My husband had to go out of town for a funeral, leaving me with my 6-year-old and 2-year-old for the weekend. No big deal -- how much could I screw them up in one weekend?
Dani Klein Modisett: "Mooom, my tooth, Mom, it hurts!" the older one wailed at 5 o'clock the next morning, walking into our room. "It hurts so much, please pull it out, pleaaase!" Just the thought of a wiggling, bloody tooth makes me want to heave.
"Honey, I can't do that. I don't do that ... you know I can't do that ..." I said, wiping a tear off his cheek.
"But Mom, that's what Daddy would do, if Daddy were here, he'd pull it out and make me feel better!" he whined, clearly in a lot of pain.
"Oh sweetie, I don't think he would. He'd say he was going to do that, but I'd stop him because it's disgusting. Besides, a tooth doesn't have to be pulled out -- when it's ready, it comes out naturally."
"Okay fine, Mom," he said, annoyed, as if to say, "I can't believe I have to spend my weekend with this wimp and her lame ideas about nature."
Five minutes later, I was in the kitchen making coffee and heard:
"I got it!" The bathroom door flew open.
"MOM!" Gabriel yelled, "I did it! I did it! I got it out." I ran to him in the hallway with a wad of wet paper towels, anticipating a geyser of blood spewing out of his mouth. Thankfully, there was only a hole where the tooth used to be. Gabriel's fingers flew up to my face, the tiny human tusk held between two of them. I immediately delivered it into a Ziploc bag, and he delivered that under his pillow.
After I got the kids to bed that night, I quickly checked my wallet for singles, which I had, and then promptly fell asleep watching TV. The next morning, Gabriel shuffled into my room sobbing, holding his baggie with the tiny tooth.
"Mom ... Mom ... the tooth fairy forgot, Mom! There is no tooth fairy ... Mom ... waaah waaah ..."
Oh no, I cannot ruin the tooth fairy for my son, especially with my husband out of town and no one else to blame. I sent him off to pee, dashed to my wallet, retrieved two singles, and shoved them under my pillow just as he was flushing.
"Honey, why don't you check in here?" I asked, lifting his chin. "Maybe the fairy got confused since your brother slept in here, maybe she was in a rush ..." and maybe your mother is incompetent at keeping the magic of being a kid alive. "Mom, Mom! Look!" he said, finding the dollars and waving them in my face. His smile quickly turned to a scowl. "Wait a minute, I know who the tooth fairy is, it's your parents!"
"Parents? HA!" I replied. "Not possible. Children losing all those teeth? Parents don't have time to track all that. Absolutely not. Look how busy the real fairy was that it didn't even make it to your room!"
"That's true, and it left me two dollars instead of one! Can I keep the extra one? Can I? Can I? Daddy would let me, Mom." So I did.
|Dani Klein Modisett is the mother of 2-year-old Gideon (pictured) and 6-year-old Gabriel. She is comedy writer/creator/producer of the show "Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine." An anthology of stories from this show, published by St. Martin's Press, is now in stores everywhere.|