Tooth Fairy

October 16, 2010

I was six years old when I lost my first tooth.

I was sitting in my kindergarten class on a spring afternoon and the teacher, Mrs. Bodart (who we called Mrs. Bo-fart) was explaining the difference between left and right.  I gently pressed my tongue against the loose tooth and it dropped down into my mouth. I screeched, raised my hand and demanded Mrs. Bo-fart’s attention. “Yes, Michael?” she asked with only the patience and grace afforded to kindergarten teachers. “My tooth just fell out.” I squealed. “Was it on your left or right side?” she queried, trying to tie my tooth to her lesson. I wiggled my tongue around the gaping hole in my mouth. “Right”, I said, assured that I was correct in my assessment. Mrs. Bo-fart helped me fish the tooth out of my mouth and we placed in gingerly in a piece of tissue paper. “You know what this means, don’t you?” she asked. “Tooth Fairy” I exuded, knowing what great fortune was about to come my way.

I skipped home that afternoon, sorting through the possibilities I had for the mountains of cash I was going to receive that night. You see, to a six year old, a few quarters are equal to the sum of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates’ entire estates combined. As I flipped through the JC Penney catalog I imagined what the Tooth Fairy looked like, how she sounded and if she left a trail of fairy dust wherever she flew. In my mind, she was a combination of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North and Frauline Maria. I envisioned her slipping through my bedroom window, gently picking up my pillow, so as to not disturb my slumber, replacing my tooth with a mound of coins, kissing me on the forehead and flitting out the same way she came in.

All day long, much to the surprise of my parents, I kept watching the clock, counting down the nano-seconds to my bedtime. As soon as the little hand hit the eight and big hand hit the six, I ran into my room, changed into my Batman Underoos, brushed my teeth, climbed the small ladder to my top bunk and hopped into bed. My younger brother, Stephen, followed after that and much to his chagrin, I forgoed my dad’s nightly story, forced my parents to open my bedroom window and slipped into r.e.m. sleep so the Tooth Fairy could come and deliver my booty.

I don’t know what time it was, but I woke up in the middle of the night to a very peculiar sound. I felt under my pillow and my tooth was still there. The Tooth Fairy had not yet arrived. At first I tried to ignore it, wanting to fall back into my slumber in anticipation of my destined visitor, but the noise kept getting louder and louder. I lay in bed for several minutes before I realized what it was. It was the sound of wings flapping against something and it was coming from the general vicinity of my opened window. I tensed up, remembering that when I demanded my window be open, I forgot to require that the screen be removed as well. I pictured the Tooth Fairy arriving at my house, not being able to get in and growing increasingly angry with me.

“Stephen”, I whispered as quietly as I could, not wanting to further agitate the fairy-turned-harpy outside my window. He either didn’t hear me or was scared stiff like me and remained silent. Being an uninformed six-year-old and not realizing the auditory limits of my whispers I quietly called out for my mom and dad, as well. But, like Stephen, my quiet request was not answered.

I don’t know how long I laid there in my bed, scared out of my mind that, instead of taking my tooth and leaving some money, the Tooth Fairy, angry with my impudence, was going to rip through that window screen, pry open my mouth and manually remove all of my remaining teeth. However long it was, I eventually reached my breaking point. I sat up straight in bed and screamed bloody murder at the top of my lungs. The room was dark and I couldn’t see, but I was convinced that the Tooth Fairy was just about ready to make her move and attack.

I screamed and screamed until my parents flew downstairs and into my room. They turned on the light, my mother coddling me and my dad taking care of, a now totally hysterical, Stephen. “What’s wrong, sweetie?” mom asked in that special tone mom’s have of making everything seem alright. “It’s the Tooth Fairy. She’s come to get me.” I managed to spit out through my tears. I tried to explain to mom, dad and Stephen that, because we hadn’t removed the window screen, we’d somehow upset the Tooth Fairy and she was hell bent on exacting some sort of revenge on me.

When I finished my rant, dad walked carefully to the window and discovered a small moth that had been stuck against the metal screen, anxiously flapping his wings trying to escape. Even though they had found the source of the noise, I was still convinced that I was on the Tooth Fairy’s hit list. I made them flush the tooth down the toilet and slept with my parents in their bed for a period of time that still embarrasses me to this day.

It’s been almost thirty years since that fateful night and I still can’t sleep with the windows open.

My advice to my six-year-old self: You should have taken some of my previous advice and grown a pair.

My advice to the Tooth Fairy: Next time you arrive at someone’s house and you can’t get in through the window, take a clue from Santa Clause and fly down the chimney.

My advice to everyone else: Watch out what you tell your children. It may backfire on you.


One Response to “Tooth Fairy”

  1. Datherine Says:

    Thank God! Someone with brains sakpes!

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