“Where’s the glass?” I asked Tracey. I was standing at the kitchen sink, staring at an empty windowsill.
“What glass?” she asked me.
“The one I had right there,” I told her, pointing. “It had water in it.”
“Oh, I washed it.”
“Bugger!” I cussed. I ran my finger around the plug hole and dove into the odd clumps of froth still in the sink.
“What have you lost?”
“Nothing,” I told her. “I haven’t lost anything. You have.”
“What are you talking about?”
“That glass had Molly’s tooth in it for the Tooth Fairy to find tonight.”
“Bugger!” cussed Tracey, elbowing me out of the way and diving into the sink herself. “Why did you leave it there?”
“So I wouldn’t accidentally dump it down the sink and wash it up.”
She cast me a dim look.
“Well, I didn’t. I can’t be held responsible for your actions,” I explained reasonably.
We are notoriously poor Tooth Fairies. In our house she rarely comes the first night a tooth is left out. The longest it’s taken for the Tooth Fairy to come and exchange some enamel for cash is three nights.
But usually it’s two.
So while we’re not very good Tooth Fairies, we are exceptionally good at making excuses for her lax little fairy butt. Here are some of the more lavish excuses we’ve found helpful. You’ll notice we’ve interwoven some important life lessons because, as is becoming clear, we are all over this parent caper:
- Like stranger danger and road safety, we feel it’s important to raise an awareness of potentially spiked drinks at social functions at a young age. “Last night was The Tooth Fairy Ball. Unfortunately the Toenail Fairies spiked the punch because they’re a bit jealous of The Tooth Fairies getting all the limelight.”
- Bringing up foreign exchange for when they backpack Europe. “The Tooth Bank shut early yesterday, on account of it being a Tooth Bank Holiday and so The Tooth Fairy wasn’t able to withdraw any Aussie coins to pay you for your tooth. She had a few Papua New Guinean Toya in her fairy purse, but thought you’d rather have something you can spend locally.”
- Why it’s important to go to bed on time and not stay up late annoying your parents. “She phoned to say by the time we put the tooth into water beside your bed she had already started her rounds and didn’t get the message until she was back at the Tooth Factory. But you’re first on the list for tomorrow night.”
But usually we go for something much simpler.
Like last month, when Miss5 lost her first tooth.
“Waaaaaaah!” came the cry from the girl’s bedroom.
“What now?” I mumbled, dragging my sorry self through the house. ‘This better be good.’ It was half an hour before the alarm usually went off. I was ready to do my nut if someone hadn’t lost a limb. “What’s going on?’ I hissed through the doorway.
“The To-To-Tooooth Fairy didn’t co-co-come,” Miss5 cried. “Why didn’t she co-come?”
I was instantly awake. Guilt can do that.
Miss5 hadn’t even finished her sentence before I was coming up with my spin. It went something like this (my thoughts are in the brackets):
“The To-To-Toooooth (Bugger! Not again! How am I going to get out of this?) Fairy didn’t (Come on, you daft bastard, think!) co-co-come. Why didn’t (Got it! I’ll do what Tracey would do and I’ll blame me!) she co-come?”
“It was my fault,” I told my little daughter as I gave her a cuddle and Tracey joined us.
Over Miss5’s shoulder I saw my good wife’s face become very animated. I saw her go through the same thought processes I did – Bugger! Not again! How are we going to get out of this? Think! I know! I’ll blame Bruce!
But I was all over it.
“I was sleeping on the lounge. The Tooth Fairy would have been scared off when she saw me,” I told Miss5. Tracey nodded and threw me a look which said, ‘good one’.
“Re-really?” Miss5 sobbed, a little less forcefully.
“Absolutely,” Tracey assured her. “Your father snores and sleeps with his mouth open. She’d be worried about being sucked in. I know I usually am.”
Which is why I was so determined to have a more successful changeover this time – I didn’t want to be woken up early again.
“What do we do now?” asked Tracey, still looking at the plug hole like the little tooth might suddenly appear.
“I got this,’ I told her. I grabbed an apple and started chewing. Soon I had whittled a bit down to about the right size. I plonked it into a glass of water and tossed it back on the sill. Problem solved.
“It’s floating,” Tracey admonished.
“It’s white and small and in a glass of water,” I told her. “Trust me, it’s a tooth.”
Fortunately it passed the bedtime inspection and, even better, we remembered to exchange the floater for some coinage.
Except Master7 has announced he has another loose tooth, so here we go again. I just hope we’ve got apples left in the crisper. Just in case.