Last Christmas we realized that Abby was a bit too curious about Santa Claus, and a bit too wise to fool for much longer. She asked, while opening gifts on Christmas morning, in her know-it-all voice “If there is a Santa, how come this says ‘Made in China’?” I knew this day was coming, I just don’t think I was quite ready, and with a 5 year old brother watching, I didn’t think it was the right time. So I lied. I can’t even remember what I said, but it had something to do with needing workshops all over the world… my parents watched all this from the couch with very smirky smiles on their faces.
So I dodged the bullet on Christmas, thinking to myself that I would find the appropriate time during the year to talk to her about it big girl-to- big girl. I wanted to tell her, instead of her finding out on her own, with the theory that it would hurt less, and would help her feel like she was in ‘cahoots’ with us (so little Marshall doesn’t find out until he is old enough).
I remember the day that I figured it all out, and it was terrible! I was about the same age as she was and my younger friend Ali had come over to show me what she got for Christmas from Santa Claus, and I recognized it immediately from the Gift Store at the hospital (both of our mothers worked there). I was smart enough to hold my tears in front of her, but I ran home and BAWLED…all the magic in the world seemed to be snuffed out in that split second.
With this memory in mind, and the knowledge that Abby was getting close to making a similar discovery, I waited for my moment….trying to put it off as long as possible.
And then I almost blew it.
Another tooth gets pulled, a happy child sticks it under her pillow…and then a devastated little girl comes crying into my room in the morning because The Tooth Fairy forgot her! Well shit, mark that down as a Bad Mommy moment! I didn’t know whether to jump with joy (because she still believed so much!) or cry (because I had just broke her heart)! So I did what any sane person would do…I lied. I lied like a CHAMP! It just all came pouring out, about how the tooth fairy gets so busy that maybe she just hasn’t come yet (it being 6 am and all) or that maybe she started with the youngest kids first and couldnt’ get to everyone last night… I was a star. And then, to get the standing ovation from all you Tooth Fairy Cadets out there, my husband and I hatched a secret, super sneaky plan. Let’s call it the Distract, Drop, Dash and Dance. I send her out to watch some TV. From my purse I grab a yellow post-it and write a note from the T.F. apologizing, saying I arrived late and Abby was already awake. Daddy grabs the note and the moolah and head’s out to the kitchen, sending Abby back in to cuddle with me a bit (The Distract). While attention is diverted he replaces the Tooth with the Note/Money and (Drop) and then high-tails it back to kitchen (Dash). I tell her to go back to her room and make sure her tooth is still in an obvious place under the pillow, so the T.F. won’t miss it later that evening. Bring on the screaming and Dancing…that Tooth Fairy is pretty sneaky! How did she get in here with no one noticing, not even eagle-eyed Marshall on the couch? Yeah, I agree Abby, that Tooth Fairy is SO TOTALLY AWESOME!!
Maybe I WILL get one more magical Christmas?!! Cross your fingers I don’t forget the stockings…