seconda was rushing over to show Primo the tooth that had been left in its little plastic tooth treasure chest, I was rushing over to my wallet, extracting three dollars and shoving it under the pillow in the bedroom while the kids were still in the living room. I was only gonna give one dollar but now there was a three hundred percent guilt surcharge tacked on the original amount.
Then I ran back into the living room and pointed out real casually: "Well, did you check well under the pillow? Maybe she left money WITH the tooth."
Primo shot me a hal-disgusted, half-disappointed look, like "What kind of shit are you trying to pull now, Ma?" He knows the Truth about the Tooth Fairy. Kid made me confess to being Santa last summer and after that cover was compromised, it only took a few hours before he came rushing over wanting to know if the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy were also big, unforgiveable lies too.
"Not lies," I'd explained, "Stories! Fun stories!"
"Just tell me the plain truth!" he'd exclaimed, fully fed-up with my evasions and more than a little betrayed: "Are you the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, too?"
"Yes," I confessed, "I am all of them."
Then I forbade him to utter a word of this to his little sister, implicating him in the lie. He is now an accomplice. And also, in a position to shame me when I screw up and don't fulfill my fairy responsibilities.
Seconda was too excited, though, to notice her brother's response. She found the money under the pillow and was thoroughly relieved, if a bit confused.
"Wow! We got to keep the money AND the tooth?" she wondered.
"You know what, honey?" I ventured, "I bet she just forgot the tooth. I bet she gets really tired because she is up all night collecting teeth and she probably got home to the Fairy Castle and was like, 'Oh shoot! I forgot to take the tooth again! Darnit! Now I have to go back and get it tomorrow night!'"
Sec piped in: "Yeah, because if she doesn't, she'll get fired!"
Little does she know this particular fairy would love to get someone else to take over her job, in this one respect. Three kids now: that adds up to a lot of teeth collecting. But, hey -- maybe I can get Siri to do it for me.
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