Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth

Life is a series of events. Thank goodness they're not all Unfortunate. Actually, very few of them are. But they're all events, and they all connect - in ways that seem to repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

We're slowly outgrowing the "mythical beings" phases of childhood. Brainyboy v9.9 has at least privately abandoned all pretense of belief in the QuasiHoly Triumverite: The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus (when I say privately, I mean he hasn't outright said to me, "I know they don't really exist" but he's mentioned a lot in passing to Laura so I know he knows). Tink, being 6, is still fully immersed in the lore.

And I, being the good and youthful dad, continue to play along.

But it's just so hard, sometimes...consider:


And Here.

And here, and oh my, here.

It's tough to be sneaky.

Well, Tink lost a tooth yesterday evening at church. It was quite the most stubborn of teeth, one that seemed to have decided to take permanant residence at the front of her mouth. It would twist this way and that, wobble in the breeze, do the Hokey Pokey and turns itself around (after all, that's what it's all about) but it refused to come out. So it was a Special Tooth (tm).

And now that it was finally out, it deserved a special sendoff - so bouyed by her success at writing Santa a letter (and getting a reply), she sealed the tooth up in an envelope and wrote the Tooth Fairy a message: "Here's my tooth - please leave me money."

An American girl, natch.

So she put it under her pillow and went to sleep. About 10:30, I'm watching TV downstairs and she putters out to the top of the landing.

Tink: (sleepy) Daddy?

Me: What's wrong?

Tink: I looked under the pillow, and the Tooth Fairy didn't come...

Me: Sweetie, it's just 10:30 - I haven't even gone to bed yet. Don't worry, she'll be here when it's really late and all the lights are out, and everyone's gone to sleep...

Tink: (considering) Ok....

And she scampered off.


Tink: (coming back onto landing) Daddy?

Me: What's wrong now?

Tink: I think the reason I can't get to sleep is because the TV's too loud...

(yeah, right)

So I turn down the TV, go upstairs and re-tuck her into the bed.

Later still...

It's approaching midnight and daddy's getting sleepy. Time for bed. This time I do remember to do the deed, so I creep into her roo--


(damn creaky board...)

I continue... I sneak over to her pillow, reach under and carefully remove the envelope. Not wanting to be caught fumbling with the envelope in her room, I retreat back the way I came out the door. As I exit, I catch a glimpse of her stirring..

(O Crap.)

I peek back in. She's sitting up in bed, with the pillow thrown to the side, staring at the empty spot underneath.

I retreat back into the hallway, extricate the tooth, insert the coin (a Sacajewea Gold Dollar, by the way) and return. I still hear stirring. I stoop down and prop the envelope with the coin against the doorway into her room and scat back down the hall.

I hear the bed creak as she's getting up.

Down the hall to my room, duck inside---

(Crap! The light)

In a move that would have made Indiana Jones proud, I snap my hand back around the doorframe and cut off the light to the living room. The house is in darkness.

I peek outside my door down the hall and see Tink shuffling toward our room.

In a move that would have made Laurence Olivier proud, I shuffle myself out the bedroom door toward her down the hall - blinking, yawning, scratch---, er, well, blinking and yawning. We meet halfway.

She's quietly sobbing..."Daddy, The Tooth Fairy didn't come...."


I smile through my sleep-dazed face, leading her back to her room... I point out the envelope leaning in the doorway. She glances at it, puzzled, and picks it up. She opens it and finds the coin. Smiling wanly, if puzzled, I get her back in bed - congratulating her and expressing my confusion as to why the Tooth Fairy would've left it in the doorway...

Tink: Daddy, why are you awake"?

Me: "Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied, "There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side. So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear. I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back ---"

Oh wait, wrong story.

Me: "Well, I heard you walking around, so I woke up and came to see what was the matter. I've been in bed asleep..."

I think I would've made Bill Clinton proud of that one.

And my fib fooled the child. Then I patted her head, And I got her a drink and I sent her to bed.

Or something like that.

And that's the story of how I fooled my daughter. And things are back to normal - at least until next time. I'm just not sure how much more of this I can take...

And that's the tooth. *PTTTTHHHH*

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