Monday, February 11, 2013

Don't Mess with the Tooth Fairy

This is the letter I'd like to have the courage to give to the mother of the girl who shares our bus stop each morning.

Dear Kay's Mother,

Today while waiting for the bus, your 4th grade daughter Kay shared her opinions on the Tooth Fairy with my kindergartener and her older brother.

Kay was playing on her cell phone when Natalie proudly showed her the spot where her tooth used to be. Coincidentally, Kay also lost a tooth last night. When Natalie asked where it was (meaning where is the hole in her mouth), Kay, nonchalantly said it was on the bathroom counter because "everybody knows that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist."

My heart sank. We have a good thing going here and I plan to hang onto the fun as long as I can. The Tooth Fairy (and all her magical friends) are childhood institutions and your kid almost blew it for mine.

My guess (based on other experiences with her) is that she didn't know any better. This is where YOU come in. 

Natalie looks up to Kay. Your daughter didn't even look up from her phone. There wasn't even the slightest indication from her that what she had just said so smugly and indiscriminately might have been a problem - in which case I would have sympathized. I've been known to have verbal diarrhea myself on numerous occasions. She didn't even flinch. Just so you know, since she didn't look up from her phone I rolled my eyes at her and gestured to my children that she's nuts.

As our children get older, they can decide what they want to believe about things. And I get it: Many a child has second-guessed their beliefs in magical beings due to comments made by an irresponsible older kid who takes it upon herself to educate the little one.

However, it is our job as parents to teach them that with this new knowledge comes responsibility and now they MUST think about how their comments might affect other children. Put plainly: Keep it a secret.

I know that you and I parent differently. It is not my concern what your child believes. I just want her to smile and keep her newly-toothless mouth shut.

The word "exist" threw Natalie off, but not her highly-intelligent brother who looked to me desperately. I told him that you take your daughter's Tooth Fairy money and put it in the bank so she doesn't argue.

If my son comes home tonight no longer believing in the Tooth Fairy, I will tell him how babies are made. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Monday morning he will tell Kay. I will also tell him to throw in some tidbits about aliens and Cheez Whiz.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Stress of Being 9

Clearing out my Ryan's school folder this week, I found this odd drawing:

Puzzled, I stopped him as he walked into the room.

Me: "Ryan, what IS this?"

Ryan: "In Guidance today (yes, they have a scheduled class with the guidance counselor) we learned about stress and had to draw a picture of what stresses us out."

Me: "When do you ever get stressed out??? What is this?" as I pointed to the first picture.

Ryan: "It's when I have to wait to go to the bathroom."

Me: "What? Ryan, we have three bathrooms. You've never waited for the bathroom in your life."

Ryan: "Well I had to put something down and I couldn't think of anything else."

Me: "And what's this? Puking? Is that puke?

Ryan: "Yes."

Perhaps I should have asked him why he chose to draw himself throwing up straight onto the floor instead of the toilet. This has happened before. 

Me: "Well I'd have to agree with you there. That's an awful lot of puke. And this is when Justin steals your DS? Why did you draw your hair like that?"

Ryan: "That's not hair, that's a really cool hat." At this point he made his famous Dork Face and was blushing. Totally snagged him on accessorizing.

Me: "And this is what?"

Ryan:  "When I die playing Mario. I hate that."

And with that, I let the kid off the hook from explaining to his mother what was a half-assed, yet hilarious effort at doing his schoolwork.

I know I should be happy that he has no real agonizing stress in his life unlike his mother who used to work herself into a tizzy resulting in multiple trips to the bathroom whenever she had a test at school.

I'm pleased that he simply defaulted to bodily functions and video games, just like a healthy, well-adjusted 9-year-old boy who was too lazy to draw hair on himself and his brother.