Monday, April 23, 2007

Whose Tooth Is It Anyway?

I don't remember if I've mentioned what a Lame-O we have for a tooth fairy. But she sucks. I think she has remembered to claim a tooth on the first night it was offered once per kid. Maybe. If you combine all five of the kids, the total number of lost teeth is approximately 2,076. That is a lot of disappointment. It is also a butt load of money since the tooth fairy - out of overwhelming guilt - pays entirely too much per tooth when she finally gets around to checking the silver cannister. (Sidenote: instead of tucking the tooth in toilet paper and burying it under the pillow, our household subscribes to the concept of putting the tooth in a cute little silver container and sticking on the bedside table after calling three times "Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy ________ has lost a tooth!" This method has its advantages - namely, the box was a baby shower gift and is quite lovely and it can be placed outside the door instead of beside the bed for children who think it's "creepy" to have someone lurking around their room even for the purpose of leaving money. The drawbacks, however, are not insignificant. Said tiny cannister is easy to lose in between teeth and doesn't hold more than three teeth at a time. Ask me how I know this. Also, is not remotely big enough to hold coins. Conveniently, it is the perfect size for rolled up bills.)

There are some positive things to be said for a household with a completely dysfunctional tooth fairy. The kids have become flexible about the pomp and circumstance surrounding the losing of the teeth. The children knew immediately without even a moment's worry that the tooth fairy would be forgiving of the lack of actual tooth in the cannister. Not being able to recover teeth from the drain or from the river while on vacation - these are circumstances the the tooth fairy can understand as she clearly has obstacles that often prevent her from meeting her end of the standard tooth=money contract. My children know about diversity and equality. Broken shards of teeth are as acceptable as run of the mill whole teeth. And all teeth, be they first teeth, molars, or child fangs, are equally likely to be languishing in the cannister. The kids have also learned the art of delayed gratification and gained an understanding of compound interest. They have even been made aware of the American business tradition of Christmas bonuses in the form of packages under the tree labeled "From TTF".

So maybe all of that explains why my children are not normal about teeth. Or maybe not.

Today, along with the list of chore assignments that I leave for the kids each afternoon, I left a baggie with a tooth in it that I found while cleaning out one of those spots that seems to accumualte random and somewhat horrifying detritus. This was a first for us - the tooth hadn't even made it to the cannister before it had been forgotten. Ay yi yi! The caption on my note said, "Whose tooth is this?"

When I came into the kitchen, I discovered them trying to fit it back into their mouths to determine whose tooth it might be!!! They hadn't taken it out of the baggie, which makes it oh so not much better. What did they think - this was like Cinderella's slipper?!! They finally decided it was Mayhem's - but, as I overheard some bargaining between Chaos and Mayhem about who owed whom $ for something or other, I don't know if I totally trust that.

****Please Pardon The Interruption*****
As I was typing along about how odd my children can be about teeth, I heard some serious commotion from the other end of the house. The Princessa was laughing, Chaos was saying, "Arg. Eh. Gr!", and Mayhem was howling (but with what sounded like laughter, not pain.) I finally went to fuss at them and chase them back to their chores but was stopped in my tracks at the sight of Mayhem. He was standing, red-faced, in the hall with water dripping out of his hair and into his eyes. Chaos was laughing his a** off. I asked what was going on and Mayhem said, "Chaos gave me a swirlie!!"
"No way!!! Chaos, tell me you did NOT put your brother's head in a toilet!! Mayhem, did he?!! He wouldn't have!" I am nearly choking as I'm trying to speak. The thought is horrifying but Mayhem's face is comic. I cannot help laughing even though I'm on the verge of being seriously pissed and worried as hell about my son. It is like laughing when someone is tickling you even though that is the very LAST thing you think is funny. Thankfully the kids all completely busted out laughing and assured me they would never, ever, ever in a million years do something mean like that to anyone for any reason. They also sort of apologized for pulling such a prank on me but I think they knew they had caught me on a good day and had stayed *just barely* inside of my tolerance for hijinks.
I have no idea how I was going to close the tooth fairy post. I can only sit here and wonder if my children are even near the realm of normalcy. They are congenial, and bright, and caring (for the most part!) - but their weirdness factor can be off the charts. That's normal, right?!

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