Most parents today have a heck of a lot of pressure to out do one another. People claiming how horrible of parents we are if we don’t feed our children organic at every. single. meal. Excuse me, but my kid eats healthy ALL the time and if once in a while I want to pop open a can of… gasp… Spaghetti O’s then I’m going to do it and I don’t give a flying fart what judgement you throw at me. Same goes for letting my child eat every now and then macaroni and cheese. Judge away, let it boil within you, because I have no remorse and my child is smiling her orange cheese smile with pure delight. She’s also still alive, and hardly ever gets sick.
With places online to go like Pinterest we have a whole new level of perfection we must reach. It’s not fair really. It’s also obvious that I love Pinterest, mainly to save me money on decorating ideas and when I have my daughter home with me ideas to entertain. OOOO let’s not forget great nursery decorating ideas and recipes. But, really who has time to do ALLL the stuff you have pinned on pinterest? No many my friends. Not. Many. Does this mean we are bad parents, wives, home makers, or people? Nope. It just means we have priorities.
I will tell you one thing, if you get too busy doing DIY decorating for fall and making your house smell like fall then forget to put a little money in place of a little someone’s tooth…. then maybe you have the right to feel like a failure. I do right now because of the very sentence I just wrote. That’s right ladies and gentleman, this mother who tries sooooo hard to make her daughter’s childhood a great one FORGOT TO BE THE TOOTH FAIRY LAST NIGHT!!! What do I do? What do I say to that adorable toothless frown I woke up to this morning?
I also must say in my defense I had my Dr’s appointment yesterday. Being pregnant I have been concerned about the many people around me not vaccinating their children so, I asked the Dr. if that concern was valid. She quickly said yes, and in fact many cases of Whooping Cough are now re-surfacing because children are not getting vaccinated. I needed to get one, a whooping cough vaccination, all pregnant women should. I also needed to get a flu shot. She said they could do both right then and there and knowing me (it wouldn’t get done if I didn’t do it then and there) I decided to put my brave pants on and get both done.
That was SOOOO DUMB. Why you ask? I’ll be happy to tell you. With in a few hours it felt like someone socked me in both arms as hard as they could. Maybe it was the Incredible Hulk. That jerk. That’s how bad it hurts. Then All of a sudden I felt queezy, a feeling I haven’t missed at all in about a month, and then achy all over. I went to the bed at 8:30 and didn’t get up, I wanted to because my husband and I had some shows to catch up on. But, ugh, I felt so sick! So I forgot to send a reminder to my back up tooth fairy (my husband) and that’s how it happened.
Hannah came into my room early this morning (we are on Fall break so anything before 7:30 is early). I was in bed whining to myself about how yucky I still felt and boiling with anger at how stupid it was to get 2 shots like that at once. She put her head on my hill of a belly and said:
“I’m awake now.”
I replied: “Well, yes, Hannah you are.”
With a deep and dramatic sigh she said: “Okay, well, good morning Mommy.”
Then with her head down and body hunched over slllooooowly made her way to the door. How could she possibly be in this kind of mood so early in the morning?
“Hannah, sweetie, what’s wrong? Is everything Okay?”
“Well, yes, I guess so. Except, the tooth fairy didn’t come last night.”
My heart free fell into the pit of my stomach and my mind went a million times a second. How could I have forgotten? We made such a big deal about this dang tooth falling out and where she should put it so the tooth fairy could find it. So, I went through the excuse part of the brain and couldn’t find anything. Messy room? Nope. Her room was actually clean. Forgot to put the tooth next to her bed? Nope. It was there in plain sight. Closed the little shell holder thing she has so that little tiny weak tooth fairy couldn’t open it? Nope. It was WIDE open. She works for the government and the government is shut down sooo…. Nope. She wouldn’t get it.
What do I say? All of a sudden something so stupid and hardly believable came to my mind. I wrestled with it for a second and thought well, you don’t have anything else so just say this. You have got to make this kid feel a little better.
So I said, after a series of are you sure’s and seriouslies:
“Come here sweetie, ya know when I was about your age I remember waking up one morning and the tooth fairy didn’t come. I was so upset. But, that next night she left me a note and said she was so swamped because soooo many kids lost their tooth that day. The sun came out before she could get to me. She said how sorry she was and left me an extra quarter!!! Maybe, that’s what happened last night? There is only one of her.”
A small moment of silence broke with Hannah saying: “Yeah, maybe and I think that she’s so small it’s hard for her to go really fast.”
“Are you going to be OK?”
“Yep, I’m fine, I just wish she came.”
“I understand, but I bet she will come to you first tonight!”
Dodged a bullet? Maybe, I then heard papers wrestling and quickly realized she is writing the tooth fairy a letter. I thought she was going to lay into her and tell her never to forget her again. Nope. This is the letter she wrote:
This morning it felt like I have ruined my child’s life and she will never be the same again, I was a total failure and no other mother, eh em, Tooth Fairy has ever forgotten to leave something in place of a tooth. After seeing this note I have realized that I should give my child more credit than that. Disappointments are a part of life, and she handled her disappointment very gracefully.
This won’t be the last time I will feel like a failure of a mother. We as parents just need to give ourselves a little more credit. Don’t let the pressures of articles that appear on Facebook and projects on Pinterest measure how good of a parent you are. We are growing and learning this as we go, just as our children are learning. We forgive and give grace time and time again to our children, why not do that to you as a mother or father. So, when you find yourself in tears over something you forgot to do for you child, just remember they love you and there are so many more times that you have been a loving parent. And those far outweigh the mess ups.
I tell Hannah this when she gets upset at herself for messing up on homework or an art project she’s doing. I need to take my own advice more. It’s quite simple really:
“We all mess up. Fix it and move on.”
p.s. I will NEVER forget to be the tooth fairy EVER EVER again. That was traumatic for us all. HA!