On Playing Tooth Fairy

Bradley has been wiggling his front tooth for months now. I thought it would never fall out. At night when I would read him a book, he would listen to the story with his thumb in his mouth, wiggling away at his front tooth. Every night after we put the bookmark between the pages I would check it out and give it a little wiggle myself. “It’s getting looser!” I would always say. “Keep wiggling it everyday.” Sometimes I would try to grab ahold of it and pull, but no luck. It was a slippery little tooth.

I bought apples, carrots, corn on the cob, cucumbers; all kinds of crunchy stuff so maybe he would lose that tooth.

It just took him wiggling and messing with it until it finally fell out the other night. I was frying bacon for BLT’s for supper and he came in the kitchen with a wash rag hanging out his mouth and a tiny tooth in his hand. “It finally came out!” he said, smiling real big with a little bit of blood on his top lip.

“Yay!” I cheered. “Let me see! Does it hurt? Did you pull it out or did it just fall out?”  I wish I was there when it happened, and not in the kitchen cooking. But oh well, there will be other teeth falling out. With all these kids I think I will manage. I will have lots of teeth to collect.

And oh, he looks so cute with that open spot where the tooth used to be, just like a little boy in a Norman Rockwell painting that you see in calendars.

“The tooth fairy is coming tonight!”

We put his tooth in a baggy and tied it up. “This way,” I told him, “the tooth fairy will be able to find it when it’s under your pillow.”

It seemed to take forever for bedtime to come. I was as excited as Bradley for the tooth fairy.It felt like christmas all over again with the waiting and anticipation.

I stayed up as long as I could to make sure he was good and asleep. At 10:30, I grabbed my wad of ones and headed up the stairs to be the toothfairy. I was so tired I wished I had wings to fly me up the stairs.

I listened at the cracked bedroom door, resting my hand on the robot poster tacked to the front of the door. I could hear their little sleepy breaths, in and out. 

I didn’t hesitate. I plunged my hand quickly under the pillow, holding my breath, and searching for the plastic baggy with the little baby tooth. I couldn’t find it anywhere and started to panic, looking around on the floor, all the while searching under the pillow. What the heck? Where could it have gone?

He grinded his teeth (ugh, a sleeping habit that drives me crazy) and rolled over. I held very still, ready to duck under the bunk bed if he woke up.

When he rolled over, I noticed the baggy was stuck to the back of his upper arm. I snatched it quickly, hoping he wouldn’t feel the plastic coming off his sweaty skin, and simultaneously slipping the money under his pillow.

He settled in and never had a clue.

I went to bed, anxious for the surprise in the morning.

xxx

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