The Gort has a loose tooth at the moment and, when he’s not calling for my attention to show me just how loose it is [even though he will never yank it out] he’s thinking about the tooth fairy. ‘Mom, I think next time I write a letter to the tooth fairy, I will say: “if you’re real, [write here]”.’ And he motioned towards a section of his imaginary piece of paper – to show where he’d want the tooth fairy to ‘sign’.
‘Oh, so you want proof that she’s real,’ I taught him a new word. Which he liked. ‘Yeah. Proof.’
‘Do you think if she can get under a pillow, that she could lift up an ink pad?’ And I was barely listening to him at this point, smiling at the mental image of a fairy flying through the air carrying an ink pad. Scheming how I could produce a convincing fairy ‘foot print’.
I resigned myself to making a trip to Michael’s to pick up some tiny ink pad in a ‘fairy’ color. [Even though I vow at least once a week never to return to Michael’s again; store that hands out 40% off coupons that are never valid when I’m actually there.]
When the professor came home in the evening, I relayed the story about the tooth fairy and the proof. And he howled with laughter – because sometimes we just don’t know where this boy actually came from: so exact, so adamant, so….first-born.
‘So what’s Nicola going to do,’ my better half ruminated, knowing full well that I intended to produce fairy proof. ‘Are you going to use one of Percy’s footprints?’ he asked-suggested. And I stared at him with disbelieving eyes. Yes, Percy does have the smallest feet of all our boys – by far – but seriously? Who would ever try to pass off size (barely) 8 toddler feet as ‘fairy feet’?
‘Uh, I was thinking of something a little smaller,’ I shook my head; using my thumb and forefinger to indicate a slightly more appropriate fairy foot size. Like a quarter of an inch, maybe.
‘True,’ he realized the error of his ways, ‘[Percy’s foot] would be more like chubby fairy,’ he agreed whilst flapping his arms to indicate – I’m guessing – a fairy of Rubenesque proportions.
‘Mom!’ the Gort yelled an hour or so later. ‘My tooth fell out.’ And I sighed because I had hoped for at least a twenty four hour reprieve in this fairy-proof-business. ‘Yeah, it just fell out while I was brushing my teeth,’ he announced in a voice that was part disbelief, part amazement. And I had to laugh because the tooth had been so loose, he could almost rotate it 360 degrees.
‘Where’s the stamp pad,’ he asked urgently, eager to set things up for the fairy. Luckily I have the ‘we just moved’ card at my disposal for at least three more days. ‘Uh, I don’t know,’ I stalled. Because I really didn’t know which of the twenty generically labelled boxes might contain ‘ink pads’.
And also, it dawned on me that I could play the ‘tooth fairy doesn’t know your new address’ card at breakfast.