The Tooth Fairy Doesn't Strike Again
This morning, my son announced that he lost a tooth last night. Grinning proudly, he displayed the tell tale empty spot. He looked sneaky.
"Last night??!" said I, making a mental note to have a couple of $1 bills on hand for after bedtime. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I wanted to see if the Tooth Fairy was real."
More grinning, the "a-ha! I caught you" kind of grinning.
I was stumped. What could I possibly say to that? If he is conniving -- I mean clever -- enough to test the Tooth Fairy, then he's probably going to see through any of my usual ploys to fool my kids into doing or believing something.
Rick tried: "She is real, but there's a protocol you have to follow. You broke protocol." Relishing his win, the kid just walked out of the room, self-satisfied.
I resisted the urge call after him "well, the cash is real, isn't it, buddy? You can still buy a pepsi with Tooth Fairy money, even if she's a fraud!"
I do not enjoy being stumped by my offspring. I vastly prefer being the one with the tricks up her sleeve, who can hustle Tallulah into her car seat and Elizabeth into cleaning up. I loved it when this same son drew a picture of a "super creature" and put eyes in the back of its head, "just like you, Mom!" I revel in the way the little ones get excited and celebrate when the "Music Truck" rolls through the neighborhood.
My parents had a classic one: on our way to visit my grandparents, the road took us by Casa de Fruta, cash-trap extraordinaire and much loved by us kids. It did not occur to us as strange that Dad just happened to see deer on the opposite side of the highway on the exact same stretch of road on every single trip. But we fell, hook line and sinker, and would line up like trained monkeys on the left side of the car, faces pressed to the window, scanning the hills for deer. We were always unlucky and missed them, while our VW van merrily scooted past Casa de Fruta. Chalk one up for the 'rents.
So when the kid starts turning the tables and being sneaky himself, well, I think it's cause for mourning. An era comes to an end, a cosmic shift in the parent-child relationship takes place, it's curtains for the parent-trickster.
Whatever will I do when all five of them are on to me? I am doomed.
On the bright side? I can spend my dollar bills on my tall non-fat latte. That'll teach him to be clever.
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