Midsummer Night Moonlighting

It’s 2:30 am, and the alarm clock jolts me from a deep slumber. Although freakishly early to be starting the day, I need to get out of bed and get ready for work.

But there’s a highly important mission that I must first accomplish.

I tiptoe into a dark, hazardous room. Why isn’t there any Caution tape surrounding this disaster area? And not even so much as a nightlight to illuminate my treacherous path?

A massive pile of Legos that rivals Mount Everest in magnitude litters my path, and there’s simply no way around the obstacle.

Lego Darth Vader, with his evil red light saber drawn menacingly, doesn’t miss a beat.

I stifle the urge to scream as I misjudge my next step.

I’m fairly certain I just irreparably injured my pinky toe. Then my entire left foot, tingling with the sensation of a thousand angry needles, goes completely numb.

A child stirs from the peaceful world of Dreamland.

I silently drag my numb-footed self over to his bed, and gently but thoroughly rummage under his pillow in search of the hidden gem.

The child squirms and groans.

“Just wanted to say goodbye before I head out to work!” I whisper.

Like a wary cat, he cracks one eye open and squints at his space shuttle alarm clock.

“It’s 3 o’clock! Let me sleep or I’ll lick you!” he mumbled.

Lick me? Really?

Clearly, he must think it’s his brother. Would he really lick me?

Another tingling sensation startles me, this time in my hand.

He bit me!

A knee-jerk reaction bitch-slap sends his Teddy Ruxpin face first into the wall with a resounding thud.

My sweet son, oblivious to the chaos, has fallen back asleep.

I don’t particularly resemble Tinkerbell, the sweet little winged fairy. But apparently, there’s an unspoken agreement that having kids means you must be prepared to magically transform into the Tooth Fairy (or Santa Claus) at a moment’s notice, and be subject to potentially lethal working conditions .

(The L in Lego stands for lethal, in case you ever wondered.)

Underpaid and unappreciated, the Tooth Fairy is a freaking unsung hero.

She dodges perilously grooved Legos and stray FurReal penguins, monkeys, and unicorns.

She especially has to avoid inadvertently taking out the family pet in the middle of the night with one wrong step.

She suppresses the screams of agony when she makes a wrong move and discovers a Lego permanently lodged in her heel.

She risks her life in a virtual minefield, always one sole step away from breaking her neck.

And then there’s the injustice of having to witness the grotesque act of a child engrossed in determined bloody-pulp tooth yanking at the slightest telltale wiggle, as he sits on his bed with an arsenal of floss, gum, and a compact mirror.

All for a two dollar reward.

After another round of manhandling both the pillow and the oblivious boy’s head, I give up, stuff a little surprise under the pillow, and softly kiss his head.

Then I bolt out of the room faster than a fleeing fugitive.

A fugitive with a bum leg, anyway.

Hopefully, my son will forget about this whole encounter come morning. Or at the very least, he’ll think it was all a very strange dream where his teddy bear came alive in the middle of the night and attempted to jump through the wall.

The next morning, the boy still hasn’t even noticed tooth fairy had come.

He’d forgotten to put his tooth under pillow in the first place.

Oh, but it gets better.

His brother did remember to put the tooth under a pillow for him.

Well, under his own pillow.

Was he purposely intending to deceive the tooth fairy, or simply trying to help his brother?

Chalk it up to one of life’s greatest mysteries, I suppose.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to switch gears and trade my magical wand for a slightly less magical pallet jack.

Think you had a rough night? You and me both, buddy.

Think you had a rough night? You and me both, buddy.