When Bradley woke up and found his tooth fairy money, I could hear his excitement. I heard him jump off his top bunk, I could tell he was smiling just by the sound of his bounce, and he came barging into the bathroom holding his money.
“Mom! She came!” he yelled. “Look at all the money she left me!” he said, holding a wad of ones.
“Wow! How much is there?” I asked, even though I knew. I’m a pretty darn good tooth fairy, if I say so myself.
“Let me count,” he said, going off to his bedroom.
I heard him counting each one very slowly; one, two, three, and so on.
“Five dollars! She left me FIVE dollars!” he said, giggling and doing a little dance. “AND she didn’t put in UNDER my pillow, she put in IN my pillow (meaning in the pillowcase). She’s tricky!”
“Wow! You are such a lucky boy,” I told him.
“Now I have seven dollars,” he said.
Now this wasn’t a problem until he said that he was going to put his money in his wallet, which we keep up high in a special spot so Collin doesn’t get it. He headed downstairs to put his money away and I thought, Oh, shit! He’s going to find an empty wallet.
See, a few days ago I had “borrowed” a couple of dollars from Bradley’s wallet. We were going to the zoo for a field trip and I didn’t have any cash and no time to run to the ATM. So I took the couple of bucks out of Bradley’s wallet to feed the fish and goats. I was planning on putting it back and just forgot…until now, my “oh, shit!” moment.
I listened to him downstairs climbing onto the counter to get his wallet. I tried to figure out a way of telling him why his wallet was empty. I really hoped that maybe he thought that he had spent his money, but unlikely. I heard his footsteps coming back up the stairs. I was a little surprised at what happened next.
“Mom! The tooth fairy gave me some of my money, too! From my wallet! She IS tricky!” He thought this was great! And I could have been done with it, free and clear.
I could have let him think that the tooth fairy was “tricky” and put his money under his pillow along with what she gave him…but I didn’t. I told him the truth, that mommy took the money for the zoo and that I would give it back to him when I went to the bank. He didnt’ seem to mind.
NOT my best parenting moment…but pretty funny. Hey! I did give him FIVE bucks for that tooth, partly out of the “going rate” for the tooth fairy and partly out of guilt for taking his money in the first place.