It all started with a loose tooth...
A couple of weeks ago, Mr. President #1 came home to inform me that his front tooth was wiggly. I didn't believe him at first, but as fate would have it, he was about to lose his very first tooth. When he learned his first tooth was loose, he immediately became obsessed with loose teeth and the tooth fairy (appropriately so for a five-year-old kid). Eventually, he was coming home from school telling me stories about his classmates who were surprised by money left under their pillows after receiving a visit from the tooth fairy. I could only image the kind of money left under those pillows...
Yesterday Mr. President #1 had his tooth extracted (his adult teeth are prematurely coming in, so the dentist needed to make room for them), so my husband and I knew it was tooth fairy time for us! Considering the circumstances, and seeing how nervous Mr. President #1 was to pay yet ANOTHER visit to the dentist, we decided we would give him more than a single dollar -- we had to go big or GO HOME!!
When we finally got home and got everyone situated, we prepared for Mr. President #1 to have his very first visit from the tooth fairy ALL...EVENING...LONG!!! After bath time, we went over the rules for a visit from the tooth fairy one by one:
1. All little boys and girls must sleep in their own beds in order for the Tooth fairy to come;
2. All teeth must be placed under the pillow;
3. All teeth placed under the pillow will be collected from the tooth fairy and exchanged for money;
4. There will be NO COMPLAINTS about what was left under the pillow by the tooth fairy;
5. All money left by the tooth fairy will be saved and placed in the piggy bank.
Now I know some of you will have issues with my #5, but I have to teach Mr. President #1 and Mr. President #2 about saving and money management somehow! That's right...money management!
I digress...after a short book reading and a little back-scratching from Daddy, Mr. President #1 faded off to sleep without a fuss. After giving him a little time to really fall into a deep sleep, I grabbed a five dollar bill from my purse, tip toed into his room, gently lifted his pillow, and slid the money on top of his sheet. I have to admit...I was a little excited to see his reaction in the morning.
I didn't have to wait very long for the jumping, yelling and flipping to start -- Mr. President came running into my room early this morning carrying the money he found under his pillow. I walked him in his room to put the five dollar bill directly in his piggy bank. Of course the first thing he asked was, "Can I use this money to buy a toy," but my response was, " Absolutely not!"
First of all, Mr. President #1 has enough toys to donate to the entire school district and still have some left over. Do you really think I am going to let him buy more junk? Besides, Auntie F. will probably be sending him something anyway.
Instead of agreeing to let Mr. President #1 buy another toy, I explained to him that he needs to save his money for when he really needs it (like when we have an emergency), and his piggy bank will save the day! I also explained to him that if he saves up enough money in his piggy bank, eventually he will have enough money to purchase one of those really expensive items on his toy list. He seemed to be okay with that one.
So no, I'm not a mean mommy, but this, my friends, is what I like to call a visit from the TRUTH fairy! Everyone wins here! The TRUTH fairy wins because the money goes in the piggy bank, and Mr. President #1 wins because he gains a little money and learns a little lesson about saving and money management. I can't have Mr. President #1 and Mr. President #2 thinking money just falls from the sky because it magically appears under their pillows the morning after a visit from the tooth fairy, so we might as well do something a little constructive with it.
Not only were all of these great lessons learned, but when Mr. President #1 asked me for a piece of paper so he could write a thank you note to the tooth fairy, we ALL learned yet another lesson about gratitude and appreciation, and we added a #6 to our list of rules for a visit from the tooth fairy:
#6. A thank you note must be written and left under the pillow for the tooth fairy to collect the day after receiving money for a tooth.