Deny repeatedly and never forget 'the Washingtons'

Friday, March 1, 2013

Declan is already more than a little suspicious that Dad and the "Tooth Fairy" are one in the same, but I am hanging on to the fantasy by a thread, simply by refusing to admit it.

"Did you put this under my pillow?" he asked about a week ago with a curious grin, after finding a trio of dollar bills under his pillow.

I was forced to upgrade to dollar bills after an incident last fall. I had attempted to leave a baggy of pennies under his pillow and he woke up in a foul mood, stomping into my bedroom with a grumpy scowl.

"The Tooth Fairy didn't leave me anything," he said at the time, as he tossed the bag of pennies on my pillow.

"What? What's that? Looks like you got a bunch of money to me," I replied.

"No I didn't, you put that there. Those are just your pennies from your bowl!" he grumpily refuted, pointing at the empty change bowl I kept on my nightstand.

I had once again underestimated him and vowed to upgrade my Tooth Fairy money to dollar bills from then on.

After narrowly escaping unscathed from the Tooth Fairy's visit the week prior I blundered yet again this week, completely forgetting to put money under Declan's pillow.

He searched his bed sheets thoroughly before throwing his arms in the air in dissapointment.

"Nothing, I didn't get nothing," he growled in frustration, as I silently attempted to solicit his cooperation in getting dressed. My mind was scrambling for a solution, while still cursing myself for forgetting in the first place.

After preparing Declan's cereal and situating him at the table, I attempted to sneak out to my car, of course clad in my gloriously goofy-looking bedroom slippers and Superman pajama-bottoms, to fetch my wallet. That alone was punishment enough for my forgetfulness, especially considering the dense morning traffic in front of our home.

I placed another trio of bills under Declan's pillow and slid quietly back into the kitchen, attempting to hide my shortness of breath.

My strategy was simple and proved to be effective. I convinced Declan that maybe he had missed something from the Tooth Fairy and needed to look again.

He eventually paused his breakfast and jumped up from the table, returning a few moments later with the bills in his hands and a familiar suspicious grin.

"Did you put these under my pillow?" he again asked.

"No, that's great though. You must have missed 'em when you first woke up, huh?" I replied.

"No, you put them there," he said as he crawled back up to the breakfast table.

I attempted to again credit the Tooth Fairy, but Declan quickly pointed out the huge flaw in my strategy.

He raised his hand in the air, dangling the tiny plastic container that he had been given at school to hold his tooth.

"The Tooth Fairy would have taken this!" he said in his best, "gotcha" tone.

Being the experienced parent that I am, trained daily in the art of the Declan-terror-avoidance-101, I was thankfully still more than equipped to handle the situation.

"The Tooth Fairy doesn't always take your tooth. You thought she did? No buddy, sometimes she leaves them if she knows you still want it, plus she just got a tooth from you last week," I replied, with a confidence that immediately won over the little guy.

"Really?" was all he could muster as he eyed the tooth container with a grin, happily realizing he had gotten the money and gotten to keep the cool container. Thankfully, he failed to connect the dots with our conversation from the night before, when he had told me how much he wanted to keep the tooth container and hoped the Tooth Fairy left it.

The thread, by which Declan's Tooth Fairy fantasy is hanging, just got a little thinner.

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