You know, I’m cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
For the past few years, I’ve had it pretty well made when it came to Santa lore. Kate was an only child with no just-a-few-years-older cousins to muck things up … well, it made me a bit complacent. I started doing things my way.
(My dh, of course, would opine that I’ve ALWAYS done things my way, and that it’s the normal course of events.)
That “my way” part was a few clever little stitches in the tapestry of Santa’s life. Kate has never questioned that Santa only brings ONE present to each little girl and boy; after all, how else would he fit everything in his sleigh? She knows that mommies and daddies provide the rest of the kit and caboodle under the tree on Christmas morning.
She knows because that’s what I told her. It seemed like a stroke of genius at the time … I was, truth be told, sick of the Big Red Guy getting all the credit for the neat toys and so forth Christmas brings. Plus, I figured that the prospect of her losing one present from Santa would make it easier for her to come clean when she dispenses with the whole notion that Santa is … uhm, well, you know.
Now, however, she is in school. And she just might compare notes with some other little boy or girl … like she did about the Tooth Fairy.
Kate is sporting her first loose tooth. She worried about when her teeth would start falling out more than I expected … she worried because at least two other classmates already had visits from the Tooth Fairy. Naturally, she was ecstatic about having a wiggly tooth.
When I inspected that loose tooth of hers for the first time, I said, “Oooh, Kate, you’ll get a visit from the Tooth Fairy! Wow! She’ll leave you a bright shiny quarter under your pillow.”
Kate’s face got all scrunched up. She pondered that statement of mine for the longest time. Just as I started worrying that the Tooth Fairy’s visit might incite in Kate an unwelcome case of insomnia, my daughter allowed as to what was troubling her.
“Mason said that the Tooth Fairy leaves you a dollar.”
My heart did a double-skip. I did some mental digging into my brain’s databases … how many baby teeth were there? Twenty? Twenty-two? Whatever the number, that was a heckuvalotta greenbacks. No, no, a quarter would have to do.
“Uh, baby,” I said brightly, “that’s just for the FIRST tooth. You know, your FIRST tooth is a special tooth. But after that, it’s just a quarter. How else would the tooth fairy ever be able to afford to pay for all those kids’ teeth?”
I have similar visions of imminent catastrophe: some little kid, repeating the family tale he’s been told, will tell Kate that Santa brings him all manner of presents.
And that is as worrying as having to figure out just how I’ll pry that tooth out of Kate’s head when the time comes.