The Tooth Fairy Cometh

About a year ago, Tornado A lost a front tooth. With the excitement and seriousness of any five-year-old, he placed it in his homemade tooth pillow and placed it under his bed right before he went to bed at 8pm.

And I promptly forgot about it.

Until I was getting dressed the next morning  in the dark in my bedroom while Tornado E slept in my bed.

Well, at least, I remembered the tooth before Tornado A did, and I would do my classic move of “Did you look underneath the bed?” and then toss the dollar on top of the bed. Then the boy would look on the bed in disappointment and wonder how the money got there. Weird.

As soon as I was dressed, I extracted my wallet from my purse. I opened it up and pulled out the first bill. I have a system, small bills in front, moving to larger bills in back. Not nearly as cool as Matt Murdock’s system, but we can’t all be as cool as Matt Murdock, and this system works well.

Like a ninja, I crept into the boys’ bedroom, removed the tooth from its pillow, and placed the bill in the pocket. I stalked out of the room, back into my room. I tossed the tooth into the trash with a slight clang.

Yes, I used to keep their teeth. All their baby teeth that were not lost on the way to the tooth pillow. Until I looked into the special box that was holding the teeth. Then I realized I looked like a serial killer with trophies. Out they all went.

As I was doing my hair, the boys woke up and started getting dressed. Tornado A, determined to beat his brother’s to breakfast, was the first dressed and into the kitchen, where my dad asked if the tooth fairy came.

I curled my hair with a smug smile as Tornado A ran by back to the bedroom. I was on the next section when he ran by again. That’s right, folks; I have this parenting thing down. Then I heard:

The tooth fairy gave me TWENTY DOLLARS!!!

Crap.

I put down the curling iron and ran out into the kitchen, where Tornado A was dancing around the room, waving a twenty dollar bill. What stupid person puts her biggest bill in the front of her wallet? My dad and I made eye contact. I ducked out of the room, laughing. I couldn’t catch my breath as I ran back to my room, pulled out my wallet, and saw the dollar bill still sitting in the wallet.

I overheard my dad.

Papi: Tornado A, that’s a lot of money. Do you think it was a mistake?

Tornado A: No, the tooth fairy never makes a mistake.

Papi: Do you think the tooth fairy wanted you to share it with your brothers?

Tornado A: No!

Papi: Do you think the tooth fairy wanted you to share it with Mommy?

Tornado A: No!

Papi: That’s a lot of money for a kindergartner, do you think you should donate some of it?

Tornado A: No!

I walked back into the room. My dad looked at me. I shrugged. I was a long term sub; I got paid half of pennies; I could use that $20. But I couldn’t take it from my boy. It was my mistake.

Me: I’m sure Tornado A already has plans for it.

Tornado A: Can we go to the store this weekend?

This is my dad’s favorite story to tell. I wonder if it reminds him of another blonde kindergartner with deep-set blue eyes who found $5 dollars in a church parking while walking to church one Sunday morning.

My dad: Fae, do you think someone dropped that on accident?

Me: No, Daddy. It’s from God.

My dad: It could be someone’s tithe. They could be giving it to God.

Me: And God gave it to me because I tithe every Sunday at your church and at Mommy’s church.

My dad: But Fae, it might be important to someone. That’s a lot of money. I have to ask around.

Me: But, Daddy, God gave it to me.

I dutifully handed it to my dad, who asked around. When he returned it to me because he couldn’t find any one to claim it, I insisted that it was a gift from God.

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An apology

I wish I could write the way Bad Mommy Moments can about bad days.  A day that includes every button pushed and every nerve gotten too.  A day which has painted carpets, chip crumbs, spilled milk, and hour old chili left in a bowl to dry and rot.  A day where you know part of it is you and not them.  A day when you dream about the days before babies and diapers, before husbands and compromise, before responsibility and housework.  A day making you forget to laugh at a dance, to be excited over pee, to clap at drum solos, to gush about how smart, how cute, how wonderful the little ones are.  A day when you can’t get online to even write about it. 

Here’s to tomorrow.

AGAINST TODDLER FIGHTING VIDEOS

Dear people who think it’s funny to watch toddlers fight,

 

If you’re a parent or guardian, you need serious help.  You need parenting classes and some serious time on a couch with a professional treating you.  You are selfish jerks that don’t deserve to have children.  You are hurting these kids because you are letting them hurt each other, and then you go off and post it on the internet.  What the hell is wrong with you?  It’s your job as a parent to protect your kids from harm, not push them into it.  It’s your job to teach them right from wrong.  It’s your job to give them the guidelines to go through life.  If you think your making your kid tough, you’re not; you’re making your child weaker because he/she is only going to solve problems with his/her fists, and we all know how that works out in real life.  And if your kid becomes some mean little bully, you better hope you don’t run into me because I’ll take you to task for what you did.  Don’t worry about my kids.  I’ll teach them to fight the proper way . . . when they are old enough to go to marital arts classes and teach them to take down a bully in a punch or two right away.  Because bullies are mean.

 

As for the rest of you who think it’s funny to watch these fights on the internet or are a person who eggs this all on, you’re pretty sick too.  It’s not funny.  It’s mean.  It’s wrong.  How would you like someone to come over and kick the shit out of you? (oh and that also goes for the parents too.)  These kids have feelings, and they are really crying in these videos.  Those are real tears.  You need serious help too to understand why you like to watch innocent children get hurt.  And pray that we never meet each other because I will make you regret the chuckles you had at some child’s pain.

 

As for us decent people who are pissed off about this, let us raise up a huge ruckus.  Let us rage against this like people do over dog fighting.  Sure, these kids aren’t doing this to the death, but they are getting hurt; they are being used; they are being abused.  Let us let every internet site that hosts this kind of footage know how we feel about this.  Let us join together and try to protect these kids.

 

-One really pissed off Mom

 

 

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Finally a Halloween decision

To recap (Witch or Faery and Halloween Indecision), Evan has wanted to be a witch, a ghost, a witch, a purple ghost, a bat, a witch, a princess, a fairy, a witch, and a spider.  Seeing that the common theme always runs back to a witch, I thought well why the hell not.  My husband is uneasy about the costume, worrying about homosexual tendencies or counseling sessions involving accusations of parents forcing a poor defenseless child to cross-dress.  He has so little faith in me.

 

As Evan has been talking off and on about being a boy witch for almost two months, I have been planning a costume in my head.  I’m going to make him a simple gown or robe as my husband states men wear robes, not gowns.  Right.  I plan on sewing stars all over the “robe.”  If I’m truly ambitious, I might just make a cape for Evan too.  Since Evan has realized witches have brooms, he insisted on having one too with a hat, just as he’s insisting Sean be a Halloween pumpkin.

 

As for Sean, I was planning on making him a vampire because he’s back to giving me love bites.  Lucky me.  But Evan has been adamant for two months that Sean be a Halloween pumpkin aka a jack-o-lantern, even going so far as to suggest Daddy would want to be a pumpkin too.  And I laughed.  Because I found some great no-sew costumes online, one being a tomato, I thought why not let Evan decide for Sean.  It’s not like Sean cares any way.  Funny, Evan had somewhat a deciding voice in his costume as being a cowboy at that age, granted his grandma did force him into the cowboy boots the first time, which he wanted to wear every day after.  Sean will make a great little pumpkin.

 

Yesterday I loaded up the boys and headed to Wal-mart, the one stop shop for house supplies, clothes, and crafts and when I need to save cash.  After heading straight to the toddler clothing department, I looked everywhere for an orange sweatshirt for Sean’s pumpkin costume.  And wouldn’t you know, boys don’t like to wear orange sweatshirts, and they didn’t carry any.  Who could blame them?  Luckily older boys apparently will wear orange long sleeved shirts, so I got one, hoping it will work just as well as a sweatshirt.  Then after winding our way through the store, grabbing necessary items and asking Evan to hurry up and not to touch that again, we found ourselves in the craft department, where I proceeded to find the type of material I wanted in the last aisle I looked.  Figures.

 

 So, Evan, which one do you want, blue, purple, or black?  Evan, pay attention.  No, Evan, we’re not getting that material.  Do you want purple, blue, or black?  Evan.  Evan.  Sean, stay in your seat; here have a pen to play with.  Evan, which one?  No, not that one.  Get up and come over here, Evan.  I swear child I am going to pick for you.   Evan.  Blue?  No.  Ok.  Purple? Black!  Ok, black.  And some silver.  Come on; don’t touch.  Evan, we don’t need marbles.  Put them back.  Put them back now.  Come here.  Sean, get down.  Evan, stop touching the material.  Don’t touch that either.  Don’t uh-oh; you threw the pen on purpose; you meant to.  Please, god.

 

So after we got the material cut, with Evan telling me he know wants to be a spider as he trails me through the crafts as I pick up some more materials for the costumes.  I have now gone to the zen place, where I actually don’t hear him any more, just white noise.  We sweep into the Halloween section as I keep a careful eye on Evan, who was frightened of Halloween stuff last year due to an incident with a life size monster.  (Chalk one up for Daddy)  Far from frightened, Evan pointed out what costumes he liked and what he wanted.  Then I picked up the hat, a witch’s hat with a spider dangling from the top and a ribbon of black tulle with sparkles.  “I WANT THAT!” Evan cried, rushing to put it on his head.  He danced around the aisle as I figured I could remove the ribbon and had one of those glow necklaces for trick-or-treating.  Then I grabbed a broom.  That cinched the deal.  Hat on, broom dragging behind him, Evan followed me through the rest of the store as I got the last few items on the list; while, Sean ehh-ed and ahh-ed for the broom.

 

So now I have to make the costumes, which I’m a little timid to do because I haven’t sewn anything harder than a blanket in years.  I’m sure once I start it’ll be a piece of cake, and I’ll laugh at my worries.  But until then . . . .  I just better start now so I stop second guessing myself, and if I actually do mess up, I will still have time to buy more material and ask my mom for help.

 

 

 

Motherhood vs Technology

“Hell-ooooo.  Howyau?” Sean asked the broken cell phone that he holds to high for the listener to catch all but a whisper, if there was a listener.  Sean has become fascinated with phones, especially cell phones.  He has learned he can talk to the phone and someone (like his Grandma, Papi, or Uncle Matt) will answer him, keeping him babbling for ten minutes as the person on the other end keeps asking him questions and saying “really.”   If I am talking to someone other than family, he becomes frustrated as he demands the phone until I hand him a toy phone.  Sometimes the toy phone doesn’t work as he has realized that it’s a toy, so I give him a broken, dead cell phone.

 

As parents of this new generation, we are surrounded by technology.  I grew up immersed in technology due to the fact I’m a “giga-byte,” the first generation not to know life without a computer.  Though my parents didn’t have to worry about giving me typing lessons the same time I learned to write, they seemed to have raised me in simpler time.  Now stores sell toddler digital cameras, toddler video games, toddler Mp3 players, and my personal favorite, toddler-size keyboards.  At least with the boys so young and out of school, I can keep them from learning about these teenager toys masquareding as children toys.  I wonder how you parents with elementary school kids do it.  We are all trying to navigate this new territory, wondering what toys are necessary to help our kids succeed in a technological world and which ones can wait until they’re older and can buy it with their own money.

 

My in-laws were teachers, and when Evan was just a babe in arms, I asked them about the new toddler computers.  They answered that they noticed the more technology kids received the smaller the attention span.  They urged me to wait as long as possible, so I plan on taking their advice.  Of course, my father-in-law was horrified over how many to toy cell phones we owned (four, but most of them say the alphabet, so these phones could act as a teaching aid) and that Sean was walking around the house with one.  “Gee, we do have a toy rotary phone, if that makes you feel better,” I countered.

 

That’s the other thing about technology.  Kids just want to be like their parents; hence, my boys are talking on toy cell phones and pacing around the house like their daddy when he’s on a business phone call.  (I kid you not; my husband cannot sit still when he’s on the phone, and neither can my sons.)  Evan vacuums with a toy lawn mower because he has never seen his father mow the grass, just his mother vacuum the floor.  In fact, my sons scramble to get on the computer where they pretend to type and move around the mouse.  They have their own broken keyboard that I painted for them.  One day my husband found Evan typing on the computer all by himself in the office.  When my husband asked Evan to come and play, Evan looked at his daddy and said, “I can’t.  I’m working.”  My husband was shocked, but I pointed out that is exactly what my husband does and says when he is working from home.  Evan was just mimicking.  (I think it was a little sad though.)

 

Another time my husband and I caught Evan at the computer, Evan said, “I’m writing an email!”

 

My husband was shocked again, turned to me, and said, “He’s a genius!  I wouldn’t have said that at his age!”

 

I answered, “Of course not, they didn’t have email when we were kids.  We would have said we’re writing a letter.”

 

So, yes, I know Evan and Sean will have an Mp3 player at a much earlier age than me. They’ll have a digital camera at the same age I got my first film camera.  They’ll play video games at an earlier age.  Hell, they had the Disney Channel at an earlier age than me.  I plain refuse to let my kids become addicted to video games and the internet.  I have stated that they will not have computers or TVs in their rooms until their in middle school, and I will be six feet under before I let them have a connection to the internet in their own room.  (They can just use the family computer where I can look over their shoulders.)  And at one point, I thought I wouldn’t have to buy them a cell phone. Ha.  Now I’ll have to figure out how to limit it.  I just have to make sure my husband and I do this technological parenting as smart as we can and kick them out of the house when they are reaching zombie stage, staring at a video game, trying to conquer level 63.

Solutions to Spiders

Last night Evan went to bed with his newly made spider keeping watch along with his gargoyle on top of his bookcase next to his bed.  My husband decided he would lie next to Evan until Evan fell asleep. 

 

So after I turned off the lights and took Sean to bed, my husband and Evan began a long discussion of whether there were spiders or not.  My husband turned the conversation to the spider Evan made and how it kept all other spiders away.  So Evan climber out of bed, petted the spider, and laid it down to go to sleep.  Then Evan climbed back into bed and asked his father to sing him the Tiki Room song, which my husband didn’t know.  After contemplating this new development, Evan asked for a song about a Tiki, a pineapple, a princess, and a unicorn.  (I plan to write down the song my husband came up with.)  Then Evan pointed to one of his red Chinese paper lanterns and said that it was Mars.  The conversation went on.

 

After an hour, Evan was finally asleep, and my husband was free from his obligation.  He decided to go to bed too.  Now I wonder what kind of consequence this solution has. . . .

Spiders, Spiders Everywhere

Two nights ago I had a series of firsts.  Evan told me what his nightmare was about.  Not only was he able to tell me; he didn’t cry, which was another first  He also forced me to search his bed for spiders, and yet this is another first.  I assumed it would be easy to prove there were no spiders because this wasn’t a monster in the closet or under the bed that could just disappear with the flick of a light switch, promising to be back as soon as it was dark and no parents were around.  No, these were spiders.  Frightening in their own way, but they would still be there, light or no.

When I was a kid, I had two similar nightmares, where I went to my mom and woke her up to ask her to search my bed.  The first night I dreamt that a huge snake was curled up next to me and that I watched it slither down the space between my bed and wall.  My mom turned on the light, moved the bed, and showed me there were no snakes at all.  The next night I dreamt that I was covered with ants.  Again my mom came to my room, turned on my light, and diligently looked for any sign of ants.  She’s a great mom.  The reason she humored me was she remembered listening to a radio personality who told a story of his son having the same nightmare of ants as I did, only the radio guy didn’t check assuming it was a dream.  It turned out the bed was crawling with ants.  Because I grew up in Arizona, it was quite possible that a snake could have got in somehow (ask my brother).  Since I was older than Evan, when I saw the evidence that there were no snakes or ants, I went back to sleep.

Not so for my little guy.  He’s three, and he swears there are spiders in his bed.  The first time he told me, I got up and smoothed his sheets, showing him spider-free sheets.  I explained that there were no spiders in his bed, it was a dream.  The next time I turned on the lights and showed him that underneath and on top of the sheet that there were no spiders.  Did I mention it was now 3:30 in the morning?  The third time, ten minutes after I left his room, I shook out the comforter, and the forth time we looked under the bed.  The fifth time I again showed him the empty sheets.  Each time I calmly explained that there were no spiders and that it was all a dream.  It was all in his head.  Finally the sixth time, now just after 4, I asked if he would rather sleep on the floor.  He preferred my bed.  The thought of telling him there was a spider in our bed occurred to me, but I just wasn’t ready to have a mental crack.  So I said no and tried to usher him back to bed.  He decided that he would prefer to sleep on the floor, so I laid his comforter down with his pillow.  He snuggled up, and I covered him with the remaining half of the comforter.  He came back ten minutes later, and I told him go back to bed before I feed you to the spiders. 

The next morning Evan conducted his own search of spiders, and he found there were none.  But he’s terrified they will be back.  And I wonder how I can convince him.

When I was a freshman in high school, I realized our house had an unusual amount of spiders.  Probably because our old house had very few, and this new house was closer to a desert area than the old house, landlocked by several miles of neighborhoods.  One night I was just about to fall asleep, I heard a rustling under my bed.  I’ll admit at this moment I clutched my teddy bear and thought how I KNEW there were monsters under my bed.  I absolutely KNEW it!  Damn, why did I ever believe grown ups?  Now I was going to die (yes, I clearly had an over-active imagination; still do).  I peaked out one eye to watch something scurry out from under the bed.  In the pale light and my sleepy eyes, this was worse than any boogie man.  This was a scorpion.  I launched myself out of the bed and dashed to my parents’ room, where I breathlessly told my mom what was in the middle of the floor.  Because my dad was out on a call and my mom is a brave woman, she grabbed a tennis shoe and walked back to my room, flicking on the overhead light.  To reveal . . . a wolf spider.  Nothing dangerous, just scary.  My mom killed it any ways, and I asked to sleep in my mom’s bed.  She rolled her eyes and told me to go back to bed because it was a school night.  Thanks.  So then I made a promise to myself to always keep my papers under my bed to warn me (granted I picked this up years before to keep the monster from getting me).  I also decided I needed something else. 

Harry, my new pet plastic spider.  He sat just inside my doorway, keeping vigil over my room, so that I could sleep.  I loved Harry.  Not only was I convinced he kept away spiders, he would scare people who would rush into my room and see a spider out of the corner of their eye.  I moved him around every once in a while just to keep my family on guard.  I had faith Harry would keep the spiders at bay, so now I wonder if that will work for Evan.

Today we are in the midst of making our own spiders.  I have several different activities that make spiders, and I am finding more.  I’ve recorded several “Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends” because Evan last night would not go to sleep in his bed.  My husband found Evan, sitting on his pillow, staring at the foot of his bed.  Evan begged his dad to allow him to “camp out.”  My husband didn’t understand what this meant because he had slept through the nightmares the previous night.  I explained and gave my consent.  But can I allow my son to keep sleeping on the floor?  So any advice on nightmares out there?