Mom to Mom
Parenting - Moms Many Roles
No one ever told me parenting was hard work. No one explained about working double duty. And for sure no one ever explained the payment method - - -delayed until the recipients of your labor have children of their own. My own children are now young adults and I did survive. This is for those of you still in the trenches of young motherhood. In case no one told you parenting is hard work, I’m telling you now.
A typical day for a mom includes Mom as Sergeant, rousing the troops. By the time she gets the last one up, the first one has fallen asleep again. There are the roles of taxi driver, hairdresser, laundress and maid. Mom must be homework tutor, short order cook and occasional nurse. She must act as playmate, counselor and referee. Occasionally Mom takes on the job of Easter Bunny, Sandman, Santa, and yes, sometimes she is even the Grinch. Of all the jobs that moms are called upon to perform, I must say the most difficult dual role is that of dentist and the Tooth Fairy.
Trials of a Tooth Fairy
I have heard the “snap, crackle, pop” of recalcitrant teeth being pulled. I’ve paid the dentist, then gone home and paid the child. I have pulled the car over to the curb on the way to school and reached into the back seat to pull a tooth. I have paid the child five dollars to pull his own tooth, in an attempt to save the $45 it cost at the dentist office, only to find him working permanent teeth loose, hoping to build his cash stash.
I have stood three feet away from my daughter, begging her to let me pull a tooth dangling by a thread, and her screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, help me Daddy, she is trying to kill me!” at the top of her lungs. It is not a task for the faint of heart, nor is it one to attempt when the neighbors are home.
All that, and the job is only half done. It is no wonder Tooth Fairies have such a small clientele. They can only manage one household at a time and it’s one of those jobs that one works only while in the prime of life. Tooth Fairies keep late hours and never have enough cash or small change on hand. In addition, they must be prepared for the unexpected, such as a child suddenly waking and saying “Why is your hand under my pillow? Has the Tooth Fairy come?” One must be able to let lies roll easily off the tongue. “No dear. Mom was just fluffing your pillow.” Another example of the unexpected is when the tooth donor has lost the tooth in the carpet and can’t find it to place it under the pillow. My son has been known to do that on numerous occasions. Following is a replica of a note he typed for the Tooth Fairy:
Trimmed to a 1/8th of an inch, by 6 inch slip of paper, folded and folded again, it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you want a trial run, try tippy toeing barefoot over an army of toy soldiers getting there in the first place; add the pressure of not waking the sleeping person with their head on the pillow with your cursing and you will have set the mood just about right. Regardless of how much money is left on those occasions, if the tooth is eventually located in the carpet, I promise you, Junior will be trying to put it under the pillow for more money.
In my day, the Tooth Fairy was poor. Twenty five cents was the going rate and I was glad to get it. These days, as with everything else, inflation has caught up and she’s paying $1.00 or more per tooth. That is customary only if there is no problem. Add $1.00 for anything extra, like the dentist having to pull a tooth or if it had been filled. I mean, the Tooth Fairy should expect to pay for that silver filling. One tooth could net a child $3.00 or more.
Tooth Fairies begin their job with vim and vigor. They end it with waning enthusiasm and broke to boot. All I know for sure is this Tooth Fairy is one tired Mother.