Seven years ago when I found out I was having twins – at my second sonogram appointment, not my first one mind you – my initial thought was absolute terror. I couldn’t imagine one baby growing inside me let alone two.
Suddenly what was once doable seemed overwhelming – would a double stroller fit in our building’s small elevator? Where would we put two cribs? 16 bottles a day? 20 diapers a day? We had so many questions and there were plenty of well meaning people and books doling out the advice about how to handle the realities of two babies invading at once. And, we got through it. We handled all of that stuff, weeded out what was seemingly “necessary” for one, but ridiculous for two. Along the way we somehow managed the double nursery school tuition and the insane kindergarten application process. Now twindom seems old hat and as our friends have had more kids its all evened out. Or so we thought.
My daughters are identical twins and so their teeth became loose at the same time. But, one of them had to be first, so when she bit into an apple at school and out popped that bottom tooth she was not just thrilled she was triumphant. The Tooth Fairy would come to our home for the first time and it was all for her! My husband and I were so excited to play tooth fairy that we both crept into her room that night. We were giddy. This was a milestone, a serious rite of passage for her and for us and we went large – a webkinz and a ten dollar bill. She woke up in the morning and put an Oscar winner to shame with her sheer joy, surprise and excitement. So strong was her belief in the Tooth Fairy that when her grandparents offered her some money the next day as a bonus for the lost tooth she wouldn’t take it. It had to come from the Tooth Fairy or it didn’t count. When her sister lost her tooth a week later, in the airport, it was the same thing all over again – bliss, anticipation and utter happiness.
Then, the next one fell out. Then the next one. Then the next one… You get the idea. No one warns you in all of those twin books that you will suddenly be on Tooth Fairy duty at least once a month. So, ten teeth into this job, I guess it was inevitable that one night the Tooth Fairy would forget. That’s right. One night the Tooth Fairy just didn’t show up. Now, in the Tooth Fairy’s defense, my daughter lost her tooth the night before a big family vacation. There was a lot of packing and organizing and printing of boarding passes going on. But, still. In the morning my daughters threw open our bedroom door and with a look of pure horror in their wide eyes screamed, “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night!!!”
My husband and I bumbled around for an explanation, expressed our disbelief that this could be true and he sprang out of bed to his wallet while I kept them in our room discussing the impossibility of this event. Then my husband called out from the bedroom – “Here it is! On the floor!” The girls came running and sure enough there was a dollar under the Tooth Fairy pillow instead of in the little tooth pocket. The girls danced around imagining all sorts of funny things that may have happened to the Tooth Fairy that made her drop the money in a hurry rather than place it neatly where it belonged.
Now, we probably should have come clean about the tooth fairy then and there. But, it never even occurred to us. Instead we were awed by the degree to which our daughters wanted to believe. I’d like to say we learned our lesson. But, no. A month later – and tooth number 14 in as many months – we forgot again. We pulled off the same stunt and my daughters once again shook their heads at how silly and careless the Tooth Fairy had become.
So, the Tooth Fairy is on probation right now. My daughters have two more loose teeth each right now. That’ll make 18 lost teeth in a little more than a year. I don’t know how much longer my daughters will choose to believe, but I do know that every time the Tooth Fairy falls asleep on the job she is one step closer to the unemployment line. And I don’t think the Tooth Fairy is ready to hang up her wings just yet.
This is an original nycmomsblog post.
This post was nationally syndicated by McClatchy/Tribune