Friday, December 29, 2006

Tooth Fairy

I just started reading Augusten Burroughs' Possible Side Effects yesterday. The first story was about his first encounter with the tooth fairy at age 7. He had never heard of the tooth fairy, and his eccentric and wealthy grandmother was kind enough to explain to him about how the tooth fairy will come into his room and take his tooth, when it falls out, and leave him some money. He didn't want anything to do with this scenario.

This got me thinking about my perceptions of the tooth fairy, whom I was desperately scared of as a kid, and also Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny (less frightful, but still bothered me). For most kids, I think, the tooth fairy is envisioned as a small, Tinkerbellish thing that somehow yanks teeth out from under pillows and puts money in its place. I, for some reason, envisioned the tooth fairy as this large woman dressed as a princess who would come into my room in the middle of the night and scare the crap out of me while she tried to do her tooth fairy job.

I was always afraid that I'd wake up right when her face was in my face, because of course the creepy tooth fairy would have to peer at me while I slept. And then I'd scream and flip out and probably be traumatized for the rest of my life. I'm not sure how the solution came about, like if I freaked out the first time a tooth fell out (mom -- please enlighten us all) so my mom came up with her ingenious solution or if my mom tried to be the tooth fairy and I did wake up and freaked out, but regardless, I made my mom's life really easy because of my fear of the tooth fairy: I put my tooth in an envelope and then stuck it outside my closed bedroom door. Voila! in the morning, my tooth was gone and I had some money.

One time I put the envelope in my closet, thinking the tooth fairy would know it was in the there, but when I checked the next morning, it was still there. I'm not sure how close this incident was to the time I found out there was no tooth fairy, and knowing me, it may have even happened after I found out there was no tooth fairy. I'm a bit lame like that. I need to test things out.

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny freaked me out, but since they didn't have to come into my room and take something from me, I dealt with my irrational fears better. I did, however, get absolutely no sleep the night before Christmas or Easter because I was thinking about a fat man in a bright red costume and a giant bunny wandering around our house while we all slept. You'd think my lack of sleep was out of excitement, and there was probably a bit of that as well, but it was mostly from the fear of the unknown.

So I told my husband yesterday that I didn't want to put Mateo through the tooth fairy business because it's creepy and scary. He said that maybe, just maybe, Mateo wouldn't think it was scary and would be okay with it. I said I couldn't put my child through that frightening situation. I just couldn't.

So I think my husband will have to be the tooth fairy while I hide in the bathroom, waiting for him (tooth fairy him) to be done with his tooth fairy business. I'm sure I can entice a cat or two to hang out with me so I don't feel so alone.


Anonymous said...

The things a Mother learns about her kid reading their blog! Sorry but I don't remember too much about the Tooth Fairy - however - I do remember sneaking into your room and taking your tooth from under your pillow at least once, and yes it was in an envelope - makes things much easier. So one of us is totally confused, which is par for the course. Didn't know about Santa and the Easter Bunny either. Sorry for such a traumatic childhood...imagine - Tooth Fairies, Santa and Easter Bunnies!!!! OH MY!!!

jmz said...

I could have sworn I put it outside my door, but now I'm not sure. I just know I was scared to death. SCARED TO DEATH!!!

And keep them clowns away while you're at it.

Denise said...

Just FYI - K posts signs in her room to help the tooth fairy find her tooth AND she leaves the tooth fairy notes, which the tooth fairy responds to in her VERY fairy handwriting. So, you might want to reconsider.

jmz said...

Well, if Mateo requires very fairy handwritting from the tooth fairy, then I think we should enroll him in design school early.

And I'll still be in the bathroom.