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Last week we hit another HUGE milestone in the life of a child.  We lost a top, front tooth!  By “we” I mean Mikey.  But this isn’t a story about tender milestones, this is a story about the Tooth Fairy’s ingenious maneuvers to reward my little boy who now looks like a West Virginie hillbilly with gaps both top and bottom and new clumsy, giant, teeth crowding their way front and center.

Last Wednesday we went to Big Lots for some random junk, and naturally my never-satisfied child wants to know if he can have a toy.  And he doesn’t ask just once.  Finally, I told him that if he found something really fantastic that he would die for, I might buy it for him but he couldn’t have it until Valentine ’s Day.  I knew this would kill him and thus make me feel better for falling victim once again to his persistence.

Guess what?  He found something he couldn’t live without, and to be honest, it was pretty awesome.  It was an Optimus Prime truck that transforms at the push of a button, has the wonderful voice of the actor who played Optimus in the movies, and makes cool big rig sounds.

As we wandered around the store, he pressed the button and enjoyed his future toy that would go bye-bye for a week once it was put in a shopping bag.  When we left, Optimus laid low in my trunk for the next 24 hours.

Thursday evening, Mikey’s tooth was barely anchored in his noggin and his daddy dared him to yank it out.  Standing center stage (on the coffee table), Michael proceeded to what I thought was “feign” yanking it out, and then jumping to the sofa.  (Yeah…I know, another parenting issue altogether.)  Then once, he sort of tripped and fell on to the sofa, and he must have had a decent grip on his tooth, because it came catapulting out.  It amazes me how small those baby teeth are.

Let me just say, that I gave dad the evil eye when he set forth this dare, knowing full well we don’t have any cash to leave under the pillow, but he played dumb and kept going.  I don’t even know the going rate for teeth in 2013, but I do know that it’s gotta be a whole lot more than it was 35 years ago, because toys cost money.  In fact, Mikey has gotten small toys left on his pillow for the couple other teeth he’s lost.  One: because I never have cash, and two: because it would take him years to save up enough money to buy anything with it, never learning the value of earning money through the loss of one’s teeth.

So here I am.  I’ve had a month to prepare for this moment, and have chosen to pretend that there would always s be more time.  Nope!  The Tooth Fairy needs to come and she it needs to be tonight.  I guess Optimus was going to show up early, and then how was I going to explain that one without blowing the whole mystique of the Tooth Fairy.  Not to mention, it was a pretty grand gift for someone who lost a tooth.  Sheesh, people would look at that and think we were millionaires and then hate us for our awesome fortune and, also, because we spoil our children.

As I am cutting those stupid tethers that hold toys in their packaging these days, I am trying to come up with a story that will keep from blowing my cover.  Meanwhile, Greg says, “He’ll be so excited to have the toy early, he won’t even care how he got it.”  That’s probably true, but I couldn’t take any chances.  I would worry about that in the morning when he made his discovery.

Sure enough!  He was thrilled!  But being the planner that I am, I made sure to address my concerns with him about not buying into the illusion anymore, and said exasperatedly “That’s just great…I guess I am going to have to bring the one I bought back to Big Lots.  Unle-e-ess the Tooth Fairy followed us around the store, watched us buy O.P. all the while overhearing our conversation about not being able to play with it for a week.  Then she probably spied on us as we loaded up the car.”  I told Mikey we would check the trunk and see if she took that one out of there or if I would need to bring it back, because who needs two?  Wait.  Did I just ask “the collector” that?  I’ve said too much!  Thank God, it was gone from the trunk, or I would have had to let him have two!  We did let Mikey know that the Tooth Fairy left a particularly fancy gift because it was one of the front teeth and not to expect her to leave something this fancy every time—after all he lost one at Grammy’s the week before, and she left him a yo-yo, there.  So, it appears she can also be a little moody with her generosity.

At least she hasn’t forgotten yet and had to pull something off the next night.  That happened to me as a child!

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