My oldest son is 6 years old. He just recently had his first loose tooth. He would not let anyone touch it, so it hung in there until the last thread of gum gave out.
My mom sent me the picture of the gaping hole after he finally lost his tooth one day while at her house. His eyes were beaming with joy.
When I picked him up that night after work, he showed me the tooth excitedly. Abuela started to tell him how “el ratoncito” was gonna pay him a visit.
Seriously, a rat is going to visit you to take your tooth away and leave you money? I quickly interrupted her creepy Cuban fairytale, and told Gaby how the Tooth Fairy would be coming to leave him a surprise under his pillow.
“YES!” He said pumping his fist. “The Tooth Fairy is gonna bring me a lot of dollars!”
He brought his bottom front tooth home bundled up in a piece of crumpled Bounty, inside a Ziploc bag.
That night, after story time with his brothers and sisters, I reminded him that the Tooth Fairy would be visiting him.
“But Daddy says the Tooth Fairy isn’t real,” he said forlornly.
Luckily, my husband couldn’t see the little flames that flickered in my eyes.
I texted him immediately, “The Tooth Fairy is REAL.”
“Go ask your father again. He was probably just confused.”
They all ran to the living room, except their baby brother, David, of course; he’s only three months old.
When they came back, Gaby was happy again because Daddy had said the Tooth Fairy WAS real.
“See, I told you. Now lay down so we can pray, and you can go to sleep so the Tooth Fairy can come.”
“Oh, No! My tooth is in the kitchen,” he cried like the true drama king that he is.
I assured him that I’d get it when he went to sleep, and place it under his pillow for him. Sofy turned off her night light, and we prayed while I finished giving the baby his bottle. Usually, Gaby is asleep before I even say,”Dear Lord, thank you for this day.” Or as Vicky says, “Dear Lauren.” But tonight I noticed he was quite fidgety.
“Gaby, what’s wrong?”
“I’m scared the Tooth Fairy is going to come, and I’m going to see her.”
I was a little surprised at his sudden fear, but as I left the room, I assured him,”She’ll come while you’re sleeping. Don’t worry. Goodnight guys. Love you.”
No sooner did I put the baby in his crib and lay down in my bed, than he was standing right next to me.
“Mommy, I’m scared to see the Tooth Fairy.”
I propped myself up on one arm and caressed his terrified face. “Okayyyy. How about I put the tooth under my pillow instead? And she’ll leave you a surprise here.”
He shook his head in agreement. I got up and walked him back to bed. He has his own room, but he sleeps in his sister’s room, on the top bunk.
“Alright, good night. Remember, you are here with Sofy, but you really have nothing to be afraid of.”
I kissed his worry creased forehead, went back to my room, put the Ziploc under my pillow and lay down again. Not 2 minutes later he was at my bedside.
“Gaby you have to go to sleep. We all have to be sleeping or the Tooth Fairy won’t come.”
“But what if she goes in Sofy’s window instead of your room, and she goes to my bed,” he asked, wringing his hands nervously.
“Uhhhhh. Quick, think fast”, I thought to myself. Ah ha!
“You know what? I checked online, and the Tooth Fairy is not working tonight. So you don’t have anything to worry about.”
That’s it, moms.
That’s parenting, on the spot, at it’s best.
I’m. A. Genius!
“WHAT?!? She’s not coming. She’s not gonna bring me lots of dollars?” He was flabbergasted, as was I!
I looked over at my husband who had been listening as the drama unfolded. Both of us mouth agape.
So, I got up and led him back to his bed, again.
“Okay, listen Gaby. The Tooth Fairy is very nice and very smart. She’s like Santa, kind of. She won’t come unless we’re all sleeping. I promise you won’t wake up and see her. And to be sure I’m putting the tooth under my pillow. She can sense where the tooth is. Please don’t worry.”
I kissed him goodnight and went back to my bed.
I peeked in on him after a few minutes. He tossed and turned for quite a bit, and had the covers pulled up over his head, hiding. But eventually, sleep overtook him.
The next morning he found five 2 dollar bills in the Ziploc under my pillow. I think they are lucky [another unfounded Cuban belief. #Guilty] and I had hoped it was enough restitution for the emotional strain of the Tooth Fairy’s visit.
“Sofy! Vicky! Look what the Tooth Fairy brought me, a hundred dollars!”
“No. No, Gaby, that’s TEN dollars!”